Landscape lighting turns your home into a work of art, but even the best artworks need maintenance. Time, weather, and Mother Nature can cause wear and tear on landscape lighting fixtures. While made to withstand the elements, lighting systems still need some TLC.
Not only does occasional maintenance preserve your lighting system’s components, but it also saves money on expensive repairs. You don’t have to spend a lot of time bringing out the best in your landscape lighting system. All you need are these tips and a bit of elbow grease.
Clean Plastic, Glass, and Metal Parts
Use a soft cloth and warm, soapy water to clean the metal and plastic on your color changing landscape lights and other fixtures. If you need something stronger to get the job done, test the product on a small, inconspicuous spot on the fixture first. That way, you don’t damage the entire fixture accidentally. Some cleaning remedies, like distilled white vinegar, do a great job cleaning some metals, but can damage others.
If you have a smart landscape lighting transformer, it may need some attention, too. Check with the manufacturer or company that set up your transformer. Even if you don’t need to wipe down the transformer, it may need a software update, which is its own type of maintenance.
Once you’ve restored the shine to all metal and plastic parts, you’re ready to clean your fixtures’ glass lenses. You can use the same cloth and soapy water, but you may need a stronger cleaning solution. If you do, use a scouring pad and a cleaning product that dissolves stains.
Check for Damaged and Exposed Cables
Even if a professional installed your system, cables can become exposed over time. Check high-traffic areas in your yard and spots where your kids or pets play to see if you notice wires peeking out of the ground. If you find any, examine them for damage before you bury them again.
If you don’t feel comfortable examining exposed wires for wear and tear, contact the company that installed your system and ask them to tackle the task for you.
Trim Branches and Plants
Check your fixtures to see if trees, shrubs, or plants have overrun them. Trim anything that’s too close to fixtures or blocks their light. Other than letting your fixtures “breathe” and shine at their full capacity, another reason to trim overgrown plants and branches is to make other landscaping lighting maintenance tasks easier.
If you have fallen leaves in your yard, clear them away from fixtures, too. If leaves pile up on something like a halogen lamp, they can become scorched or start a fire if enough heat builds underneath them.
Replace Burnt-Out Bulbs
Depending on how old your lighting system is, your fixtures may have burnt-old bulbs. If so, you may prefer to let an electrician handle this job. No matter who changes the bulbs, check the socket for corrosion and signs of disrepair.
LED lights last longer than traditional bulbs, but time can dim their brightness. If your LED lights aren’t shining as brilliantly as they used to, replace their bulbs.
Check Fixture Positions
Over time, lighting fixtures can move from where the installer originally positioned them. Lawn mowers, curious pets and kids, and fixture cleaning can knock fixtures out of alignment. Walk through your landscape to check and adjust fixtures.
You may also need to readjust fixtures highlighting features in your yard, such as trees and plants. If a tree’s grown or you replaced a plant, you may need to change the light’s angle.
Landscape lighting systems are like cars in that they need occasional maintenance to perform at their best. See how much time and money these tips save you.