In our decades of experience developing solutions for and installing landscape lighting, the biggest mistake we see homeowners make is not servicing their outdoor lighting system on an annual basis. It’s our job to make them understand that the following four excuses we hear time and time again are not good reasons and do not save them money. This blog will help serve as our soapbox to show just how neglecting annual maintenance can do more harm than good—and end up costing homeowners more in the long run. Outdoor lighting maintenance should be viewed as an oil change, a routine necessary evil that, if left undone, can ruin your vehicle, limit its lifespan, and cost a fortune to fix.
4 Excuses That Shouldn’t Stop You From Performing Annual Landscape Lighting Maintenance
1. My landscape lighting system is new—it’s only one year old
Valid point. Your outdoor lighting system is just getting broken in, but it’s not necessarily the system itself that we are concerned with. We’re looking at the environment in which it exists that affects the performance of your landscape lighting system year after year. Consider this analogy: You have a gorgeous wooden deck, but each year the elements get the best of it and it needs to repainted annually to preserve its beauty. Outside forces like the rain, sleet, snow, sun, and wind impact the deck. Similarly, these environmental elements impact your landscape lighting fixtures and system and need to be addressed every year to protect your big investment.
2. But the weather was mild this winter
Landscape lighting maintenance isn’t just about servicing outdoor light fixtures after gail-force winds, balls of hail, and nor’easters have assaulted your property, it’s about addressing issues that are unseen to the untrained eye. Root systems of trees and plants from your carefully curated landscape design grow over time. Couple this issue with a winter filled with freezes and thaws and your outdoor light fixtures will begin to lift out of the ground slowly but surely. This effect is known as frost heaving or frost lifting, and your fixtures will need to be set back into place and aimed properly to regain the proper beam angle and lighting objective. Additionally, as your vegetation grows, it will need to be trimmed back to eliminate its interference with a lighting effect. Some plants and trees may grow so large that fixtures need to be completely relocated or repositioned to achieve the intended lighting objective. Further, regardless of weather, if you have a halogen light system, lamps need to be replaced every year to prevent annoying burnouts. Hard water from rain and irrigation also inevitably collects on fixtures’ lenses and require a good scrub to keep the light effect bright and true.
3. It just costs too much to do every year
This is never a good excuse in our humble opinion. We’re all about saving money, but annual maintenance of your landscape lighting system will do just that. The longer your system goes unserviced, the more work that will need to be done when you finally get around to it—and may be more expensive because small issues with quick fixes turn into larger, more costly ones. Take it from us, your outdoor lighting specialists, annual maintenance shouldn’t be neglected.
4. I can handle it on my own
Can you, though? We know the almighty YouTube is out there as your personal assistant, but there are things you and YouTube just can’t anticipate or problem solve. Whether you are buying halogen or LED lights, you must pay careful attention you don’t purchase the wrong lamp. If you do, you risk overloading your system; and, of course, this means running back and forth to the box store as you guess and check which lamp is right. Let’s give you the benefit of the doubt and you hit it right in the first swoop. Awesome! But what if you’re using the right lamp and nothing happens? No lights. Nothing. How do you approach the problem? Is it a cut line somewhere? A faulty socket? Your transformer? Good luck with YouTube at this point. What we’re trying to get at here is that it’s best to leave yearly servicing to professional landscape lighting specialists. What could end up taking you all weekend could be resolved in an afternoon if you just call an expert first.
You Get the (Bright) Idea?
We hope that this blog post has more than adequately defended the need for annual outdoor lighting maintenance and hiring a professional to assist you with the service. At the end of the day, our goal is to make sure that your landscape lights glow perfectly with the intended light effect and last a lifetime. We’ve witnessed too many occasions where this all is compromised as a result of improper care. You’ve made a wonderful decision installing outdoor lights. Now take that extra step to keep them bright and beautiful for years to come.