With less daylight, landscape lighting is the perfect way to illuminate your home during the winter. Here are some tips for enhancing the look of your exterior lighting, while protecting your system from harsh weather conditions.
Make Sure Your Wires Stay Buried.
Buried lighting wires can become exposed over the summer. In early autumn, it’s best to check your property for any unearthed wires. Exposed wires can be a dangerous tripping hazard, and pets or wild animals may chew on them. In either scenario, this exposes people and animals to electrical dangers while possibly shorting out your landscape lighting system.
Dim Your Lighting.
During the winter, illuminating bare tree branches can be a bit severe. While it can provide a dramatic effect during Halloween, it’s not ideal for the rest of the holiday season.
Consider adding frosted lenses and adjusting the brightness of your lighting. You can also disconnect or remove some of your bulbs to soften the lighting around the exterior of your home. You may also want to adjust your uplighting by lowering the angle of the light so it highlights tree trunks instead of bare branches.
Create a Well-Lit Path.
While they may be beautiful, autumn leaves and winter snows can be slippery safety hazards. Consider adding illuminating path lighting to your winter landscape to help prevent slips and falls.
Swap Out Bulbs.
Extreme temperature changes can shorten the lifespan of exterior light bulbs. Change your bulbs as soon as they burn out, or nearby bulbs will receive more voltage, which can shorten their lifespans too. If you haven’t, switch to LEDs which perform better in the cold and last three to 10 years longer than traditional exterior bulbs.
Switch To Cast Bronze.
Cast bronze fixtures are ultra-durable and especially beautiful. The alloy contains tin which makes the metal impervious to corrosion even in unforgiving outdoor environments. Over time, the metallic bronze will start to darken to an attractive old-penny brown before turning to a greenish-blue patina that really complements the natural beauty of a property.
This aging process will occur faster during the winter thanks to the presence of snow, rain and condensation. If you’d like to have that beautiful patina color for next summer, it’s best to swap out your fixtures during the late autumn or early winter months.
If you are already using bronze and want to keep that shiny finish by preventing the patina process, there are two things you can do. One is to clean the metal and apply a polyurethane matte-finish, outdoor-rated clear coating. Alternatively, you can regularly apply WD-40™ with a rag about every 90 days.
Adjust Your Timers.
Just as clocks need changing at the end of daylight savings, you need to adjust your outdoor lighting timers so they start and stop at the appropriate times. Most timers will turn on at around dusk and shut off after a specified number of hours. With this in mind, adjust your timers to account for shorter days that come with the winter season.
Strategically Position Your Fixtures.
Ideally, you should avoid placing your exterior lights out in the open. When designing your lighting system, try to place the fixtures where they will be shielded from rain, sleet, snow and violent winds.
For example, if you have wash lights illuminating an exterior wall, place them near the overhang which will help shield them from the elements. If you have landscape lighting in your yard, try placing them near trees, shrubbery or other natural overhangs that will protect them from harsh winter conditions.
Invest in Light Shields.
Light shields are transparent protective boxes that can cover light fixtures that are located out in the open. Be sure to purchase a light shield that properly fits your lighting. They should also be sealed to keep moisture from entering the box and damaging your lighting.
Whether you need professional winter lawn care or expert guidance with exterior lighting, contact RMPS Landscaping in Castle Rock. With decades of collective experience, we provide a full array of landscaping services for commercial and residential properties. Contact our attentive, courteous team to learn more.
For more on landscape lighting, be sure to read our blog: 6 Benefits of Outdoor Landscaping Lighting.