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Outdoor Lighting Prep for Winter

As the days get shorter and the temperature drops, your outdoor space changes. Getting your outdoor lighting ready for winter is a task that every homeowner has to face.

Not only does outdoor lighting look nice, it also serves important purposes, like keeping you safe and secure, even in the winter. Outdoor lighting systems can be damaged and less effective in the winter because of how harsh the weather can be. Don't worry, though; this complete guide is meant to give you the confidence to take on this job.

We will show you how to make sure that your outdoor lighting stays working during the winter months. We'll also give you interesting facts and numbers about how to save energy and how winter affects outdoor lights. And if you would rather let professionals take care of the maintenance skip to the bottom and click the link. We offer top-notch services to keep your outdoor lighting in great shape.

Here we go: let's get your outdoor lights ready for winter that's coming. This way, your home will bring warmth and safety all winter long.

How to Get Your Outdoor Lighting Ready for Winter, Step by Step

Step 1: Look at the lighting you have now

It's important to know how your outdoor lighting is set up right now before you start winterizing it. This first evaluation will help you figure out what needs to be fixed and help you plan the steps you need to take to make sure your lights stay bright all winter.

1. Check the bulbs and fixtures

First, carefully look over each light device and the bulbs that go with it. Check to see if there are any cracks, rust, or water damage that you can see. Write down the names of any lights that look dim or have burned out. At this point, a full inspection will help you find fixtures and bulbs that need to be fixed or replaced.

2. Look over the connections and wiring.

Next, look at the connections and wiring that power your outdoor lights. Make sure that all of the lines are properly insulated and kept out of the weather. Check for links that are loose or broken, as these could cause electrical problems. To keep your lights on when you need them most, you should carefully look over the wires to detect any possible safety risks.

By carefully looking at how your outdoor lighting is set up now, you'll be ready to fix any problems and make smart choices as you prepare your outdoor lighting for the winter.

Clean your fixtures.

As winter comes, one of the most important things you can do to get your outdoor lighting ready is to make sure that all of the fixtures are clean and free of any dirt, debris, or other harmful substances. Cleaning your lights not only makes them look better, but it also keeps them working well and makes them last longer throughout the season.

1. Why cleaning is important

It might seem like a simple job to clean your outdoor lighting, but don't forget how important it is.

This is why it's important:

Ideal Light Output: Dirt and dust can build up on lamps and make them give off less light. Cleaning them brings back their shine, which keeps your outdoor areas safe and well-lit.

How to Stop Corrosion: Dirt and water can corrode metal devices, which could cause damage that lasts for a long time. By stopping rust, regular cleaning helps protect your investment.

Improving the Looks: Clean features improve the look of your outdoor space as a whole, making it feel more inviting for both residents and visitors.

2. What You Need: Tools and Supplies

Get the following things ready before you start cleaning your fixtures:

Hard-bristled brush or cloth: To clean the surface of the device, use a soft brush or cloth to remove any loose dirt or dust.

Mild dish soap and water: To clean the fixture, put mild dish soap and water together. Do not use harsh agents on the finish.

You can get rid of tough spots or buildup with a sponge or a non-abrasive scrubber.

Bucket: Put your soapy water solution in a bucket so it's easy to get to when you're cleaning.

Gloves and safety glasses: Keep your hands and eyes safe from any cleaning products or dirt.

3. How to Clean Fixtures Without Harm

These steps will help you clean your outdoor lighting equipment in a safe and effective way:

Turn Off the Power: To avoid any electrical accidents, make sure you turn off the power to your outdoor lights before you start cleaning.

Take Out the lights: If you need to, carefully take out the lights from the fixtures so they don't get broken while you clean them.

To get rid of dust, start by using a soft-bristle brush or cloth to gently brush off any loose dirt or debris from the surface of the device.

Solution of Mild Soap and Water: Soak a sponge or soft scrubber in the mild soapy water solution and scrub the surface of the device. Pay extra attention to places where spots or buildup won't go away.

Rinse and Dry: Use clean water to rinse the device to get rid of any soapy buildup. Dry the fastener well with a different cloth.

Visual Check for Damage: While you're cleaning the device, look for any signs of damage or wear. Make a note of any problems you see so they can be fixed later.

Reassemble and Restore Power: Once the fixture is dry and clean, put it back together, put the lights back in if they were taken out, and turn on the power to your outdoor lighting system again.

For safe and easy cleaning of your outdoor lighting fixtures, follow these simple steps on a regular basis. This will keep them in great shape and give your home the beauty and illumination it needs all winter.

Step 3: Look for damage

After cleaning your outdoor lighting, the next most important thing you need to do to get it ready for winter is to check its structural stability. This means looking for any damage that can be seen, like cracks, rust, or other problems that could make them less safe or less useful.

1. Look for cracks, rust, or other damage.

Check each fastener carefully for the following types of damage:

Find Cracks or Breaks: Check the fixture's case or glass parts for cracks or breaks. Moisture can get in through even small cracks, which could lead to more damage.

Corrosion and rust: Look for rust or corrosion on metal parts. Rust can weaken the structure of the fastener and change the way it looks.

Loose or Broken Wiring: Look for signs of wear, fraying, or loose links in the wiring and connections. Electrical risks can come from wiring that is broken.

Fading or Discoloration: If non-metallic parts fade or change color, this could mean they've been exposed to UV rays or other environmental factors.

2. Fix broken fixtures or get new ones.

It's important to take the right steps to fix any damage once you've found it:

Minor Repairs: You might be able to fix small problems like cracks or links that aren't tight enough on your own. Depending on the material of the device, you can fix cracks or tighten up loose parts with epoxy, sealant, or solder.

Replacement: When there is a lot of damage, like big cracks, rust, or the structure isn't holding up, it's usually best to get a whole new fitting. Fixtures that are broken can be dangerous and might not work right.

Professional Evaluation: If you're not sure how bad the damage is or how to fix or replace it, you might want to talk to a professional electrician or outdoor lighting expert. They can give you professional advice and make sure the fixes are done safely and correctly.

Your outdoor lighting system will last longer and be safer if you check it for damage often and fix any problems right away. By taking this proactive step, you can be sure that your lights will continue to make your home look better and keep it safer all winter.

Step 4: Get new bulbs that use less energy.

As you get your outdoor lights ready for winter, you might want to think about upgrading to LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs, which use less energy. LED technology has changed the way outdoor lighting is done. It has many perks that can make your lighting system work better and use less energy.

1. Pros of LED Light Bulbs

Here are some strong reasons to think about replacing your outdoor light bulbs with LED bulbs:

Energy Efficiency: LED bulbs use a lot less power than regular incandescent or halogen bulbs, which means your electricity bills will be lower.

Longevity: LED lights last a very long time; they can last for tens of thousands of hours. This cuts down on how often the bulbs need to be changed and the costs of care that come with that.

In comparison to incandescent bulbs, LED lamps are stronger and less likely to break, which means they can be used outside.

Instant Lighting: When you turn on an LED light, it's bright right away, without having to warm up like some other lighting systems do.

Color Choices: LED bulbs come in different color temperatures, so you can change how your outdoor place looks and feels.

Directional Lighting: Because LEDs only shine in one direction, they are perfect for tasks that need focused light, like lighting a path or drawing attention to building details.

2. Find Out How Much Energy You Could Save

To find out how much energy you might save by switching to LED lights, just do these easy steps:

Find Out Current Bulb Wattage: Look at the wattage of the lamps you already have. This information is usually written on the bulb or in the package that came with the fitting.

Find Equivalent LED Bulbs: Look for LED bulbs that give off the same amount of light (in watts) as the ones you already have. The comparable wattage is usually written on the packaging of LED bulbs so that they are easy to compare.

Figure Out Savings: Figure out how much energy you'll save by comparing the wattage of your old lights to the wattage of the LED bulbs that are the same size. The wattage drop is equal to the number of bulbs in your outdoor lighting setup times the wattage drop.

Next, find your power rate (in cents per kilowatt-hour) and multiply it by the number of kilowatt-hours of energy you will save. This will help you get a rough idea of how much you can save on your yearly energy bills.

Example of a Math Problem:

Each light is 60W at the moment.

LED lights that are the same: 8W each

There are 10 lights.

The price of electricity is $0.12 per kWh.

Every bulb will save 16.42 kWh a year, which is equal to (60W - 8W) x 365 days x (1/1000 kW) = 16.42 kWh. Ten lights will save 164.2 kWh, which is equal to $19.70 a year.

When you switch to LED lights, you not only use less energy, but you also save a lot of money over time. This makes your outdoor lighting more efficient and better for the environment.

Step 5: Change the Timer

Change the timer settings on your outdoor lighting system to keep it working well and using as little energy as possible. Lighting that is set up at the right time not only makes your home safer, but it also makes it feel warmer and cozier in the winter.

1. Adjust your lighting schedules for shorter days

In the winter, when daylight hours are shorter, it's important to make the most of your lighting schedules to keep the amount of light you want. How to do it:

Check the Sunset Times: Find out what time it goes down where you live in the winter. This information is easy to find online or in weather apps.

Evening Turn On: Set your outdoor lights to come on just before dark so they are on when it gets dark outside. This can help keep people safe and make outdoor events feel more cozy.

Gradual Dimming: If your family usually spends time outside in the evening, you might want to set your lights to gradually dim or turn off later that night. This can help the environment and save energy at the same time.

Motion Sensors: If you have lights that turn on when motion is detected, change how sensitive they are and how long they stay on to account for the earlier start of darkness. This makes sure that they can react to movement even when it's not very bright.

2. Cut down on on-time to save energy.

During the winter, turning off your outdoor lights for longer periods of time can save you a lot of energy. To do this while keeping functions, follow these steps:

Timer Change: Look over your lighting timer options and make the lights stay on for less time. You could, for example, change the time from dusk to a few hours after the sun goes down.

Dimming Function: If your outdoor lighting system can be dimmed, you might want to set it to lower the brightness in the late evening or early morning. Dim lights can still keep you safe and save energy at the same time.

Zoning: Separate your outdoor lights into zones and change how long each zone is on based on what it's used for. You might want the light on the front porch to stay on longer than the yard lights that are just for looks.

Smart Lighting Control: Buy smart lighting control systems that let you change plans from afar. Some systems can even be set up to automatically adjust to changes in daylight hours.

You can find a good mix between safety, mood, and energy efficiency this winter by fine-tuning your outdoor lighting timer settings. This not only helps the environment but also saves you money on your energy bills and makes your outdoor areas look great.

Insulate and protect the wires in Step 6.

Protecting the wires from bad weather is an important part of making sure your outdoor lighting works and is safe during the winter. To keep your lighting system working well, you need to make sure it is properly insulated and protected from snow and ice.

1. Put up waterproof insulation.

Waterproof insulation is an important part of keeping your outdoor lighting wires safe. How to do it:

Choose the Right Insulation: Pick high-quality, waterproof insulation that is made to be used outside. Most of the time, this padding is made from waterproof materials like silicone or rubber.

Check Existing Insulation: Make sure the insulation on your wiring is in good shape by checking it. Quickly replace any insulation that is broken or falling apart.

Wrap Exposed Wiring: If any of the wiring is out in the weather, cover it with the waterproof covering. Pay close attention to places where wires enter or leave devices or junction boxes.

Protect Insulation Correctly: To keep the insulation in place, use electrical tape or waterproof connections. Make sure the seal is tight to keep water out.

2. Keep snow and ice off of wires.

Snow and ice can make it hard for outdoor wires to work, which could damage your lights or stop them from working. Here's how to keep your wires safe from the rain and snow this winter:

Lift the Wiring: If you can, lift the wiring above ground level so that it doesn't come into touch with snow and ice as much. Lock it up against walls, fences, or other buildings to keep it safe.

Cable Clips and Holders: To keep wires in place along paths or buildings, use cable clips or holders. This keeps the lines from lying on the ground and getting frozen or snowy.

Snow Guards: To keep a lot of snow and ice from falling on the wires, put snow guards on the edges of the roof above where the wiring runs.

Regular Clearing: Check and clear snow and ice off of outdoor wires on a regular basis to keep it from getting too heavy and possibly damaging it.

Making sure that your outdoor lighting wiring is properly insulated and protected will keep it safe, working, and free from damage from the winter weather. If you follow these steps, your outdoor lighting system will last longer and work better, so you can enjoy well-lit outdoor areas even in the coldest winters.

Step 7: Raise the lights near the walkways

If you have outdoor lights near paths or walks, you need to raise them during the winter. Putting up lights not only keeps snow and ice from building up, but also keeps people walking on these roads safe.

1. Stop snow and ice from building up

When snow and ice build up on outdoor lighting systems, they may not work as well or even break. Putting the lights higher helps avoid this problem:

Raise Fixture Height: If your fixtures are placed on the ground, you might want to think about putting them on posts, poles, or brackets to raise them. At this height, snow is less likely to build up around the bulb and block the light.

Use Pole-Mounted Lights: Choose pole-mounted lights for walks and paths. Because these faucets are naturally raised, they can shed snow and ice better.

Tilt Fixtures: If your fixtures can be tilted, do so. This will help snow and ice slide off the surface instead of building up on top of it.

2. Make sure pedestrians are safe.

Putting up outdoor lights near walkways is another important thing that can be done to keep people safe during the winter:

Even Lighting: When lights are set up correctly, they shine evenly along paths, removing the danger of shadows and uneven surfaces that could cause people to slip and fall.

Clear Pathways: Lights that are higher up help keep walkways clear of snow and ice so that people can walk safely and see where they're going.

Visibility: Proper lighting makes it easier for individuals and visitors to see, especially during the winter months when it is dark outside.

By putting outdoor lights up near walkways, you not only make your lighting system work better, but you also make it safer and easier for people to use your outdoor areas in the winter. By taking these steps, you can be sure that your outdoor lighting works well during the winter.

The facts and figures

How LED bulbs save energy

If you're thinking about switching your outdoor lights to LED bulbs, it's important to know that this will save you a lot of energy and be better for the environment.

1. How much money you save on electricity costs

When you switch to LED bulbs, your energy costs can go down by a lot:

Energy Efficiency: LED bulbs use a lot less power than regular incandescent or halogen bulbs, making them very energy efficient. Most of the time, LED bulbs need 75–80% less energy to make the same amount of light (lumens).

Durability: LED bulbs last a lot longer than incandescent lighting. Most incandescent lamps last for about 1,000 hours. LED bulbs, on the other hand, can last for 25,000 hours or more. This means that you will have to replace fewer bulbs and pay less for upkeep.

Cost Savings: Over time, the mix of using less energy and replacing things less often saves a lot of money. When energy bills and replacement costs are taken into account, homeowners can expect to save at least $80 per bulb over the life of an LED light.

2. Benefits for the environment

Not only does switching to LED lights save you money, it's also better for the environment:

Fewer greenhouse gas emissions: Because LED bulbs use less energy, they make a lot less greenhouse gas emissions than incandescent bulbs. This decrease in carbon output helps the fight against climate change.

Less Waste: Since LED lights last longer, there is less waste from broken bulbs, packaging, and the materials used to make them. This fits with goals for sustainability and lowers the damage that lighting does to the environment.

No Dangerous Materials: LED lights don't have any dangerous materials in them like compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) do. This means that LED bulbs are safer for people and the world.

Energy Conservation: LED bulbs help protect important energy sources and ease the load on power plants by using less electricity. This could help make the energy grid more stable and long-lasting.

LED bulbs are a good choice for homes who want to lower their energy bills and leave less of an impact on the environment because they use less energy and are better for the environment. Not only does switching to LED outdoor lights save you money, it also helps make the future greener and more sustainable.

What winter does to outdoor lighting

It's important to know how winter can affect your outdoor lighting if you want it to keep working well and last a long time.

1. What happens to bulbs when it's cold?

The cold weather in the winter can change outdoor light bulbs in a number of ways:

Less efficient: Incandescent and CFL lights can become less efficient when it's cold outside. In cold weather, they may take longer to get to full brightness because they give off less light.

Lifespan Shortened: Some types of bulbs, especially CFLs, can have their lives cut short when they are exposed to cold conditions. This effect can be made worse by sudden changes in temperature, like when the lights go on and off a lot.

Effects on LED Bulbs: LED bulbs can handle cold temps better than regular bulbs, but very low temperatures can still make them work less well. But most of the time, it doesn't make much of a difference, and LEDs are still a good choice for outdoor lighting in the winter.

2. Risks of Getting Snow and Ice

The snow and ice that come with winter can be dangerous for outdoor lighting:

Blocked Light Output: Snow and ice that builds up can block the light that lamps give off, making them less useful. This could put people in danger and make your outdoor lights look less nice.

Damage to Fixtures: The weight of snow and ice can put stress on fixtures and mounting systems, which could lead to damage or misalignment. To lower these risks, it's important to make sure that fixtures are properly protected and raised.

Electrical Safety: When snow and ice melt, water can get into fixtures and wires, which can cause electrical problems. As we already talked about, proper insulation and safety steps are very important for staying safe in the winter.

Motion Sensor Reliability: When snow and ice build up on motion sensors, they can stop working properly, which can cause false triggers or less response. Check and clear the sensors often to make sure they work right.

If you want to keep your outdoor lighting in good shape during the winter, you might want to choose fixtures that are made to work in cold weather, do regular upkeep, and change the lighting schedules and angles to account for snow and ice buildup. By taking these cautious steps, you can help make sure that your outdoor lighting stays safe and effective all winter.

Request for services in lighting and design for the outside

Now that you know how to get your outdoor lighting ready for winter, you should think about how professional repair services, like those provided by Exterior Lighting and Design, can help you. Here's why it's a good idea to let professionals handle your outdoor lighting:

Why professional maintenance is important

Knowledge of how to light outdoor areas

The professionals at Exterior Lighting and Design know a lot about and have a lot of experience with outdoor lighting systems. We know a lot about the different types of lighting technologies, fixtures, and wiring, which lets us offer repair services that are complete and fit your needs.

Expertise: Our professionals know how to deal with the unique problems that come with winter weather and can take steps to protect your lighting system from snow, ice, and cold temperatures.

Repairs That Work: If something breaks or doesn't work right, our professionals can quickly figure out what's wrong and fix it. We can get your outdoor lighting up and going quickly because we have the newest tools and know-how.

Expertise in LEDs: We are experts in LED technology and can help you get the most out of it by saving you money on energy costs and making your bulbs last longer while also giving you better lighting.

Making sure safety and longevity

When it comes to outdoor lights, safety and durability are the most important things. This is how our repair services put these things in order of importance:

Safety Assessment: We do thorough safety assessments to find any possible electrical hazards. This way, we can make sure that your outdoor lighting system is safe for you, your family, and your friends.

Fixture Maintenance: As needed, we check, clean, and fix lights to keep them in good shape and keep their good looks. In addition to making sure your lights work, our goal is to make sure they look good all year long.

Protection for the Wiring: Our team takes steps to keep the wiring safe from the winter weather so that it doesn't get damaged or have electricity problems. To protect your system, we use high-quality insulation and careful placing.

Maintenance on Time: Performing maintenance on a regular basis will keep your outdoor lighting system working well and reliably. We can change the timed settings, replace the bulbs, and quickly fix any problems so that your lighting works perfectly again.

If you hire Exterior Lighting and Design to take care of your outdoor lighting, you can rest easy knowing that your lighting system is in good hands. With our knowledge, commitment to safety, and dedication to durability, we will make sure that your outdoor areas are well-lit and inviting all through the winter and beyond. Get in touch with us right away to find out more about our repair plans and make sure your outdoor lighting looks its best.

What lighting and design for the outside can do for you

Our goal at Exterior Lighting and Design is to meet all of your outdoor lighting needs by offering a wide range of services. Take a look at what you can expect when you hire us:

1. Maintenance packages that last all year

Regular care: Our all-year care plans make sure that your outdoor lighting system stays in good shape all year, even during the harsh winter months. We'll clean, check, and make any necessary changes to your lights to make sure they work at their best.

Scheduled Visits: We'll work with you to set up a maintenance plan that works for you and your outdoor lighting will stay beautiful and useful year after year.

2. Changing to LED systems that use less energy

Expert Advice: Our team will look at how your lights are set up now and suggest energy-efficient LED options that fit your budget and style tastes.

Installation: We'll take care of the whole LED upgrade process, from choosing the right lights to installing them professionally. This way, you can enjoy the energy savings and longer life of LED technology.

3. Repairs and replacements done by experts

Quick evaluations: If your outdoor lighting isn't working right, we can help you figure out what's wrong with it using our expert evaluations.

Repairs Done Quickly: Our skilled techs know how to fix lighting fixtures, wiring, and other parts. We only use high-quality materials and work to make sure the effects last.

Replacement Services: If your lighting system's fixtures or bulbs need to be replaced, we have a wide range of high-quality goods and can do the job quickly and easily.

4. Quick Response to Emergencies

Emergency Help: We know that problems can come up out of the blue. Because of this, we offer quick help and reaction for emergencies like sudden fixture failures or electrical issues.

We'll help fix the situation within 24-48 hours.

For all of your outdoor lighting needs, Exterior Lighting and Design is the company to call. We are committed to excellence, energy savings, and quick, reliable service. We make sure that your outdoor areas are always well-lit and safe, no matter the time of year or the weather. Get in touch with us right away to find out how we can improve your outdoor lights.

In conclusion

As we wrap up our guide on getting your outdoor lights ready for winter, let's go over why it's so important:

Safety: Well-kept outdoor lighting makes things safer by lighting up walkways, steps, and front doors. This lowers the chance of accidents and falls on dark, icy winter nights.

Functionality: Winterizing your outdoor lighting makes sure that it keeps working at its best, giving you and your family the safety and exposure you need all season.

Energy Efficiency: Switching to LED bulbs and changing the settings on timers will not only save you money but also help the world by using less energy.

Longevity: Protecting your outdoor lighting system's fixtures and wires from winter weather can make it last longer, which will save you money on replacements.

Now is the best time to take action and turn off your outdoor lights for the winter. By following the steps in this guide, you'll be ready to enjoy the beauty and usefulness of well-lit outdoor areas all winter long.

Stress how convenient it is to have professional maintenance services

Professional maintenance services, like Exterior Lighting and Design, can save you time and give you peace of mind, even if you do the upkeep yourself. Our professionals know how to make sure that your outdoor lighting not only lives but also thrives during the winter.

Outside areas should still be beautiful and safe even when it's cold outside. Do something today to make sure your outdoor lighting is ready to shine brightly through the winter, whether you do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you.

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