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Getting Prepared for Spring: Outdoor Lighting Maintenance Overview

We understand that getting outdoor lighting is a process; first, you have to find the companies you want to get quotes from, then they have to visit your property, you compare quotes, pick the company to do the job, and you get the lights installed, but that’s only part of the story. 

 

Now that you have outdoor lights, maintenance is required to have them perform reliably day after day, year after year. As with all things, parts wear down, need to be looked after, and require care. If you neglect to provide your outdoor lighting system with the attention it needs, your investment could go to waste over time. Judging by how much that investment could be, it’s wise to not shirk this crucial step and routinely check certain aspects of your system. 

 

In this post, we’ll go over what’s required to ensure that your lighting system works as you’ve come to expect when night falls. 

 

Wiring and Connectors 

 

The first step in maintaining your system is the piece of the equation many companies overlook, but which has a big role in the operation of your lighting system: the wiring and connections. 

 

These pieces of your system should be underground or concealed, which means they’re subject to contact with rain and other elements. For your system to remain safe and functional, it should be waterproofed. This allows them to stay protected from moisture and other weather conditions. 

 

You can weatherproof wires by using electrical tape to tape them together, which will stop them from being pulled apart by accident. 


Checking and Re-Installing 


If you want your outdoor lighting system to work as effectively as possible, you must check the position of fixtures regularly. Fixtures can be hit or moved by pets, children, guests, or while doing routine yard work, not to mention falling debris or how weather can shift the fixture’s positioning.


Once you’ve checked your fixtures for accidental movement, you can reposition them so they’re aimed in the correct direction, angle, and intensity. One more often-missed step is checking screws and nuts for optimal tightness to ensure the light doesn’t face any other accidental movement. If you perform these checks, you’ll be ahead of many homeowners with lighting systems, but to allow your lights to work their best, there’s still more to be done.

 

What to Do About Plant Growth

 

There’s a good chance your lighting doesn’t act alone but is part of your landscaping, which means it’s subject to being blocked by things like bushes, trees, flowers, and other plants. Plants can create unwanted effects like shadows due to them obstructing the beam of light, which not only reduces the effectiveness of the fixture but also creates pesky shadows across your home or property. 

 

Lights that are at ground level come with their concerns. Lights at ground level are in the way of things like roots, infestations of bugs, or ant colonies. Not dealing with these issues risks your fixtures not being able to last their expected lifetime. To deal with these challenges, simply spray a mist of bug spray regularly. When planting, keep in mind the plant’s root system and, as the plant grows, whether it will interfere with the wire or fixture. 


What to Do About Burnt Lamps and Broken Light Lenses


Unfortunately, parts have a certain lifetime before they die from wearing out naturally. Two of the culprits in this are lamps and bulbs. Faulty or faded bulbs will result in the lighting effect being uneven, which will not look as attractive as when you first got your system. Identifying if any bulbs aren’t putting out the proper amount of light, or worse if they’re burned, is crucial. 


Another thing to consider is whether you should switch your halogen or incandescent system to LED. LED is known to have a longer lifespan and requires less energy to produce a similar amount of light as its predecessor, resulting in lower power consumption and lower bills. If saving money in the long run is attractive to you, then consider transitioning to LED. The overall cost will more than makeup for the initial cost of switching your system. 


Broken lenses can also affect the performance of your outdoor lighting system. Much like overgrown foliage, it can create unwanted effects on the beam of light. Identifying and replacing these lenses is important for a healthy and properly functioning system. Checking and restoring your system’s effectiveness by replacing burnt bulbs or cracked lenses will ensure your lights operate as you expect.


More About Lenses, Posts, and Reflectors


Time will bring dirt, grime, dust, and other unwanted debris to the surfaces of your fixtures. The accumulation of this debris will reduce its effectiveness. Unchecked, this will result in lessened light output and failure within your system. 

 

These components need occasional cleaning to make sure that they’re able to perform at their optimal state. If you neglect this cleaning activity, your fixtures will deteriorate sooner. Remove any foreign matter that is undesirable to maintain its optimal shine and presentation.


Dealing with Corrosion 


Corrosion happens; weather plays a part in this, and the result is corrosion. Applying a corrosion prevention compound (dielectric grease) will stop connector bulbs from lowering their lifetime. Rust and corrosion can be prevented inexpensively by applying compounds like this regularly, saving you from costly repairs and reinstallations.


All electrical connections require this grease to prolong their life and usefulness. This will prevent fixtures from having premature failures. If you live in an area like Florida where there’s high humidity, salt water, or acidic rainfall, it’s even more important to protect your investment through these compounds. Regular application of dielectric grease will keep your system running strong for many more years.


Wrap It Up


Regular maintenance is essential for ensuring the correct operation and longevity of your outdoor lighting system.


By performing the straightforward procedures delineated in this blog post—which comprise wiring inspection, plant growth trimming, fixture reinstallation, burnt lamp and lens replacement, corrosion prevention compound application, and lens, reflector, and post cleaning—significant expenses can be averted, and potential replacements can be avoided.







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