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The right outdoor lighting can add warmth and function to your outdoor space. From productive task lighting to ambient mood lighting, there are plenty of options to choose from. One thing you’ll want to be careful about as you select and install lighting on your property, however, is protecting it against damage from the elements.
Not sure how to best protect your outdoor lighting from things like insects, severe weather, and more? We’ve got a few practical tips to keep in mind!
Protecting Your Lighting From Bugs
Unfortunately, insects are naturally attracted to the warmth that comes from outdoor lighting fixtures. For this reason, you’ll often see flies and other insects buzzing around your outdoor lights after they come on at night. This can not only put a damper on your outdoor gathering, but can make your fixtures more prone to damage as well.
One of the best ways to minimize this problem is to stick with LED lights on your property. This type of lighting gives off less heat, which will make your fixtures less attractive to bugs. Because birds are also natural enemies of insects, you can further ward bugs off by making your property more bird-friendly. This may include setting up bird feeders or adding a water source (such as a fountain, pond, or even a birdbath) to encourage birds to spend time on your property.
Installing Light Shields to Protect
Installing light shields is another option to create a physical barrier between your lighting fixtures and outdoor elements. Specifically, light shields are boxes that cover your fixtures and can even be used to redirect light from a certain direction. Not only can light shields add protection to your expensive outdoor fixtures, but they can also be useful for mitigating lights that are shining too brightly in one spot.
When shopping for light shields, know the exact dimensions of your fixtures so that you can purchase the right size with confidence. You’ll also want to make sure that the light shields you purchase are rated for outdoor use.
Location, Location, Location
If you’ve yet to have outdoor lighting installed, this is perhaps the most important tip to keep in mind! While designing your outdoor lighting plan, be sure to choose the locations of your lighting strategically and with the long-term protection of each feature in mind.
Ideally, your outdoor lighting components should be placed in spots that will protect them from the elements while still giving them enough room to transform your outdoor space with the right type of light. For example, lights that are attached to your home can be installed underneath overhangs to protect them from moisture. Alternatively, porch lighting can be recessed to keep bulbs hidden away and protected within your porch ceiling. On commercial properties, street lights should be placed away from trees that could get blown over in heavy winds.
The best way to make sure your outdoor lighting is strategically placed? Consulting a professional team that specializes in outdoor/landscape lighting! They’ll know all the tips and tricks to keep your property illuminated while protecting each fixture as much as possible.
Use Only Well-Known Outdoor-Rated Fixtures and Bulbs
Some fixtures and light bulbs are simply not meant to be used outside of the home; when looking for outdoor lighting, always select trusted name-brand fixtures and bulbs that are specifically designed for outdoor use.
This requires checking the package for mention of the fixture being weather-proof or water-resistant. If there is no mention of this, then it is generally best to pass on that fixture or bulb in favor of another set that does advertise these qualities.
Use Surge Protectors
It’s true that LED lights last longer than incandescent and fluorescent lights. However, they are also more prone to damage from electrical surges. With this in mind, setting up outdoor lighting fixtures on a reliable surge protector is always recommended. Specifically, surge protectors that are rated for outdoor use can protect LED outdoor lighting from lightning strikes and power surges alike.
Surge protectors work by grounding any additional electricity that tries to make its way into the light fixture. If your home is not already protected with a whole-house surge protector, then it may be time to consult with an electrician who can install one for you. An outdoor lighting specialist can then use this protection for your outdoor lighting, keeping it safe from lightning strikes, power surges, and other risks.
Need Help Designing and Protecting Your Outdoor Lighting?
A little planning and foresight can go a long way when it comes to protecting your outdoor lighting from the elements. Looking for professional assistance with your landscape and lighting design? Creative Nightscapes has you covered. Contact us today to schedule your free quote!