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Maintaining Outdoor Landscape Lighting Before Winter Starts

December 10, 2020

During the warmer months of the year, you rely on your Denver sprinkler system to keep your lawn looking great and growing well. However, once the weather turns and gets cold, you won’t be able to rely on your lawn to keep your landscaping looking great at all times. You need to find other ways to make your landscaping pop. For most homeowners, the easiest way to do this is with a system of landscape lighting. These lights highlight features in your yard when the light fades early in the day. Though these lights are durable, they can get damaged and when the do, you won’t be able to rely on them during the winter months. Here are a few simple tips to help you maintain your lights until your lawn starts to grow again.

Check Your Light Bulbs
Before winter is in full swing, you’ll need to make sure your landscape lighting is working properly. Turn the system on and walk around your yard. Inspect each fixture closely. Make sure the light bulbs turn on and off when you tell them to. If you notice anything flickering or not turning on, you’ll need to replace the light bulb. If this is the case, all you need to do is remove the bulb from the fixture. Take the bulb with you to your local hardware store to make sure you choose the right replacement option from their selection. If the bulbs you use are a specialty type, you may need to call your landscaper or electrician to order the right model. 

Look for Cracks in the Housing
While you’re inspecting the light bulbs, pay attention to the housing around the bulbs. Look at it from all angles and check for cracks or other damage to the material. Though these can be cosmetic issues, they can cause major problems to the fixture itself if you let them sit over the winter months. If you notice any cracks, contact your landscaping expert immediately. They’ll need to find replacements for your yard or make the necessary repairs to keep water and ice from seeping into the fixture and electrical components.

Inspect the Wiring for Wear and Tear
Though most landscape lighting has wiring that’s enclosed in the fixture itself, some have small portions of wiring outside the fixture. Try to inspect those visible wires closely. Look at the protective rubber casing around the wires. If they’re in good shape, the casing should be whole and undamaged. If you notice any fading on the rubber or see tears and cracks in the material, call an electrician as soon as you can. These cracks mean the wires are exposed to the elements. Though it’s possible that they’ll be fine over the winter months, there’s also a chance that water and melting ice can damage the connections and leave your landscaping without lighting at all. 

Make Sure They’re Angled the Right Way
Pay attention to the way your lights are angled in your landscape design. The position of the bulbs and fixtures can make or break the impact you’re trying to achieve with the lighting system. You may need to reposition the fixtures by hand to make sure they have the impact you want. If you’re not comfortable doing this on your own or want an expert to inspect your lighting to make sure you’re highlighting the features you want to showcase, reach out to your landscaping team. They’ll be able to make sure the lights focus on the aspects of your yard that you want to highlight. Keep in mind that you’ll need to keep an eye on things throughout the winter. Stray snowballs and snow shovels can end up knocking them out of position. 

Upgrade the Bulbs With LEDs
Running your landscape lighting for more hours of the day can end up increasing your home’s energy bills. Rather than accepting that increase, consider replacing your existing bulbs with LED bulbs. These lights use only a fraction of the electricity of standard incandescent bulbs. Over the course of the winter, switching to LEDs can end up saving you hundreds on your electric bill. Just make sure you choose a bulb that offers the same brightness and wattage as your standard bulbs. Otherwise, you might notice a change in your landscape lighting’s brightness and effectiveness.

Have a Plan for Ice and Snow Buildup
Your landscape lighting is only effective if it’s able to project a steady stream of light. When it’s blocked by snow and ice, it won’t create a beautiful effect as it should. Take the time to mark out your lights’ locations in your yard and be ready to clear those areas of ice and snow during the winter. For best results, clear those areas by hand. The last thing you want to do is knock your lights out of position and change the way they perform during the winter months. 

Get Repairs Taken Care of Quickly
It’s normal for even the most well-cared-for landscape lighting to need the occasional maintenance appointment. When the system needs repair, letting those repairs slide and ignoring them for months on end is the best way to keep your landscape lighting from working properly. Instead, take the time to get repairs taken care of in a timely manner. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, spare yourself the frustration and schedule repairs with a professional as soon as you can. This way, your system will work reliably during the colder months without a problem.

Don’t Neglect Your Sprinklers
Though your landscape lighting is important, it’s only one part of your landscaping design. You still need to make sure your sprinkler system works properly come spring. The best way to do that is to schedule a sprinkler system blowout as soon as possible. Don’t leave things up to chance. Contact our team to discuss your system’s needs today and let us help you keep your lawn looking great for years to come. The sooner you schedule a blowout, the better.