Winter allows you to make the most of your outdoor lighting with longer nights and the added drama of shimmery snow and ice. However, your outdoor lighting also provides practical use by keeping you safer in the early hours when you leave for work and in the evening when you get home.
Also, the addition of snow on your property can pose challenges that can interfere with the effectiveness of your outdoor lighting, or even cause damage. Here are seven things you need to know about outdoor lighting in winter.
Clean the lens of your outdoor lights in the late fall to remove things such as dead bugs, cobwebs, and dirt that can really dim bulb brightness. Use a non-abrasive damp cloth to gently wipe away dirt and grime. If you have halogen lights, they heat up enough to melt snow away. However, LED bulbs stay cooler, so they occasionally require clearing after a heavy snowfall.
Do a safety check in the fall to look for exposed copper or damaged wires that can be dangerous in the winter months. Since the ground will be frozen once temperatures drop, you want wires repaired and reburied while the ground is still workable. You can also check the wires once the snow melts after major snowfalls to look for exposed or damaged wires.
Keep an eye out for burned out winter outdoor lights. This is important because when one bulb dies, it places more demand on the remaining bulbs which receive more voltage. As a result, they burn out faster. A good idea is to update all your outdoor lights to LED blubs in the early winter. They last from three to 10 years and work better in cold temperatures.
Snow removal can damage your ground and pathway exterior lights. Even a hit with a snow shovel can knock them out of position or expose wires. In hand with damage from high winds and heavy snow and ice accumulation, your outdoor lights can be put to the test. Marking your lights with indicator flags shows where they are buried under the snow. If you use a snow removal service, make sure you point out all your light fixtures so they can avoid them.
Landscape lighting that highlight the trees on your property requires dimmer bulbs or frosted lenses in the winter months. This reduces the severity of the shadows and effect of the lights on the stark, bare branches. Adjusting the angle of the lights or repositioning them to highlight winter garden features, such as evergreens or holly bushes, also works well. You can even consider simply turning off the lights focused on the trees in the winter to save money and reduce the eerie light they cast.
If you use a light timer, make sure you adjust it to daylight savings time.
Last but not least, improve winter safety and security by using exterior lighting for pathways, doors, and other areas. You can make your home safer and help people navigate through unexpected snowbanks and drifts that might pop up following a snowfall or high winds. Well placed exterior lights also help you avoid slips and falls.
Your exterior lights provide a warm welcome when you arrive home on a cold winter night. They also provide guidance in the dark of winter, keeping your family and guests safe. Light up your house this winter with some landscape lighting. To learn more about outdoor lighting, give us a call today!