Great outdoor lighting gives a home a magical quality. When your exterior lighting system is designed just right, it can make your property even more beautiful. The architectural features of your property are highlighted, and your walkways and foliage glow. This ambiance is why people invest in lighting, and it’s why they want to keep their lighting systems working well over time. Not only that, but the outdoor lighting makes a home safer, lighting up pathways so people can see where they’re stepping and even lighting up the house to scare off possible intruders.
Unfortunately (as the name suggests), outdoor lighting is outdoors. This means that your lighting system may be exposed to bad weather, pests, and other things that may prevent your lights from working the way they should. It’s important to know what outdoor lighting problems you may face, along with how to prevent them and how to address them should they arise. The team at Andy’s has provided you with the info you need to deal with the most common outdoor lighting problems:
1. Failing Connectors
Lighting connectors work to connect lights to their power supply. If your outdoor lighting system has been designed correctly, your connectors should be protected from water, weather, and wear. But as is with any material that is exposed to the elements, connectors are not immune to the brutal heat of summer, freezing temperatures of winter, and storms.
If an issue arises with your connectors, it’s important to let an experienced electrician handle the issue. At Andy’s Sprinkler, Drainage, & Lighting, our landscape lighting experts can examine your system and address any connection issues. We can determine if the system was designed poorly and make sure that it gets updated to better withstand the elements. If the connectors have simply failed due to time, we can address that issue as well. We will replace any broken connectors and add necessary protections such as weatherproofing to help prevent further damage to the system.
2. Pesky Bugs and Animals
Pests can be a big problem for outdoor lighting. Small bugs (such as fire ants) are attracted to electricity and are known to build extensions of their mounds into electrical fixtures. Larger pests, like squirrels, rabbits, and mice, are notorious for chewing through expose wires. Dealing with pest damage to lighting requires two primary steps.
The first step is pest control. You have to get rid of any current pest problems and take steps to prevent further issues from occurring. Thankfully, there’s an entire industry devoted to pest control that can help you manage ants and insects. Whether you go with a DIY solution or hire an exterminator, eliminating the pests is the best way to prevent damage to your lights.
The next step involves determining if there is any lasting damage to your lights and fixtures. If you want to be certain, you can schedule maintenance with our exterior lighting experts.
3. Burnt-Out Light Bulbs
Let’s state the obvious – light bulbs burn out. Even if you get the best LEDs, they don’t last forever. When bulbs burn out or get damaged, they need to be replaced.
If you have the right bulb size and wattage and the burnt-out bulb is easy to access, you may be able to replace the bulb yourself. Of course, if the bulb has burnt out due to age, the other bulbs in your lighting system are likely to go out soon as well. If any bulbs are hard to access or you aren’t sure of the necessary wattage, it’s best to get professional help.
Also, bulb replacement is an opportunity to improve your lights. If your current bulbs are incandescent, you can opt for long-lasting and energy-efficient LEDs to keep your lighting working as long as possible (and reduce your electricity bill and carbon footprint).
4. Fixture Seals and Lighting Socket Corrosion
A standard outdoor light fixture includes the bulb socket and weatherproof seals within the fixture. Seals are typically made of rubber, which will deteriorate over time typically due to age and exposure to heat and water. If the seals fail, the light socket is not far behind.
Lighting fixtures can be designed and arranged in a way that minimizes moisture trapping. If water is able to drain more efficiently or isn’t allowed access to the sockets, socket corrosion can be slowed or even prevented. This may require simply resituating your fixtures, waterproofing them better, or replacing them altogether.
If you notice a small amount of moisture build-up within the fixture, replacing the seals will usually help prolong the life of the fixture. However, if the light socket is already corroded, it will need to be replaced. Even if it hasn’t failed yet, it’s likely to do so before long if it isn’t replaced.
Just like your HVAC system, your plumbing, and your roof, your outdoor lighting system requires regular maintenance if you want to keep it working correctly. And just like those other parts of your home, if your lighting system fails, you want an expert to ensure that it’s fixed properly. At Andy’s Sprinkler, Drainage, & Lighting, we have the know-how to keep your exterior lighting system in tip-top shape. Contact us today to schedule our outdoor lighting maintenance or repair services.