Now that winter is officially upon us and daylight hours are reduced, you’ll want to keep your outdoor landscape lights shining bright. With early sunsets, we find ourselves in the dark at an earlier hour; however with proper placement and care, your landscape lighting will provide you safe passage for the rest of the evening.
By keeping your landscape lights well maintained during the winter months, your home will still be inviting and you can enjoy your outside space for longer while providing a safer environment during the wintertime.
Safety is always a priority, but there are other benefits as well, such as enhancing the beauty of your home at night, preventing potential intruders or unwelcomed visitors, and avoiding injuries due to dangerous slips or falls because of black ice or snow.
Here are some guidelines to keep your landscape lighting in tip-top shape:
Clean the Lens
Outdoor light fixtures can accumulate bugs, dirt, mineral deposits and other debris that can dim or block the light from the fixture. Shut off the fixture and use a damp cloth to wipe down the exterior metal. You can clean the lens by using a non-abrasive damp cloth with a solution of CLR or something similar. If you use halogen lights in the fixture, the heat will melt most of the snow, but LED bulbs produce less heat and you may have to clear them off on occasion after a snowfall.
Due to extreme swings in temperatures during the winter months making the bulbs run longer, the lifespan of the bulbs may be shortened. Change bulbs as soon as possible when one burns out because a low voltage system draws a small amount of voltage on each bulb when running. As bulbs burn out, the nearby bulbs receive more voltage and this shortens the life span of the remaining bulbs.
You may want to consider switching to LEDs since they last, on average, three to ten years and perform better in cold temperatures.
Position Lights Properly
You should take some time and inspect the locations of your landscape lights to be sure that they are positioned properly, both from an illumination perspective and one of safety. Fixtures can get moved out of alignment and become crooked due to snow accumulation, drifting snow or high winds.
If you have a snow removal company maintaining your property, alert them to where the fixtures are located near the driveway and walkways. You can also place indicator flags where the lights are located.
Be particularly aware of positioning where you have walking paths or along the driveway. Also, be on the lookout for exposed wires due to temperature fluctuations that cause a wire to resurface. If any are found, bury them back down into the ground. If any wire is showing damage, repair it first before reburying it.
Now that the leaves have completely fallen from the branches, you can adjust the brightness down a bit so that the bare branches don’t look so severe in the spotlights. By dimming down, your home will appear to have a less haunted house effect. You can even add frosted lenses in order to soften the lighting or lower the angle of the light to highlight the trunk instead of the exposed branches.
With daylight savings time over and darkness descending at an earlier time, remember to adjust the outside timers accordingly. Some timers work on a dusk to dawn setting while others operate on a definitive start time and end selection, such as 4-8 hours of operation. Also remember that if there is a power outage, you’ll need to reset the landscape lighting timer again.
Make it Easy
Winter landscape lighting and maintenance doesn’t have to be difficult if you take the time to inspect, position and replace burned out bulbs when they occur. Your home will look warm and inviting plus provide the added safety that landscaping lighting offers.
For the ultimate installation and service for outdoor lighting in Burlington and Aldershot, contact Evergreen Landscapes today. We will work closely with you to achieve the perfect night scape your property deserves.