Outdoor lights are built for the elements, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a little TLC once or twice a year. With darkness falling earlier during fall and winter, there’s no better time to check your lights to make sure all are working and safe too. Get the most out of your landscape lighting this fall and winter, follow these seven helpful tips. Outdoor Lighting Perspectives offers maintenance packages and can repair or upgrade many different outdoor lighting systems.
BURY EXPOSED CABLES
It’s not uncommon for cables to work their way to the surface and become exposed, especially in high traffic areas, around windy corners where the dirt gets blown away, or around light fixtures that are near walking paths. Make sure everything is back underground to reduce tripping hazards and protect the wiring from weather.
REMOVE FALLEN LEAVES
They call it fall for a reason; lots of falling leaves. Leaves pile up everywhere this time of year, and it’s not uncommon for leaves to completely cover outdoor light fixtures. With halogen lamps that create heat, it could be enough heat to scorch leaves and possibly create a fire risk. Clear all the leaves from around outdoor lights.
TRIM OVERGROWN PLANTS
Plants grow quickly and sometimes we don’t even realize that the ivy in the landscaping has completely swallowed our spotlight. And sometimes your landscape lighting gets overshadowed by small plants and bushes. Cut it back so your lights can shine unobstructed all winter.
ADJUST LIGHTING FIXTURES
Lighting fixtures can get bumped by people, lawn mowers, landscapers, etc. It’s a good idea to check to make sure all lights are pointed where they are supposed to be pointed. Also, if you have any downlights mounted in trees, check those as well. Trees grow and change and wires come loose, so make sure everything is secured.
REPLACE NON-WORKING BULBS
If you have LED bulbs, you will have to do this less often, because of their long life. Other bulbs will burn out much more often, so turn them on at dusk and check that all are lighting up.
CLEAN LENSES ON OUTDOOR LIGHTS
Rainwater, falling leaves, and blowing dust all collect on fixture lenses making them dull and lifeless. Give them a quick clean with some glass cleaner so they shine their brightest.
TELL YOUR SNOW REMOVAL SERVICE ABOUT YOUR OUTDOOR LIGHTING SYSTEM
It’s a good idea to check everything again mid-winter after the extra holiday foot traffic, a few hard snows and ice storms, and some enthusiastic sledders have perhaps taken their toll. Pathway lighting along sidewalks and driveways often sees damage both from the moisture of winter, from snow, ice, sleet and slush and accidental contact with snow shovels and snowblowers.
If you hire a snow removal service, be sure to notify them where fixtures are placed. Check that your lighting, wiring, and box are watertight and that your GFCI is still functional.