Outdoor lighting can make a great addition to your home. However, with the excitement that comes with adding outdoor lighting, many homeowners tend to forget to take the proper precautions. It’s important to make sure that your outdoor lighting is as safe as it is beautiful. The team at The Perfect Light is committed to informing and educating homeowners about electrical safety so the process of outdoor lighting is fun and harmless. So, here are some helpful outdoor lighting safety tips to read before you start adding landscape lighting!
1. Use GFCIs—And Test Them Every Month
You can integrate GFCIs or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters into an outlet. When you plug in an appliance, the GFCI outlet monitors how much power is going into the appliance or device. If the plugged-in appliance accidentally falls in water, the GFCI can sense the interruption in the current and cuts the power immediately. A GFCI outlet can save your life as it prevents electrocution which is why it’s important to install GFCIs in the outlets you plug your outdoor lights in. In addition, you should test GFCI’s every month.
2. Protect Outlets from Water
Considering how much outdoor lights are exposed to moisture and water, this is one of the most important outdoor lighting safety tips. The months when storms are most common in Texas are August and September—which means now is the time to protect your outdoor lights from rainwater seeping in and causing a blown fuse.
To protect your outlets from water, purchase in-use weatherproof outlet covers. These covers are specially designed to close securely around the plug and outlet, letting the plug run out from the bottom of the cover. These covers aren’t just a precautionary accessory—they’re required by the National Electric Code.
3. Don’t Overload Circuit
Each circuit in your electrical panel is designed to handle a specific amount of electricity. If you overload a circuit, that means you are trying to push too much power through a circuit, which can lead to a tripped circuit breaker. This occurs when you’re using several heavy energy-consumers at one time. To solve the problem, you will have to unplug one of the large energy sources.
When it comes to outdoor lighting, it’s important you know the amperage rating so you can determine how many lights you will need on a single circuit. This is especially important when you’re putting up a lot of lights for an occasion or a holiday.
4. Don’t Use Indoor Lights, Fixtures and Cords Outdoors
Make sure all your lights, fixtures and cords are meant for outdoor use ONLY. Make sure it says “Suitable for Wet Locations” or “Suitable for Damp Locations” on the packaging. In addition, look for the Ingress Protection (IP) rating of the lights you are using. The IP rating tells you the degree of protection (from moisture, debris) guaranteed to an electronic device. The higher the number, the more the protection.
When it comes to safely using extension cords outdoors there are a few things you must remember:
- Extension cords are for temporary use only. For permanent wiring solutions such as additional outlets, get in touch with an electrician.
- If you’re using an extension cord outside, make sure it has been “rated and tested for outdoor use.”
- Make sure the extension cords you purchase have the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label.
- Plug extension cords into GFCI outlets.
5. Hire A Professional
If you’re planning on installing outdoor lights by yourself, you might want to reconsider. It’s best to consult a professional about your outdoor lighting needs as there will be fewer mistakes this way. Professionals are also aware of safety concerns and will generally be more careful installing or maintaining your landscape lights.
While hiring a professional will have higher upfront costs, making this choice might just save you money in the long run. Professionals usually use durable and high-quality products that require less maintenance costs and other unnecessary expenses. It’s worth it for your safety and security to have your landscape lights professionally installed.
Safely Install Outdoor Lighting with The Perfect Light!
If you want your outdoor lights installed safely, look no further than the experts at The Perfect Light! Our team of professionals will ensure your outdoor lights are safely installed, while highlighting the best features of your home. The installation process also includes a free one-on-one consultation with our designers and a free nighttime demonstration, to ensure we meet your needs and exceed your expectations! Call us today at 972-304-3330 or fill out a service request form on our website!