Keep your low-voltage landscape lights shining bright and well maintained all winter long with these five tips from our service department.
1) Keep Landscape Lighting Lenses Clean
Minerals deposits, dirt, and debris can dim or completely block the light from a fixture. For the best lighting effect, you want to keep your lenses clean, especially low setting ground fixtures.
You can use a nonabrasive cloth and CLR type of cleaner to clean your lenses. It might take a bit of elbow grease to get it clean.
After a big snowstorm, you may want to clear some of the snow from your fixtures. Halogen bulbs emit enough heat that may melt away most of the snow. LED bulbs produce less heat (this is why they are more energy-efficient) and melt less snow.
2) Check for Exposed Wires
When the ground freezes and thaws, it can force wire(s) to work their way up to the surface. Any exposed wire needs to be inspected and reburied before the ground freezes. If you notice, exposed copper or damaged wire this indicates they need repair. We do not recommend doing this yourself. Check with the company that installed your system to see if they have a dedicated landscape lighting service department that can make the necessary repairs for you.
3) Adjust Outdoor Lighting Fixtures
Over time, fixtures can move out of alignment or get damaged from landscaping, snow removal, or the wind (mostly down lights in trees). You can walk through your property periodically to re-align any crooked fixtures.
Take extra care when removing snow near fixtures. If a company removes your snow, let them know if you have fixtures near where they plow (the drive and walkways are most common). You could purchase flags or poles from a local hardware store to indicate their location. The best way to maintain your landscape lighting system is to prevent accidental damages.
4) Check Bulbs
Extreme temperatures can shorten the life of a bulb. We recommend you replace any bulbs that are out as soon as you can. Each bulb in a low-voltage system draws a small amount of voltage. As bulbs burn out, the good bulbs nearby receive more voltage, which can shorten their life. Landscape lighting systems tend to run longer every night since there is less daylight in the winter months.
We recommend a Service Program that includes having a service technician visit your property at least once a year to check and replace faulty bulbs, clean lenses, reposition fixtures, complete a thorough performance check, and make any necessary adjustments or repairs.
Bonus, if they warranty their bulbs (we do!). If a bulb burns out within the year, just contact us and we'll replace it.
5) Check for Common Moisture-Related Problems
Ice and snow can cause system outlet issues. More specifically, the melting can trip your GFCI outlet. If this happens, push the "reset" button on the outlet and make sure the cover gets closed. Please use caution with electricity and don't ever stick anything into the sockets. Sometimes an outlet may simply need reset and closed properly. If the cover is damaged, you'll want to get it replaced.
If the outlet looks damaged or will not reset, you may need to contact a licensed electrician.
Anytime there is a power loss, you'll need to reset the landscape lighting timer inside the transformer. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns about resetting timers or outlets. With all things electrical, please use caution. Do not attempt to make any repairs if you are not familiar with the electrical systems. Safety is the number one priority.
Benefits of a Properly Maintained Low-Voltage Lighting System:
A well maintained outdoor lighting system makes your home safer, enhances its beauty at night, and aids in preventing potential intruders or vandals. Properly lit walkways can help avoid dangerous slips and falls due to ice and snow.
You can complete many of these tips any time throughout the year to keep your system looking great. Please contact a professional with any major outdoor lighting or electrical issues.
Once again, we highly recommend finding a landscape lighting company with a Service Program. Our customers enjoy the peace of mind of knowing their family is safer because we check their lighting system every year and make sure it's performing its best.
Looking to Enhance Your Property?
Our dedicated team at McKay Landscape Lighting works with you to create a custom landscape lighting design that's unique to your property. From design to installation to service, you can count on our team of experts to make sure you are happy with your lighting system for years to come.