Maintaining outdoor lighting is crucial for security and safety. Well-lit properties deter intruders, making it essential for businesses and residential areas. Consistent maintenance also reduces the risks of accidents like trips and falls or, in the worst case, an electrical fire.

Recognizing these safety and security concerns, this guide delves into essential outdoor lighting maintenance techniques. You’ll learn how to identify and troubleshoot common issues to keep your lighting systems in top condition.

The 3 Most Common Outdoor Lighting Issues

Outdoor lighting systems, while robust, are prone to various issues over time that can affect performance and efficiency. The most frequent challenges with outdoor lighting include lamp burnout, wiring problems, and damage caused by weather and environmental factors. 

Let’s go over them briefly below.

1. Lamp Burnout

Lamp burnout often happens due to extensive use, power surges, or using unsuitable lamps for outdoor conditions. A blown lamp can cause increased energy consumption when other lamps in the system compensate for the loss.

The most common signs of lamp burnout are:

  • No Light Emission: The lamp doesn’t light up at all when the power is on.
  • Flickering: Before completely burning out, some lamps may flicker intermittently.
  • Dimming: Gradual loss of brightness can indicate a lamp nearing the end of its lifespan.
  • Color Shift: A noticeable change in the color of the light, which can indicate an imminent burnout.

To fix a lamp burnout, first ensure the power is switched off for safety before removing the old lamp. Replace it with a new one that’s specifically designed for outdoor use, like our CAST LED lamps, which are designed for greater efficiency and longevity.

If you keep getting burnouts, check for any underlying electrical issues, like frequent power surges. You can install a surge protector to protect your outdoor lights from power surges.

2. Damage From Harsh Weather

Damage from harsh weather is a common problem for outdoor lights, especially if you’re living in a region with large seasonal temperatures and weather fluctuations. Weather damage can lead to lights not working correctly or even more serious safety risks.

The most common signs of weather-related damage are:

  • Lights Not Working: Lights that stop working after severe weather.
  • Physical Damage: Cracks, rust, or other visible damage to the fixtures.
  • Water Damage: Signs of water inside the light fixtures or bulbs.
  • Loose Fixtures: Your lights can become loose or unstable, especially after strong winds.

The best way to protect yourself against weather damage is to regularly check your outdoor lights. If you find damage, such as a loose fixture, you might be able to repair it yourself. For more serious damage, like water inside a fixture or significant physical wear, seek professional help.

To prevent damage from harsh weather, it’s important to select outdoor lights made of durable materials. At CAST Lighting, we use bronze, an ideal material for outdoor lighting fixtures. For example, our CAST Classic New Orleans Area Light is made of a solid bronze hat, vase, and canopy mount with a heavy-gauge copper stem. 


Bronze is impervious to corrosion; does not crack, break, or peel; and naturally develops a beautiful patina over time. Using the best materials ensures that the outdoor lighting fixtures withstand various weather conditions and maintain their aesthetic appeal for years.

3. Wiring Problems

Wiring problems in outdoor lights often happen because of weather exposure, wear and tear, or bad installation. Such problems can cause lights to flicker or stop working, or cause safety risks.

The most common signs of wiring problems are:

  • Intermittent Functioning: Your lights turn randomly on and off.
  • Flickering Lights: Consistent or intermittent flickering, even with new lamps.
  • Tripped Circuit Breakers: Frequent tripping of circuit breakers when the lights are on.
  • Visible Damage: Signs of wear, fraying, or corrosion on wiring.
  • Electrical Shocks: Mild shocks or tingling sensations when you touch the fixtures.

To fix wiring issues, first turn off the power. Look for any visible damage, wear, or loose wires. You can probably fix small problems like a loose wire. Call an electrician if you have issues like frayed wires or constant circuit breaker trips.

The quality of the wire plays a crucial role in long-term safety and performance. For example, a solution like our CAST No-Ox® Marine-Grade Tin-Coated Landscape Lighting Wire is specifically designed to combat the challenges of outdoor environments. It’s durable and resistant to oxidation, meaning your landscape lighting system remains safe and efficient in all weather conditions.

The best way to avoid issues is to keep the wires clean and dry and regularly check for damage. In places with harsh weather, use the best lighting materials that can withstand varying conditions and ensure all outdoor wires are well-insulated and grounded.

Routine Maintenance Tips

Check your lights at least every three months for routine outdoor lighting maintenance. Inspecting your outdoor lights regularly will help you identify issues mentioned earlier in this guide. 

You should check your lights more regularly if you live in an area with harsh weather conditions or after you’ve experienced an extreme weather event. Check your landscape lighting immediately after a storm, for example. 

Here are three things to do when inspecting your lights.

1. Clean Fixtures and Lamps

Accumulated dirt and debris on outdoor lights can dim their brightness and impact performance. Turn off the power before cleaning lamps and fixtures. Gently wipe the lamps and fixtures with a soft, dry cloth to remove loose dirt.

For more stubborn grime, use a cloth dampened with mild soapy water. Dry the fixtures and lamps thoroughly after cleaning to prevent any water damage. Avoid harsh chemicals, as they can harm the finish of your lighting fixtures.

2. Inspect Wires and Connections


Regularly checking the wiring and connections in your outdoor lighting can prevent serious hazards, like short circuits, and ensure your lights stay in working order. Look for any damage, such as frayed wires or loose connections. If you find serious problems or are uncertain about anything, get help from a professional electrician.

3. Check and Replace Lamps

Replace faulty lamps to increase the lifespan of your outdoor lighting system. Turn off the power before replacing a faulty lamp, then remove the old lamp and replace it with a new one. LED lamps offer better energy efficiency and have a longer life. Be sure to choose a lamp that is suitable for outdoor use.

Summing Up

This guide to maintaining outdoor lighting covers some issues you might face, including lamp burnout, wiring problems, and problems caused by the weather. You also learned the three things to do when conducting a routine inspection. That includes cleaning fixtures and lamps, inspecting wires and connectors, and checking and replacing lamps.

Remember that an electric shock can be fatal, so be smart and consult a professional electrician if you need help fixing any electrical outdoor lighting issues.