The Guide to Landscape Lighting Troubleshooting and Outdoor Lighting Solutions

10 Jan

The Guide to Landscape Lighting Troubleshooting and Outdoor Lighting Solutions

Fixtures as diverse as spotlights and lights illuminate your landscape for night entertaining and general safety. However lighting your outdoor area has its own drawbacks since the fixtures, bulbs and wiring should withstand continuous weathering through the seasons. Simple troubleshooting techniques enable you to repair your landscape lighting, even if an issue arises, to prevent a costly repair bill from a professional.

Hard-Wired Lights

Outdoor lights, powered by the home’s 120 V power, typically require a transformer, wiring system, fittings and attached bulbs. In case any issues arise with your lighting, then you must turn the circuit breaker off in the main electrical panel to avoid electrocution. Evaluate each wire, bulb and fixture for damaged or loose parts. Typical issues include pinched wires close to the loose or fixture bulbs. Once you’ve checked the entire system, you can turn the circuit breaker back on to verify that the lights function properly.

Solar Lights

Solar lights use a sensitive internal sensor to ascertain night. Installing the fixture close to a hard-wired light prevents the sensor from working properly since the solar light may not shine at the perfect time if aroused by a nearby light source. Additionally, solar lights use rechargeable batteries that eventually become dislodged from excessive motion during setup. Checking the fixture’s location and battery connection typically fixes most solar lighting issues. But if you can’t obtain the sensor to activate correctly after repositioning the fixture in a dark area, you typically should replace the sensor component.

Low-Voltage Lights

Wires supplying 12 V power to low-voltage exterior lights tend to get broken by landscaping tools, such as lawnmowers. Since the wiring isn’t high voltage, they don’t have to get buried deep in the lawn. If you can’t receive your landscape lights to function, check the wiring concealed in the dirt — a small crack in the insulation readily shorts the electrical impulse supplying the lights. Additionally, low-voltage lights use step-down transformers to modify the home’s high-voltage power to low-voltage. Adding any additional circuits to this transformer steals power from the exterior lights, developing a dimming effect. Maintaining the transformer powering the outdoor lights completely prevents reduced transmission problems across the entire yard.

LED Issues

LED — lighting emitting diode — lights function in both hard-wired and solar lighting systems, but their technologies is different among manufacturers. Good-quality bulbs last several years without a dimming or color issues. But low-quality bulbs decline quickly when they are used in the exterior fixtures. In case you have issues with light color or flickering, try replacing the LED bulbs. Many times, the system is in great working order but the bulbs are faulty.

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