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Denver Sprinkler Service Shares Tips for Outdoor Lighting Maintenance

October 31, 2018

Fall is in full swing and that means the days are starting to get shorter. For most homeowners, this means their outdoor lighting systems see increased use that can put strain both on their electricity budget and the fixtures themselves. Now that you’ve scheduled a blowout for your Denver sprinkler system, it’s time to pay attention to the rest of your landscaping. Here are a few simple ways to get your outdoor lighting and landscape lighting systems ready for those longer nights and cold temperatures. 

Take Care of Trees and Shrubs

Your outdoor lighting system is only effective if you can see the light the fixtures put off. This fall, take the time to clear away overgrown branches and trim back any bushes that might block the light at night. This will make the yard instantly brighter and help maximize the impact that your landscape lighting has on your plants. If you’re not sure how to trim your plants or are hesitant to prune your trees for fear of damaging them for spring, contact an experienced arborist. 

Replace Burned Out Light Bulbs

No matter what type of light bulbs you have installed in your outdoor lighting, they can’t illuminate your landscaping if they’re burned out. Worse, if you turn the lights on with burned out bulbs in the fixtures, you’ll still be using the same amount of energy. Instead of using electricity without illuminating a part of your yard, replace the bulbs as soon as you notice they’re out. This way, you’ll avoid wasting energy when you turn the outdoor lights on while also increasing the visual impact that your landscape lighting has at night. 

Upgrade the Light Bulbs

Since you’re relying on the fixtures to keep your landscaping lit for longer periods of time, you’ll likely see an increase in your home’s energy consumption. Though incandescent bulbs put out tons of light, they’re not always ideal for outdoor use. They tend to burn out in cold temperatures and draw a lot energy anytime they’re on. Instead, upgrade your light bulbs to a quality LED bulb rated for landscape lighting. This will ensure that they’re able to handle the cold temperatures of Denver winters without burning out prematurely. Best of all, LED light bulbs are among the most energy-efficient options available and can save you hundreds on your energy bill over the life of the bulbs. 

Inspect the System for Exposed Wires

As we enter into the first few snows and hard freezes, it’s important to inspect the outdoor lighting system for signs of damage. Exposed wires are by far the biggest issue that ground-level lights see. Periodically inspect the area around those low-lying fixtures for damage and exposed wires. If you see exposed wires and they look undamaged, rebury them with a hand-held garden trowel. If the wires look worn or damaged, contact your landscape lighting contractor and let them assess the damage. They’ll be able to make any necessary repairs so you can rely on your fixtures throughout the winter. 

Clean the Glass 

Once the snows start to fall, dust, dirt and debris can leave the exterior glass protecting the bulbs looking dingy and dirty while daytime condensation can mar the inside of the glass. The dirtier the glass gets, the less light the fixture will put out. Every few weeks, clean the glass with a quality glass cleaner and a soft microfiber cloth. This will prevent scratching and keep the fixture looking great for years to come. If you notice excess moisture or condensation inside the fixture, schedule a consultation with your lighting contractor. There could be a problem with the seal around the fixture that, once repaired, will prevent the moisture buildup completely. 

Maintain the Metal and Plastic Housing

While cleaning the glass lenses of your fixtures, take the time to clean the metal or plastic housing. This won’t impact the quality of the light itself, but it will make your landscaping look that much more polished. Furthermore, by keeping the housing clean, you’ll make it easier to spot damage and identify premature wear and tear before the fixture is ruined. Dents, paint chips, and cracks can lead to corrosion inside the system. Over time, this can lead to problems with the electrical housing, the wiring, and even cause the light to fail completely. The sooner the damage is fixed, the less likely it is to impact the condition of your outdoor fixtures in the long-run. 

Clear Away Snow

Depending on the types of light bulbs you have, you may need to clear away snow as it falls to keep the yard properly illuminated. Halogen and incandescent bulbs typically out enough heat to melt most snow as it falls, but LED bulbs won’t. Because LED bulbs are efficient and draw less energy, they also put out less heat. This means that snowfall can quickly collect around the light fixtures and cover them unless you take the time to clear them off. After a heavy snowfall, head out to the yard and clear away any snow that’s collected on the fixtures. Use a plastic-bristled brush or broom to sweep the snow aside. This will keep the fixtures themselves in good shape and prevent scratching and other damage. Once cleared, turn the lights on and let the small amount of heat they generate slowly melt any remaining ice from the glass. A sunny afternoon will accomplish the same task quickly. 

Keeping your outdoor lighting in good condition this fall and winter is key for providing adequate light to your home’s exterior. If you notice any problems with your existing fixtures or want an experienced pro to assess the lighting needs of your yard, contact Water Solutions Sprinkler Service. Our experienced landscaping team will help you find the best lighting solutions for your yard, whether you’re looking to illuminate your entryway or want to call attention to your favorite landscaping elements at night. The last thing you want to face is a dark yard in the middle of winter. Call (720) 435-1495 for a free estimate today.