Winter can cause a significant strain on landscape lighting fixtures. The low temperatures and inclement weather can affect the performance of your building's outdoor lighting. Unfortunately, poor outdoor lighting in commercial spaces can expose users to slip-and-fall accidents at night. Injured individuals can sue your facility for negligence, thereby ruining your reputation and causing financial issues. To protect yourself and your building occupants, consider these post-winter maintenance and inspection tips for your building's landscape lighting.
Inspect electrical wiring
Electrical wiring for landscape lighting is usually buried underneath the ground. Unfortunately, the freeze-thaw cycles experienced during winter can expose the wiring to the surface. Exposed wiring is at risk of getting damaged due to foot traffic or the impact of falling debris and tree branches. Look around your landscaping for exposed electrical wiring.
If your outdoor bulbs are buzzing, dimming, flickering or tripping their circuit breakers, they have faulty wiring. Failure to fix the wiring can cause your bulbs to blow. Exposed wiring can also cause electrocution hazards to workers and visitors. Therefore, inspect and repair the lighting wires to create a safe landscape and extend the lifespan of your fixtures.
Check the condition of the bulbs
Do you use fluorescent or incandescent bulbs for commercial landscape lighting? If you do, beware of the effects of winter weather on these types of fixtures. Both fluorescent and incandescent bulbs produce heat in the form of infrared radiation. In cold weather, the internal temperature of the bulbs lowers, affecting the brightness of the fixtures. Prolonged exposure to cold temperatures can shorten the lifespan of these lighting fixtures.
After winter, it's imperative to check your lighting bulbs for any signs of poor lighting output. Are the bulbs as bright as they used to be? Are there fixtures that have burnt out? To improve visibility at night, upgrade your landscape lighting to LED lighting. LED bulbs do not emit infrared radiation; thus, they don't get hot on the surface. As a result, low winter temperatures do not affect the performance or lifespan of LED fixtures.
Clean and inspect globes and casings
Winter rain and strong winds can allow moisture and debris to damage bulb globes and casings. For example, if tree branches fall on your lights, they will crack the bulb covers. Rainwater can penetrate the cracked casings and damage the filaments. Clean your fixtures and look out for physical damage from inclement weather. Replaced cracked bulb casings to protect the lights from failure.
Landscape lighting increases the kerb appeal of your commercial landscape and creates a safe outdoor space for users. Conduct the above post-winter maintenance tasks to keep your outdoor space well lit. For professional lighting inspection, repairs and upgrades, consult a commercial electrician.