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How to Prepare Your Outdoor Lighting System for a Hurricane

outdoor lightingHurricanes are a part of Jacksonville life. Each season we wait, listen, watch and prepare for potential landfall and close calls that could require us to evacuate. Like most Floridians, you hopefully keep a hurricane emergency kit on hand. You also likely have a protocol you follow for protecting your property against flooding and wind damage. From surge protectors to sandbags and boarding up windows, there is a laundry list of things that need attention when a storm is approaching.

Don’t Forget the Landscape Lighting

Copper and brass lights from Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Jacksonville are among the sturdiest you can get. But even they don’t always hold up to the worst storms. While we have provided a post-hurricane outdoor lighting must-do list, there are a few things you can do when you know a storm is approaching. These tips are not guaranteed to protect your system from all hurricane damage; however, they can reduce some unnecessary repair costs.

Tip One: Choose sturdy, weather-resistant fixtures. If you’re our client, you can already check off step one. Our fixtures are made with solid brass and copper. Our LED bulbs can handle water. Big box fixtures are usually created with plastic or aluminum that is prone to cracking and dents.

Tip Two: Surge protection is vital during hurricanes and storms. All Outdoor Lighting Perspectives LED landscape lighting systems are wired with a ground-fault circuit interrupter that will break the circuit within 1/40th of a second should there be a ground fault.

Tip Three: Additional surge protection is a good idea. We ask our clients to unplug their transformers before a storm approaches. If a hurricane has lightning, this may protect a surge from coming from outside the house into an internal circuit. Sometimes a surge from the storm itself doesn’t cause an issue, but instead, the power restoration afterward. Especially if there has been a flood. Leave your transformer unplugged until our maintenance team can come out after the storm and inspect your system.

Tip Four: If time permits before a storm, but preferably before hurricane season, survey the trees and shrubs around your property. If there are clear overgrowths, dead branches, leaning trees, or unsteady limbs trim them ahead of time to reduce potential debris that could cause fixture damage.

Tip Five: Store outdoor furniture and toys inside your garage or shed to further reduce the volume of debris that could potentially damage lights. Anything that won’t fit in inside storage such as trampolines, should be tied down securely.

Tip Six: Transformers should be mounted at least 18” above grade to avoid submersion during a flood. Transformers are not flood-proof. If yours suffers flood damage, do NOT try to turn your system back on until we inspect and repair your system.

Tip Seven: But technically should be tip number one. Please get yourself out of harm's way. Lighting can be repaired; lives cannot be replaced.

Stay safe out there during hurricane season! And don’t hesitate to give us a call if you have any questions, concerns, or are in need of service.