Simple Ways to Extend the Life of Residential Outdoor Lighting - firstenergyhome | Blog
62 views | May 12, 2020

Simple Ways to Extend the Life of Residential Outdoor Lighting

Few simple inspections and maintenance tasks to help extend the life of your outdoor lighting

Simple Ways to Extend the Life of Residential Outdoor Lighting


Outdoor lighting can make your exterior spaces more livable and inviting while also offering important security benefits. For the most part, your property and landscape lighting should function with very little oversight. However, even the best lighting systems break down over time.

The good news is there are a few simple inspections and maintenance tasks that can be performed to help extend the life and functionality of your outdoor lighting. Do the following once or twice a year, or as needed, to maintain smooth operation. Following these tips will help avoid costly repairs or the need to replace the lighting system altogether. *

Keep an eye out for exposed and damaged cables.

Electrical cables are buried to protect them from animals and weather, not to mention, they’re an eyesore. But if they were buried shallow or come to the surface over time due to the weather, they can quickly become damaged.

If one does become uprooted, check it carefully to make sure it hasn’t been chewed or frayed, and rebury if it’s not damaged.

Keep lighting elements debris-free.

Dirt, leaves, grit and other landscape debris can get plastered onto fixtures over time. This might affect the quality of illumination and the visual appeal of your lighting. Get in the habit of periodically making a quick inspection and performing minor cleanup.

Trim away vegetation.

Your yard is a living organism. You might realize that every time you step outside with shears and see how much work you have to do pruning tree limbs, shrubbery and other fast-growth vegetation.

When this organic material gets in the way of your lighting, it could hide what should be an aesthetic attraction. It can also affect the quality of the illumination and in hiding the fixture, the growth can make it harder to complete your visual inspections.

Check fixtures for damage.

. Cracked lenses and corrosion can be easy to spot. One benefit of conducting periodic visual inspections is that it might allow for inexpensive fixes. It’s often easier and less expensive to replace individual parts instead of ordering a whole new fixture or landscape lighting system.

Replace bulbs as needed.

Many of today’s systems feature LED lighting, which seldom needs to be replaced, but older systems might still use bulbs that burn out or contain solar lighting that can eventually stop working.

Clean the lighting components

Your lighting systems are outdoors 24/7 and is affected by dirt, wind, rain, ice, snow and everything else nature can throw at it. Invest a little time and elbow grease to clean the fixtures once or twice a year to keep lights shining brightly.

For plastic or metal components, it could merely be a matter of wiping with a soapy rag and rinsing. If that isn’t enough to clean the metal, use a cleaner or polish specifically designed for the sort of metal you have. Test the product on a small surface first to make sure it won’t cause damage.

For the glass, a soapy rag and soft cloth are usually enough to bring the sparkle back.

Periodically examine your angles of illumination.

When installed, your outdoor lighting fixtures were most likely set to get the illumination benefits you wanted. But over time, fixtures can get knocked out of alignment by wind, mowing and trimming, kids and pets playing or other factors. This can happen so gradually that you don’t even notice the difference at first. Then, all at once you might realize that the lighting isn’t properly focused on the areas you wanted to stand out. A quick visual inspection and readjustment once or twice a year can make all the difference.

Periodically examine your angles of illumination.

When installed, your outdoor lighting fixtures were most likely set to get the illumination benefits you wanted. But over time, fixtures can get knocked out of alignment by wind, mowing and trimming, kids and pets playing or other factors. This can happen so gradually that you don’t even notice the difference at first. Then, all at once you might realize that the lighting isn’t properly focused on the areas you wanted to stand out. A quick visual inspection and readjustment once or twice a year can make all the difference.

Longer life

Most of these maintenance tips are easy to perform and take very little time. The payoff might well be a longer period of satisfaction with your yard’s lighting system. Doesn’t that make it well worth the small effort?

*From Install It Direct

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