Do I need Maintenance done on my landscape lighting system?
The simple answer is yes, but that would not make for an interesting blog, don’t you agree? You have invested a great deal of money in your outdoor lighting system, and you want to keep it running like new, correct? Yes, Mike’s Landscape Lighting offers high-quality fixtures and performs the best installation practices, but you still need to maintain your lighting system. If you buy a high-priced German car or a low-priced Chevy, they both need maintenance.
Why is maintenance needed on your low-voltage lighting system? There are quite a few reasons and a list of items that get completed when we are performing our annual maintenance checks. I will list the items we perform and the reason below.
- Check all fixtures for proper operation. We will first walk around and check the operation of the complete system. This will give us an idea of any pending issues.
- Reset all the fixtures. With freeze/thaw going on in our beautiful Midwest weather, the fixture stakes get pushed out of the ground. These need to get set back into the ground and aimed properly to keep your design like it was new.
- Clean fixtures and lenses. Just like your car’s windshield, the fixture lenses need to be cleaned to allow the light to freely pass through. If you have hard water and an irrigation system, you will need to have these lenses cleaned two to three times per season. The calcium build-up from hard water can reduce the light output by up to 50%.
- Check LED diodes to make sure all are working properly. Some of our fixtures have multiple diodes to create the amount of light needed, if any of these diodes are out it will reduce the amount of light and change the desired look of your lighting. If our technicians find any faulty diodes, they will replace the fixture or lamp if it is still under warranty. If it is not under warranty, our technicians will provide a cost to replace the bad fixture.
- Check the operation of timers and photocells. We will check timers to make sure the time is still correct and synchronize with other transformers on the property. These astronomical timers are great, but the time of day will get off a little each year. If you have an older system that still utilizes a photocell, we will check to make sure this is still functioning properly.
- Bury an exposed wire. We will walk around and rebury any exposed wire. This is especially critical for those that do not have any ground cover to help conceal the wires. The topsoil does erode over time and causes the wires to become exposed. The integrity of wires will be fine if exposed to the element, it just becomes an eyesore to see the wires.
- Downlighting in trees. If you have any downlighting in trees, yearly maintenance is imperative to keep the tree from eventually growing around the fixture and wires. Some fast-growing maples can happen on an annual basis.
- Minor pruning of plants away from fixtures. If you have a lot of perennials near your light fixtures, this may need to be done a couple of times a season. Plants can overtake a fixture and reduce the light shining through to almost 100%. Sometimes we may need to add a riser to your fixture to get through a bush that has grown bigger than anyone anticipated.
- Sample voltage readings to check for potential issues. Our technicians will take sample voltage reading at the fixtures to ensure adequate power is getting to the fixtures. This can alert us to potential issues in the wires buried in the ground.
As you can see, there are quite a few reasons to perform annual maintenance checks on your outdoor lighting system. Having a trained set of eyes on your property at least once a year will help prevent issues and ensure your lighting system performs at its peak for many years. If you are not signed up for annual maintenance with Mike’s Landscape Lighting team, please click the link here to reach out to us to get started.