As the fall has already bid us farewell, the daylight time continues to shorten, leaving us in the dark for the rest of the evening. While the winter has set in earnest, many of us can’t help enjoying our outdoor spaces’ new vibe. Landscape lights are key elements of landscape design. They are crucial for your safety and to create a beautiful winter evening ambiance.
The bad news is that a harsh winter can disrupt or damage outdoor lighting systems. But, you can prevent potential damages and risks by taking some preventive measures. Here’re some useful landscape lighting ideas to keep your outdoor space sparkling, safe, beautiful, and prepared for campfires through the winter.
Clean The Lights
There are times when the outdoor lights are dull in winter, even though the bulbs might be in good working conditions. This happens because of cloudy lenses or dirt, bugs, leaves, and debris that block the light. It is a good idea to clean the lights, freeing them from any obstructive debris.
Inspect the fixtures for insect nests and cobwebs and remove them before using a non-abrasive damp cloth to clean the dirt and debris. Before you clean the lights, make sure to switch off power to the units.
Using a glass cleaner to rake up the lenses is an excellent idea. Halogen lights produce enough heat to melt the snow; however, in the case of LED, you may have to clean the fixtures after every snowfall.
Keep Wires Underground
The lighting wires may have become unearthed due to ground freezing and thaws. Inspect your outdoor spaces for exposed wires to be sure they’re up to code. Ideally, the wires must be buried at least six inches deep into the ground. This is crucial for overall safety and prevention of possible electrical dangers to people and animals.
You must check for exposed wires beforehand because once the ground freezes, it will be difficult to rebury them. If you find a damaged wire or exposed copper, call a professional electrician to repair.
Change The Bulbs
Severe temperature fluctuations in winter reduce the lifespan of bulbs. Change the bulb as soon as you see it has burnt out. Not doing so will cause the nearby bulbs to get more voltage, which can increase the risk of them being burned out as well.
A halogen bulb loses most of its energy in the form of heat. This is why it has a shorter lifespan. It is a great idea to switch to LEDs, as they have a longer lifespan. They can last 4-10 years and do better in cold temperatures. You can get high-quality landscape supplies in Calgary, including LEDs. Visit your nearby landscaping supply store to explore your options for bulbs and other landscape products.
Dim Lights for Ambience
As the weather changes, your landscape lighting design and angle need to be altered a bit for better ambiance. In winter, it is not a good idea to focus the naked branches of the trees with clear lenses because it will give a haunted house feel. Instead, consider dimming the lights with frosted lenses. These lenses disperse the light in a wide and soft beam.
Otherwise, you can simply switch off or remove some of the lights to create a softer effect. Or you could alter the up-lighting by lowering the angle of the lights so they focus the tree trunks instead of the stark branches.
Inspect for Moisture-Related Issues
System outlet problems are common in winter months. When ice and snowmelt, the water can trip your FGCI passage. When this issue pops up, simply press the reset button on the outlet to immediately close the cover. Moisture and electricity are a hazardous combination.
Be cautious when working with the electricity and avoid putting anything into the outlets. Instead, call a professional electrician who knows how to fix the problem. Moisture can also enter the fixtures, triggering corrosion. It is a good idea to identify and fix moisture-related issues beforehand.
Switch to Cast Bronze Fixtures
For your landscape lighting to work seamlessly throughout the winter, consider upgrading the fixtures. Switching to cast bronze is a good idea because it is durable and resistant to corrosion. This material looks impressive and gets better as it ages. Also, it is more durable and can withstand even the harshest of winters. Once fitted, the cast bronze fixture will turn brown and then to a greenish-blue patina. The colour will beautifully supplement the natural colours in your garden or backyard. There are many landscape suppliers in Calgary where you can buy high-quality cast bronze fixtures for your outdoor lighting.
Outdoor lighting timers need to be updated. Most timers turn on at twilight and turn off after specified hours. Don’t forget that the winter days are shorter and nights are longer, so adjust the lighting timers accordingly.
Winter landscape lighting can be easy if you take the time to inspect, tweak, and replace certain lighting elements in your garden or backyard. Your outdoor space will look welcoming and warm with an incredible ambiance, besides the added safety standards you can achieve with these ideas.
Did you come here searching for landscape supplies Calgary? You can find outdoor lighting supplies at the dedicated lighting stores, but if you are looking for paving stones, sand, soil, or landscape accessories, you are in good hands. Contact us now to know more about our landscape supplies. Or visit our online store to buy landscape products and supplies.