Outdoor lighting in your enclosed patio can effectively enhance the curb appeal of your home at night, as well as boost your home security. With proper placement, outdoor lighting will also allow you to enjoy your outdoor space all year round, even after the sun goes down. If you want your outdoor lights to work at their best, you should regularly clean and maintain your lighting to guarantee that they stay in good shape for years to come.
Proper and regular cleaning and maintenance can lengthen the life span of your outdoor lights while keeping them functional throughout the years. Although minimal maintenance is necessary, you need to perform specific tasks once or twice a year to avoid costly repairs. Remember, some maintenance tasks might be specific to the type of outdoor lighting you have, so check the manufacturer’s website or ask the service provider who installed the lighting for care requirements. If you’re eager to learn more about light service and maintenance in Washington, checking out sites like https://washingtonoutdoorlighting.com/ and others would help.
If you want to keep your outdoor lights functional at all times, here are several cleaning and maintenance tips to consider:
1. Clean The Lenses And Internal Reflectors
The internal reflector is a component that surrounds the bulb. It’s responsible for protecting the bulb and also reflects the light out to the desired direction. Cleaning the internal reflectors means effectively eliminating any debris so the lights could function optimally and provide adequate illumination.
Over time, debris, dirt, hard water spots, and cobwebs are likely to build up over the lenses, which would obstruct the light projecting out from the lamp. Hard water spots could also cause the lens to turn dull and cloudy. Make sure you clean the lenses to ensure optimum brightness.
2. Clean The Area Around The Light Fixtures
In the long run, your light fixtures might end up with obstructions or partly covered by grass and dirt, leaves, mulch, and mud. Even a minimal amount of blockage can diminish the lumens a light produces or block the light in specific directions.
The best move is to cut any foliage in your garden that’s blocking the direction of your lights. If plants are growing all over the fixtures or growing tall enough to prevent the light from reaching the desired area, that’s the best time for a trimming.
3. Inspect For Compromised Fixtures
Part of routine maintenance is carefully inspecting your outdoor lighting fixtures for any damage, corrosion, or leaks. Make sure to check the wires if they’re still intact and not disconnected from the fixture.
Once a light fixture is compromised, it can pose a safety hazard. Any cracks or damage to the fixtures can cause injuries to your household members or animals who happen to hit them unintentionally.
If any of your fixtures show severe damage, that requires immediate replacement to keep the light functioning. Often, it can be difficult to find the same fixture. In such instances, it’s best to consult a professional if the new light you’re considering requires a higher wattage than your previous one.
4. Replace Poorly Functioning Or Illuminating Fixtures
During your maintenance, you have to replace light bulbs that are no longer functional. You could upgrade to energy-efficient light bulbs or LED lighting to help save on your utility bills. These ideal replacements boast a longer lifespan, which means less frequent replacement and helping save on energy consumption and costly repairs.
Always remember that light bulbs will start to lose their brightness sooner or later. Check around your home for areas that seem dimmer than other spaces. It’s best to replace these dim bulbs before they burn out entirely, especially if they’re illuminating stairways or pathways that require visibility.
5. Proper Positioning Of The Fixtures
Light fixtures might end up out of alignment or get knocked over where they no longer illuminate their designated outdoor spaces. Generally, this can occur for various reasons, such as children playing in the yard, falling tree branches, or being hit by lawn care tools or equipment. With that in mind, carefully check if the light fixtures are still in their proper positions.
When repositioning the lighting fixtures, you should consider the direction in which they were facing. Some lights point upward, while others highlight a specific space in your yard. In some instances, you should adjust the outdoor lights to go along with your changing landscape, such as overgrown shrubs or trees.
6. Inspect For Exposed Wires
Depending on the outdoor lighting you have, some might have wiring running underground. Keeping the wires buried will prevent people and animals from tripping over them or damaging the wire itself. Additionally, your yard is a tidier space when you don’t see wires all over.
Once you discover any exposed wiring without any damage, you can rebury them into the ground. Nevertheless, once the wiring shows wear, that will require proper repair or replacement before burying it underground again. Remember, wiring that’s not securely sealed and not waterproofed can result in severe problems once exposed to water. If you’re uncertain if the wires have been damaged or aren’t comfortable inspecting the wires, it’s best to let a professional handle the task effectively.
7. Clean The Plastic Or Metal Components
Aside from the glass component of your light fixtures, you also need to clean the plastic or metal parts. You can clean these components thoroughly with soapy water and a soft towel, but more delicate parts require a meticulous approach.
If you’re going to use a more potent cleaning product, you should take care not to damage the metal. Perform a test by applying the product in a concealed area first. Although distilled white vinegar is the ideal choice when dealing with rust in some metals, it can damage certain types.
Generally, you should use a polish specially formulated for a specific type of metal. In some metals, it’s best to apply wax, ideally once or twice a year, to ensure better protection against the elements.
8. Things To Avoid During Maintenance
While you should focus on doing certain things to keep your fixtures in top shape, there are things you remember not doing as well. Remember that glass isn’t dishwasher safe. With this in mind, it’s best to handwash the glass parts.
Avoid using any abrasive cloths or cleaners or products that might include alcohol or ammonia. Similarly, steer clear of general-purpose household glass or window cleaners since they’re likely to damage the fixture’s coating.
9. Use A Timer
An effective way to limit the wear and tear on your outdoor lights is to use a timer. This approach ensures your lights won’t turn on when it isn’t needed.
You can adjust your outdoor lighting to turn on once it starts to get dark and turn off once the sun rises. When using timers, you can even set some lights to turn off at specific times when there’s partial sunlight, while others can stay on during complete darkness.
10. Safety During Maintenance
Before cleaning and inspecting your light fixtures, always prioritize safety, especially with electricity and accessibility. Here’s what you should do:
- Switch Off The Power Source: Always remember that you’re dealing with electricity, unless you have solar-powered light fixtures. Before cleaning the outdoor light fixtures, turn off the power from the primary source. Make sure you do this even if you’re only going to replace a bulb. Before holding the fixture, don’t forget to wait for the light bulbs to cool down.
- Safe Access To Suspended Lights: If you have hanging outdoor lights in your patio or garden, make sure you can comfortably reach them. You can use a ladder—preferably a full-sized ladder—and ask someone to hold it while working on the light fixtures.
11. Clean Outdoor Solar Lights
When you have solar lights, you should wipe them down at least once every month and perform a thorough cleaning twice a year. Solar fixtures have three components that you need to clean—globe or light cover, solar panels, and battery packs.
The solar panels have a transparent plastic cover. When dirt and dust build up over time, they obstruct the panel and prevent efficient charging. Use a damp cloth to eliminate any buildup and adjust the panel monthly to ensure maximum charging. As for the battery packs, moisture buildup inside the housing can oxidize the batteries and connections. Utilize a soft brush to get rid of oxidization and keep the contacts clean.
If the solar lights in your yard have a weatherproof gasket, double-check that it’s intact once you reassemble the lights. Remember that even top-quality solar lights have a limited lifespan. In most cases, the plastic eventually clouds up while the batteries fail to work after a few years.
Various outdoor lighting options can effectively boost your home’s curb appeal while making your outdoor space an enjoyable one. Whether you have simple or more elaborate light fixtures, the proper lighting can transform your outdoor space into an appealing and safe haven for your family. If you want your outdoor lights to last a long time and ensure efficient illumination for your outdoor space, you must perform regular maintenance and cleaning to keep them bright throughout the years.