Outdoor lighting can add extra beauty and value to homes. Beautiful outdoor lights can light up pathways, pool, or other areas in your garden that you love to hang out in the summer. As beautiful as an outdoor lighting setup can be, the bulbs can also be highly vulnerable to the elements. Rain the main culprit, though snow and even wind can sometimes damage outdoor lighting fixtures.
Protecting the outdoor lighting system from the elements should begin during the planning process. But some issues may only be visible after you have installed the lights. In either case, here are several useful tips that will help you protect your garden, deck or other outdoor lights from water and similar hazards:
Invest in Waterproof Equipment
The biggest elemental hazard outdoor lights face is water. When it rains or when the snow melts, the bulbs can short circuit or malfunction due to excess water. You can avoid this scenario by investing in waterproof equipment.
For example, a weatherproof switch infinitely better than a regular switch for outdoor lights. You can also buy shields for power points, switch plates, and other necessary points of the lighting system. Ask for advice from a professional electrician if you are not sure about the equipment that might be available.
Place the Lights in Proper Locations
Location is the key to preventing any outdoor lighting system from being unnecessary exposed to bad weather. Namely, avoid placing the lights unshielded in open areas. For example, place lights illuminating a pathway under tree or plant cover. That should offer protection of heavy rain. Install porch lights close to the front door, which would largely prevent it from rain and snow.
Generally, avoid placing outdoor lights right under the sky without overhead protection. That can make bulbs prone to rain damage as well as sun damage. You can install the lights with fixtures designed to protect the bulbs from water if there’s not tree or bush cover at the location you want them installed.
Buy Light Shields
Light shields are plastic covers you can place over switches or bulbs to essentially waterproof them. These are not awfully expensive and tend to work quite well. If you have older systems and don’t want to upgrade with weatherproof bulbs, you can consider buying light shields. You can buy the shields individually without having to buy the bulbs again.
Consider Sealed Bulbs
There are some lights that come in sealed individual units. These bulbs are powered by batteries and don’t require wiring. If you live in a particularly rainy or snowy area, sealed bulbs might be a great option. Sealed bulbs often contain LED lights, which are also quite energy efficient. The LED bulbs emanate a really bright light, so you can be confident that it would light up dark areas in your garden. But the caveat with battery-operated lights is that you can turn on each one individually in the evenings and then turn them off again individually in the morning.
Alternatively, you can consider solar lights if the weather in your area is particularly bad. Top ranking solar lights don’t involve any wiring, so there’s minimal risk of water damage. You won’t have to worry about safety hazards light short circuits either. Solar lights are great for exposed areas like pathways because the lights charge during daytime and you can turn them on during the night. Otherwise, stick to the points explained above.