You have worked so hard to set up your outdoor lighting to make your home feel welcoming for your family and your guests. Finding the right ambience, getting the lights installed, and maneuvering the costs of the lights are no easy tasks. But the work does not stop there. Outdoor lights are vulnerable to weather hazards as well as dirt, debris, and animals. To prevent any costly harm to your lights, take a few minutes to go over some tips to maintain your outdoor lighting from the experts at The Perfect Light Company.
Look out for Moisture
With outdoor lighting, there is some risk of water seeping into your outlets and plugs and causing a short circuit or a blown fuse. Take some precautions and purchase in-use weatherproof outlet covers, which provide secure coverage around the plug and outlet.
In addition to that, make sure all the fixtures and wires you are using are meant to be used outdoors. You can do this by looking at the Ingress Protection (IP) rating of the lights you are using. An IP rating tells you the degree of protection an electronic device can withstand. The higher the number, the more the protection. The Underwriters Laboratory Reading (UL) is also helpful in indicating if a fixture can be used outdoors, especially in rainier locations. Make sure your outdoor lighting fixture is marked “Suitable for Wet Locations” or “Suitable for Damp Locations.”
Check If Everything Is up to Code
To avoid dangerous and expensive problems, make sure everything is up to the National Fire Protection Association’s National Electrical Code (NEC). Some quick things to remember:
- Those weatherproof outlet covers we mentioned above? They’re required by the NEC.
- Remember to check if all your outdoor receptacles are protected by ground-fault circuit interrupters also known as GFCIs. These devices offer protection in the event of an electrical shock. GFCIs are required by the NEC in areas prone to moisture.
- Test your GFCI outlets every 30 days.
Check to see where your fixtures are located or where your cables are running in your lawn before doing any extensive yardwork. If you plan to do some digging, remember to call 811 and have a professional inspect your yard for any underground utility lines. To make it easier, try flagging areas where you have placed fixtures.
Clean out Fixtures and Bulbs
Thoroughly wipe out any dirt, mud or debris from your fixtures. Remove the bulb and get rid of any grime and insects that might have accumulated. This may seem unnecessary because dirt in outdoor lights is inevitable, but keeping your fixtures and lights clean ensures that your outdoor living area looks cleaner and you are getting the lighting effect you paid for.
Replace Any Broken Fixtures and Bulbs
While many outdoor lights are sturdy, some can be susceptible to damage based on their location and their age. In addition to being careful around your outdoor lights, take a quick scan of your landscape to make sure there aren’t any broken fixtures or bulbs. Be careful when you remove any broken bulbs or call an electrician. While you’re at it, consider switching to LED lights as they are very energy efficient. According to the United States Department of Energy, LEDs use 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting.
- Schedule an Annual Maintenance Checkup
Schedule a yearly maintenance check for your outdoor lighting. A professional technician can check your GFCI outlets, circuits, light fixtures, and point out any exposed wiring and flickering bulbs.
Contact The Perfect Light if you need any assistance maintaining your outdoor lighting. Our team of professionals will ensure all components of your outdoor lights are functioning properly so you can enjoy your illuminated landscape worry-free!