Winter landscape lighting should be prepared as the cold winter months move in. You’ve likely begun to prepare your home and outdoor property. Dropping temperatures can certainly take a toll on your outdoor appliances. Shrubs can be wrapped, fountains can be turned off, but have you considered your outdoor lighting?
Your landscape lighting is an important feature of your home. As the days get shorter, they are needed more. It helps to guide you in the dark, preventing potentially harmful falls. The lights add curb appeal to your home and give you peace of mind knowing that they serve as an added security measure. If you are beginning to winterize the outdoor features of your home, you should do the same for these very important lights. Here are a few ways to prepare your winter landscape lighting for this year.
Types of Exterior Lights
Every home is unique, and so is its landscape. No matter what sort of outdoor lighting you may have in place, it should be cared for just as the lights in your home are. Here are the most common types of outdoor lighting, one or more of which you may have around your home.
- Path lighting is placed along walkways and paths. They provide safety and add curb appeal.
- Downlighting is placed in an elevated area to light the area below, like a doorway. No longer will you have to fumble around for your keys in the dark!
- Lanterns are typically found around decks, pools, or outdoor patios. They are available in a wide range of shapes and styles, and can even add flair to a walkway.
- Floodlights not only accentuate your property, but they are a great addition to a home security system.
- Shadow lighting focuses on one object but illuminates the area behind it as well. This adds curb appeal and increases security.
How to Prepare Your Winter Landscape Lighting
Now that you know the most common exterior light fixtures, it will be easier to prepare them for winter. As the days get shorter, you will find that you are using your landscape lighting more than ever. Here are a few ways to help them work to their fullest potential during the harsh winter weather:
Clean the fixtures to the best of your ability. The cleaner they are, the brighter their light will be. Be sure to turn off the power before you begin. Remove debris that may have built up; outdoor lighting is exposed to dirt, bugs, leaves, and cobwebs. Be careful of any critters that may have made a nest inside! Any glass cleaner can be used to wipe excess dirt or a damp cloth for surrounding metal fixtures.
- Change Bulbs
Bulbs have a limited lifespan and can be affected by the elements outdoors. Give all your outdoor fixtures a once-over to see if any are damaged or have stopped working. Replace any bulbs that have failed. If you haven’t switched to LED light bulbs yet, you should consider it! They can last up to a decade and are more energy-efficient. They’re also unaffected by the cold.
- Check Positioning
Before the cold weather really settles in, the positioning of any outdoor lanterns or lampposts should be checked. If they are damaged, it should be fixed sooner rather than later.
- Pay Attention to Detail
If you have unique landscape lighting fixtures, like an outdoor chandelier or a dangling fan with lights, they should get a little extra attention. Their unique design may make them more vulnerable to extreme weather conditions. You may want to remove any delicate fixtures and store them until spring. If not, cover them for protection and turn the power off.
Any landscape lighting that has set timers should be adjusted. Because it gets darker earlier in the winter, you will need to use your lights earlier. If you have timers set to turn on at 6:00 pm during the fall, you may find yourself coming home from work to darkness! Indoor and outdoor lighting alike will need timers to be adjusted.
Landscape lighting is equally as important as the lighting system within your home. Exposure to the elements makes them more vulnerable, so you shouldn’t hesitate to prepare them for winter. Doing so will keep you and your loved ones out of the dark, all while adding extra security and curb appeal to your property. Visit your local hardware store if you need new bulbs, or if you have any questions.
Call Excel Electric today for more information on winter landscape lighting!