Fall and Winter Landscape Lighting Maintenance Tips and Checklist
Just like that, August has practically come and gone. It’s hard to believe that fall is just around the corner. As the days start to get shorter, and the temperatures begin to cool off, it’s important to prepare your outdoor landscape lighting for the fall and winter.
When the snow starts to fall, providing maintenance to your landscape lighting system probably won’t be the task at the top of your to-do list. Chances are you’ll be focused on keeping your driveway, sidewalk and walkways clear, and getting those winter tires on your vehicle.
While there is a lot to do to prepare for the winter season, our landscape lighting experts at Nite Time Decor are here to tell you that maintaining your landscape lighting system should be a priority. Here’s why:
It Prolongs Your Investment
When you purchased your landscape lighting system, you made an investment in your home and property. You installed a system that would boost your home’s curb appeal, increase safety and security around your home and create a functional outdoor space for you and your family to enjoy. It’s important to remember all of this when winter rolls around.
While conducting regular maintenance checks to your outdoor lighting system may seem like a low priority, it will actually help prolong the life of your system. Don’t get caught having to repair or replace your landscape lighting system when the damage can be easily preventable.
It Can Help Keep You Safe
A landscape lighting system does so much more than simply illuminate the outside of your home and property. It helps create a safe and secure environment. With poor weather conditions in the winter, along with prolonged periods of darkness in the mornings and evenings, your landscape lighting design can be more valuable than ever. A well maintained landscape lighting system can be effective in limiting safety hazards and helping you avoid injuries when you’re going out and about around your home.
What To Look For In A Winter Maintenance Check
If you’ve decided to make the regular fall and winter maintenance of your landscape lighting system a priority, you’re going in the right direction! Now, you’ll need to know what to look for when you’re out inspecting your system.
Basic maintenance for your outdoor lighting system is neither difficult nor complicated, but it should not be overlooked. To help you check this task off of your to-do list, our lighting experts have compiled a helpful checklist list of tips for preparing your landscape lighting system for fall and winter.
Before you begin working through this checklist, remember to disconnect or turn off the power supply for your outdoor lighting system to avoid a nasty or even dangerous surprise especially if you are completing the cleaning and maintenance of your system.
Outdoor Lighting Maintenance Checklist:
Do a ‘Walk About’
The best way to start prepping your landscape lighting for fall is to go outside in the daytime and do a complete ‘walk about’ of your property. Inspect your light fixtures and assess the condition of all wires.
If you notice any scratches on the lenses of your lights, take the time to buff them out or replace the lenses altogether. If your landscape lighting design operates all year long, scratches can take away the effectiveness of your system. And don’t just stop with the scratches! Spend the extra hour to clean your fixtures. Clean fixtures are well-maintained fixtures. You’ll have an easier time in the spring maintaining your Oakville landscape lighting fixtures if you start off winter with them in the best condition.
Take a minute to tighten the screws on your transformer’s terminal blocks and remove any debris from the inside cabinet housing. Now’s a great time to replace any batteries used in timers or motion sensors. Trim back any landscaping that’s become overgrown and is covering light fixtures.
Check for New Plant Growth
You should review your lighting on a regular basis to make sure that as your trees, and shrubs are growing they are not damaging or obstructing your fixtures. Prune or trim back branches and leaves to make sure that each fixture can provide the illumination it was intended to provide, and so that you can complete the other maintenance tasks.
Check Exposed Cables Or Damaged Wires
If you happen to notice exposed cables or wires that are torn or damaged, you’ll need to resolve this issue right away. Exposed and damaged cables or wires present a safety risk on your property, especially if you have children or pets in your household. Exposed wiring could get damaged in the heavy winter months also creating additional expenses come spring.
If you have exposed or damaged wires, contact Nite Time Décor immediately and one of our experienced technicians will come and repair or replace the problem wires.
Check Light Fixtures
Review each fixture for signs of damage. You may need to order replacement parts if there is any damage present that cannot be left as is.
During your ‘walk about’ you may notice that your fixtures have shifted since their original installation. This is typical as fixtures may fall victim to foot traffic and lawn maintenance activities over the summer months. If you have any leaning light fixtures on your property, simply restore them to their correct position by straightening them out and tighten the mount if applicable.
You should also make sure they the landscape lighting fixtures are properly adjusted to provide light where they are intended to. This may need to be done after dark to make sure they are adjusted just right.
Clear Leaves and Loose Debris
Depending on the location of the fixture you may need to clear away some debris. Things like fallen leaves and branches, mud and dirt, and even debris from citters can find themselves blocking or partially covering your fixtures – especially if they are located on or near the ground.
For higher fixtures, remove nests and cobwebs and even those dreaded wasp nests – but be careful with that one!
Most homeowners are diligent about removing fallen leaves from the yard, but if you needed an additional reason know that leaves can not only cover your lighting fixtures but they can trap moisture against the fixture and wiring causing damage that will need attention in the spring.
Clear mulch and dry leaves from the light bulbs. This is especially important if your light fixtures do not use LED lighting and might emit a lot of heat. Mulch and dry leaves on uncovered bulbs can be a fire hazard.
Replace Light Bulbs
If you’ve noticed that your lights are not as bright as they once were, perhaps it is time to replace the light bulbs. This may be a good time to convert to a more energy efficient or longer lasting LED bulb. Be sure you choose a new bulb that is compatible with the fixture.
Clean Exterior of Fixtures
Now it’s time to clean. Wash the housings and glass – in most cases warm soapy water will be enough, but if you opt to use a stronger cleaner be careful not to damage the exterior of the fixture. Here’s article that provides more information on cleaning your landscape lighting, “Best Tips For Cleaning Outdoor Lighting Fixtures.”
Be sure to review the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning and maintenance specific to your lighting system and various fixtures. And if your system was installed by Nite Time Decor Oakville, we are happy to come check things out.
Update your Landscape Lighting
As with anything else, your outdoor lighting fixtures can become tired. Fall maintenance is a great time to update your landscape lighting system. Replace old fixtures with new, and if you haven’t already, change your bulbs to LED. You’ll save money and energy in the long term with professionally installed landscape lighting with LED lights from Nite Time Décor.
If you’ve had the same landscape lighting setup for quite some time and you’re looking for a change, now is a good time to change up your fixtures.
Cast bronze is a timeless finish that needs to age to get that nice old-penny brown or greenish blue patina. The winter months offer the perfect aging elements so that your fixtures really stand out and look like they were part of the home’s original design by spring. Cast bronze fixture and not only beautiful but are made to withstand cool, wet weather. The cast bronze alloy is strong, impervious to corrosion, and will last a long time.
Alternately, if you’re trying to prevent your cast bronze fixtures from taking on that aged look or patina, fall is a great time to reapply a coating of WD 40 or a clear matte coat finish to protect against the winter elements.
At Nite Time Decor, we work hard to offer our clients environmentally friendly landscape lighting options. One of our most common lighting choices is the LED light. Not only do these incredibly versatile lights offer remarkable savings, but they also last forever, and do not cause harm to the environment. LED lights, or “light emitting diodes” are proven to be more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs. They also emit significantly less heat, thereby reducing pollution. You can count on your LED landscape lights to last as long as 20 years, while still providing the same versatility you would expect of an incandescent bulb.
Any change of season is a great time to think about an upgrade or changing out outdated fixtures.
Change Up The Outdoor Lights For Winter
Around now you may want to make some changes to your landscape lighting design to fit the winter months. Perhaps you want to add a blue bulb to accent that evergreen? Maybe the red lights you had on the flowers in your garden should be changed to white for a more natural effect?
With the new silhouettes created by dormant deciduous trees, you can reposition your lights to cast pretty shadows and silhouettes on the walls of your home.
Maybe it’s time to reset those lights highlighting the evergreens in your yard? Keep in mind that when the leaves fall, your lighting needs to be adjusted to accommodate the lack of foliage. Bare branches are fun when a soft light is used, but the light used in the summer upon foliage might be harsh and severe against bare branches (unless you’re going for a haunted house look).
Consider not using some lights over the winter or tilting them to focus on the trunks of the trees instead of the grim bare branches?
If you haven’t added any string lights to your yard, winter is the perfect season. Twinkling lights across your roofline, snowy patio or front porch railing add visual appeal and hint at warmer weather activities. Just a change in the lighting will increase your winter curb appeal.
Keep in mind what’s under the snow so make sure pathway lights clearly mark pathways that may be unseen. Fire pits are a great feature to highlight in the winter that might be overlooked in the summer. Switch the focus to seasonal plants or planters in the landscaping or on a deck or porch. Try to imagine where the snow lays in your yard and plan the lighting so that it helps direct steps even when there’s snow on the ground.
Don’t forget to reset your timers to match the changing daytime hours. This may be done closer to the winter season, in order to ensure maximum efficiency.
Inspect your system
Make sure that the system is running exactly as it should be. If your system is one of Nite Time Décor’s you will want to check your warranty for any repairs or services that need to be done.
Get Help from the Professionals
Whether your looking for more information about maintaining your landscape lighting system this fall or winter, or you want an experienced lighting technicians to come out and help you with your maintenance and repair needs, Nite Time Decor can help!
Contact us today to request a quote or schedule an appointment.
Effective Landscape Lighting Requires Pruning
Over the years, we’ve installed many beautiful landscape lighting systems for our clients throughout Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Halton and the Hamilton region.
Often, their attention to beautifying their homes at night is accompanied by gorgeous daytime landscape designs that feature ornamental trees, bushes of various shapes and sizes and colourful flowerbeds.
After all this careful planning, the one thing that surprises us time and again is how often Oakville landscape lighting maintenance can be overlooked by homeowners.
Every now and then, we’ll get a call a year or two after the system installation regarding concerns over lights that should be brighter, misdirected beams or shadow spots that were not a part of the original lighting design. Typically, it’s assumed to be a problem with a fixture, or a bulb that is fading prematurely. The problem often turns out to be overgrown foliage and not the lighting hardware.
Are your gardens getting in the way of their own illumination?
Don’t let your petunias drown out your residential landscape lighting. Prune your plants to match the fixture. There are a few special techniques to keep in mind when it comes to pruning for your landscape lighting. These techniques aren’t difficult, and can be easily incorporated into any gardening practice.
At Nite Time Décor, we want to make sure you get the most out of your outdoor lighting services. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of pruning tips to help you trim back the shrubbery to show off your gorgeous residential landscape lighting.
Why bother pruning?
If you’re one of those homeowners that usually skips pruning in your gardening practice, you may be wondering why pruning is important. The fact is that pruning has several benefits beyond simply providing more room for your landscape lighting.
Healthy Trees and Plants
A good trimming and pruning regimen improves more than just the look of your garden; it’s essential for the health of the plants and trees. Unchecked growth can undermine the core strength of bushes and trees by pulling nutrients away from the base.
This is commonly visible in evergreen bushes, such as junipers, when too much growth in the extremities results in the core becoming dry and weak. Simply trimming overgrown branches and twigs back to just before the bud can keep the plant strong while returning its shape.
Annual and perennial plants that are allowed to grow too wide are not going to be as healthy as those that are trimmed regularly. Think of your plants like you think of your hair. When you trim your hair every 8 weeks, you’re removing the dead hair that has been sucking up all of the nutrients from the roots. In this way, you’re providing your hair the opportunity to grow more rapidly, but with considerably more health and strength.
Plants are the same way. Those old decrepit endings on your plants hog the nutrients from the fresh new sprouts, essentially weakening the whole plant. This creates a cycle where unhealthy branches block out the light from your landscape lighting. Left to hang in unruly tangles, the foliage and blossoms will prevent your lights from bringing safety, security, and aesthetic appeal to your home.
When Should You Prune
To get the best results, you’ll want to prune just before the growing season starts. This is usually best done in early spring, but it depends on the plant and the plant’s individual peak growing season. However, pruning is always best practiced before budding and growth has taken full force, as trimming at this time may only cause damage. Your plant uses up all its energy to grow, and can’t spend any more on repair post-pruning.
Throughout the summer, keep on top of your plant pruning and your landscaping maintenance . Remove the dead leaves, twigs, and branches from both the plant itself and from the base of the plant. These will harm your garden and get in the way of your landscape lighting.
To keep your plants healthy and to prevent your daytime foliage from fighting with your night time ambience, consider these trimming and pruning facts for your landscape lighting maintenance plan:
How to prune for residential landscape lighting
Many landscape lighting companies use shrubbery and gardens as a way to conceal fixtures. When done properly, this creates a lovely effect. This means, though, that you need to keep up on trimming.
To “thin” the plants, again think of how your hairdresser thins out your hair. You remove strategic areas of your foliage to make the tree appear less weighty. This process also creates more areas through which the illumination from your lighting fixtures will shine.
For larger trees, thinning reduces the amount of weight that the main limbs must bear and allows better light penetration by scaling back the amount of foliage. If you are going to thin your trees out, keep in mind that older trees shouldn’t be thinned as much as younger trees, as they are weaker with age. Furthermore, only 25% of the foliage and branches should be removed in a single trimming. In every case, a branch or twig should always be cut just after its collar or base, never grazing to closely to its parent branch.
“Raising”, if you have a number of ground-installed fixtures, your landscape lighting maintenance will include a lot of raising. This involves trimming the low-laying twigs from the base to increase the amount of ground clearance and remove any obstruction from the light.
Finally, keep up on cleaning the plants. This simply involves removing dead, diseased, or weak branches.
To keep your lighting system looking just as great as it did the day it was installed, don’t forget to include the garden flora in your landscape lighting maintenance work.
We can Help Beautify Your Landscape
Illuminate your gardens with Nite Time Décor’s landscape lighting services. We help homeowners in Burlington, Mississauga, Oakville, along with the Halton and Hamilton regions by transforming their homes after dark with architectural outdoor lighting. Contact us today to receive a complimentary quote.
When was the last time you saw a night sky full of stars in the city? It’s probably been a while. Stars in the city sky are a rare appearance, and it’s all because of light pollution. Light pollution is a term that’s frequently thrown around, but what does it actually mean? Did you know that your landscape lighting can contribute to pollution?
Nite Time Décor loves everything to do with lighting. That’s why we want to see nature’s lanterns when we look up from our gently illuminated backyards. We’re sure you do too.
At our Oakville residential lighting service, we feel that there is a delicate balance when it comes to getting the right amount of outdoor light. You need to see what you’re doing. But wouldn’t it also be nice to see rest of your yard? Or the stars? If you use your residential landscape lighting in strategic ways, it’s possible to achieve the right amount of light, as opposed to creating unnecessary light pollution.
If you’re ready to take steps towards preventing and decreasing light pollution, read on for tips about how you can adjust your landscape lighting services to accomplish just that.
What is light pollution?
Light pollution is excess lighting in the sky or poor use of artificial outdoor light. It’s what makes stars so difficult to see in the city, and brightens the night sky to be lighter than the natural indigo, to be almost purplish at times.
Light pollution sounds harmless, but in fact it has a several negative side effects for human health. These include hypertension, anxiety, increased headaches, deteriorating or weakened vision, disruption of sleep and, in recent research, a possibility of increasing the chances of cancer development.
In addition, artificial lights disrupts the natural patterns of wildlife.
According to International Dark Sky Association, “Every year millions of birds die colliding with needlessly illuminated buildings and towers. Migratory birds depend on cues from properly timed seasonal schedules.”
Artificial lights can cause birds to migrate too early or too late and miss ideal climate conditions for nesting, foraging and other behaviors.
Luminous pollution has three components:
Light trespass: This is when light is cast where it doesn’t belong or where it isn’t wanted or needed.
Glare: This is when light is too bright. It can be annoying for some people, hazardous in certain cases, and can inhibit some people’s ability to see properly.
Sky glow: This happens when light is projected into the night sky, either directly or by reflection. This can obscure your view of the stars.
Lighting of any kind is expensive enough to run. You don’t want to waste any of your residential landscape lighting by having it shine in unintended areas. By being precise with your lighting, you will not be paying for waste and your landscape lighting will be more visually appealing.
Here are tips to prevent outdoor lighting pollution:
Trim Down your landscape lighting
Sometimes, less really is more. Too many homeowners over illuminate with landscape lighting. Not only does this contribute to pollution, but it can look aesthetically unappealing as well.
Nite Time Décor Oakville recommends that you go for a minimalist look in your landscape lighting. This is a more chic style, and also saves you money and resources. Further, you’ll drastically reduce the amount of light pollution in your neighbourhood by going a little softer on the landscape lighting.
Subtle, softer low voltage lighting is another way to trim down the pollution from your outdoor lighting. These soft glows offer a more subdued, welcoming effect, rather than a bright, prison yard appearance.
Use Dimmer Switches Indoors
Ever thought your lamps were too bright? Wish you could have mood lighting to create a more comfortable, warm feeling in your home? Dimmer switches can accomplish this for you, while also reducing the light pollution surrounding your house.
Turn Off Unnecessary Lights
If you’re not in a room, why keep it lit up? The same goes for your yard. When you’re not using your lawn, you should keep only those lights on which are necessary for safety and security.
All of your Nite Time Décor Oakville landscape lighting services used for aesthetics can get switched off as soon as the neighbours begin going to bed. In the case of your backyard, your aesthetic lights or those brightening gathering areas don’t need to go on at all when you’re not using the yard.
Flipping off unnecessary lights both inside and outside the house will save you money, resources, and will prevent light pollution in your neighbourhood.
Getting in the routine of shutting off what you don’t need is an all around benefit for your home.
Down Lights Contain Beams
Down lighting is often recommended when using landscape lighting to light up cottages, but the technique works beautifully in the city as well. Down lighting offers a more direct, controlled beam of your outdoor lighting. Rather than shining up into the sky, down lighting centers on a single fixed focus.
We Can Help!
Nite Time Décor is committed to responsible lighting that isn’t wasteful. We can make recommendations or adjust your current Nite Time Decor landscape lighting so you know you are doing your part.
If you would you like to gently illuminate your home and backyard without causing pollution, contact us today to receive a complimentary quote on a new beautiful and professionally installed Nite Time Décor landscape lighting. We serve homeowners throughout Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Halton and the Hamilton region.
You’ve worked hard to create an attractive an inviting oasis in your yard and with a little lighting you can show it off and enjoy it even after the sun goes down. If you want lighting but are concerned about the costs and energy consumption, why not try LED outdoor lighting? Versatile LED lighting can accentuate the beauty of your yard and create an inviting yet secure atmosphere after dark in an energy efficient way.
Outdoor lighting done right creates the right atmosphere to enjoy summer evenings outdoors, improves the aesthetics and curb appeal of your home and enhances the security of your home.
According to recent research and developments in the field of landscape lighting, LED technology is by far the most efficient, economical, and affordable option for your next outdoor lighting upgrade. The equivalent of digital light, LED technology certainly has its advantages – both for users and the planet as a whole.
What is LED Lighting?
Light-emitting diode technology, or LED, has been available for quite some time. In fact, most people are now familiar with its use in computer monitors and flat-screen televisions. Today, LED bulbs are the most popular energy efficient lighting available on the market for both indoor and outdoor uses for many reasons.
Top 13 Benefits of LED Outdoor Lighting
Light up your life with LED technology. The following are just 13 of the top reasons why LED technology is changing the outdoor landscape lighting for the better.
- Light-emitting diode lights use less energy, involve less waste, and therefore save you more money in the long run.
- You may be thinking, “But LED outdoor lighting is so expensive!” And it’s true – the initial cost of installing LED landscape lighting can cost more. But look at the long-term savings. When you crunch the numbers (and, trust us, we have!), over time you save more money with an LED system than a traditional setup – a lot more. Our calculations have told us that for one year of LED outdoor lighting you will save almost $70 compared to conventional lighting, and almost $40 compared to halogen lamps.
- LED lights also last longer, meaning that the purchasing costs occur less frequently than with conventional lighting. Throw Nite Time Décor’s lifetime maintenance into the mix, and you’ll enjoy a worry- and hassle-free LED outdoor lighting system for many years to come.
LED Lights have a Long Life
LED Lights offer an incredibly long lifespan. This is by far the biggest advantage to LED lighting technology. If you live on a large property that requires a significant landscape lighting, LED lights will save you money. LED lights and diodes have an operational life of roughly 100,000 hours. That’s roughly 11 years of continuous use, and 22 years at 50% operation! This results in fewer maintenance and repair calls for burnt out bulbs. Imagine only having to change your bulbs once every decade!
LED Lighting are Energy Efficient
LEDs are easily the most efficient way to illuminate the night, thanks to an estimated energy efficiency rating of 80%-90%. This means that less than 20% of the energy is lost; compare this to traditional incandescent lightbulbs, which operate at the opposite efficiency (20% with an 80% rate of energy loss), and it’s easy to see why our Burlington landscape lighting experts recommend this durable lighting option.
LED Lights are 100% Recyclable
There’s a reason that LED lights are considered to be the most environmental choice. Not only do they allow you to expend less energy, but they are also made without the use of toxic chemicals. Fluorescent light bulbs contain materials like mercury, which is well known for its dangerous side effects. LED lights are free of toxic chemicals and are thus better for the environment. They are also 100% recyclable and will help you to reduce your carbon footprint.
Outfitting your home with LED landscape lighting allows you to decrease your carbon footprint, eliminate costly bulb purchases and changes, and reduce your lighting bill.
LED Lights have Less Waste
And don’t forget about that extended lifespan. Just one LED bulb in your landscape lighting system can save the material and production of 25 incandescent bulbs. And this will create less waste over the lifetime of your outdoor lighting system.
LEDs are Strong and Sturdy
LED lightbulbs are manufactured to withstand some of the roughest and toughest conditions imaginable. The fact that they do not contain filaments, are resistant to shock, vibrations and external impacts makes them a great choice for landscape lighting installations.
LED Lights Insect Control
LED amber lights don’t attract insects like regular incandescent lights do. With LEDs you can enjoy your outdoor space without being eaten by bugs.
LED lights give off very little heat. In fact, they produce zero UV emissions. This enables them to stay cool and efficient, unlike those old conventional lights. This reduces the amount of wear on your landscape lighting fixtures over time.
Flexible Design Options
LEDs are extremely flexible lighting tools and can be designed in a way that creates a warm and inviting ambiance.
LEDs are available in a wide array of colours and fixture styles. Your space can be customized to meet your exact needs. By varying fixtures and colours you can create a space that is functional, beautiful and energy efficient.
Since they don’t emit a lot of heat, they can easily be grouped together to create efficient illumination.
Outdoor landscaping LEDs can also be dimmed, creating a controlled lighting display such as whimsical lighting for parties, or dim mood lighting for small, cozy nights on the patio.
See the beautiful design options for yourself, check out our gallery to see some of the most stunning outdoor landscaping lighting designs we’ve created over the years.
Weather and Temperature Resistant
Since LEDs are highly durable, they’re ideal for operation under cold and low outdoor temperatures. As such, there’s no need to worry when it starts to snow here in Ontario. Your LED lighting system will continue to shine on, even when the barometer begins to plummet.
Control Over Light Distribution
LED bulbs are designed to focus their light. This means that fixtures can be directed to a specific location without the aid of external reflectors. This results in clear, direct light application.
LED lights brighten up instantaneously. Simply flip the switch and your landscape lighting design will light up the night.
LED landscape lighting systems don’t require an awful lot of power to function properly and that’s another great way to save on your energy bills!
LED lights are easily the most energy efficient and cleanest form of eco-friendly illumination.
Outfitting your home with LED landscape lighting allows you to decrease your carbon footprint, eliminate costly bulb purchases and changes, and reduce your lighting bill. Furthermore, LED lights are designed to operate at their best in both extreme heat and extreme cold, making them perfectly suited to Ontario’s extreme climate. You won’t be left in the dark regardless of the season
Put the power of LEDs to work for you. Contact one of our Burlington landscape lighting experts today to learn more about our powerful LED landscape lighting designs.
We proudly serve residential and commercial properties in Ancaster, Dundas, Burlington, Mississauga, Oakville and the Halton and Hamilton Regions.
Protecting your landscape lighting from the elements. Outdoor lighting in the Halton and Hamilton region are exposed to all kinds of adverse weather. Because of this, outdoor lighting takes a heavier beating than interior lighting. Luckily, there are things you can do, both while designing your landscape lighting and after your lights have been installed, to make sure you get the most out of your property illumination.
Here’s are 5 tips on how you can protect your landscape lighting from the elements:
Choose an Appropriate Location
Placing your lights out in the open is probably not the best idea when trying to protect your fixtures. When designing your system, try to place the fixtures where they can be shielded from rain, snow, and violent winds. For instance, if you have one of our wash lights illuminating a wall, place it as close to an overhang as you can.
If you have landscape lights in your yard, try to place them near shrubbery, trees, or other overhangs that will protect them from Mother Nature’s fierce mood swings.
Remember that even if it’s bright and sunny when you install your lights, it won’t be year round. Keep in mind future snow and rain conditions, particularly if your property has minimal protection from adverse weather.
Be careful of high winds and trees
If you have a lot of top-heavy trees in your yard, it may be time to thin them out. Top-heavy trees can be a danger to your house and landscape during aggressive winds.
Don’t want to get rid of your trees? You don’t have to. The best thing to do is to prune them simply by thin the branches out a bit. This will allow wind to blow through the branches, rather than push up against a thick tree. Thinning out your trees’ branches will prevent a fall that could cause major damage to your landscape lighting and yard.
Protective treatments in your landscape lighting services
Rain-X Original glass treatment and Rain-X Anti-Fog will help keep your lights clean and clear. Use these or similar products on the glass of your fixtures to protect them. Note that Rain-X Original should be used on the outside of the glass areas, and Anti-Fog should be applied to the inside of the glass.
Invisa-Shield is another staple in protecting your landscape lighting from those nasty elements. This is a metal sealant that should be applied to the fixture around the bulb. If you want to increase the effectiveness of this treatment, wax your fixtures before applying Invisa-Shield. And for extra protection, use Armor-All on rubber gaskets and sockets.
One of the most important steps in keeping your landscape lighting safe is to maintain your fixtures. Thankfully, with our warranties and lifetime maintenance, you can be sure that your landscape lighting system won’t be neglected.
Invest in a light shield
Light shields are clear boxes that can cover the fixtures that are out in the open. Make sure upon purchasing a light shield that it is the right size. It should be sealed to prevent moisture entering the box to damage your light.
Protect from the Snow
What should you do if your landscape light fixtures are buried beneath the snow after a big winter storm?
The heat from the lights will not melt the snow because the LED bulbs that are commonly used in professional outdoor lighting does not emit enough heat. We suggest that you take a broom to sweep the snow off the lens so that the light can shine its brightest again.
Contact Nite Time Decor
Follow these 5 tips to protect your outdoor lighting from the harsh Halton and Hamilton area weather elements. Looking to upgrade to a beautifully designed and professionally installed landscape lighting system? Nite Time Decor can help, from choosing quality materials to planning out the exact placement for each light. Our team of professionals can help you make these important decisions. Contact us today for a free quote and find out how we can help you create the landscape lighting design of your dreams.
Some homeowners have a difficult time ensuring that their mulch and landscape lighting system coexist peacefully. Fortunately, there are a number of maintenance techniques available to improve this process.
From heat management to fixture placement, here’s what you need to know when it comes to handling mulching around your landscape lighting system.
Mulch is extremely beneficial for landscaping as it acts as a natural cover and insulation layer to protect the soil from the sun which allows for water retention and weed prevention.
Mulch is also a beautiful addition to the aesthetics of your home. With that being said, it’s important that you don’t over-mulch as this can encourage unwanted insect infestations and can cause the soil to absorb too much moisture.
Problems with Mulching Your Landscape Lighting
In short, mulch is wood, and lighting fixtures produce heat. This can be a tricky combination if it isn’t properly maintained. That’s not to say it’s impossible to have both mulch and landscape lighting on your property. The trick is making sure the mulch isn’t covering any fixtures.
Lights give off heat that needs a way to escape. If mulch is covering the lighting fixtures, that heat will be locked in, forcing the mulch to begin to smolder and smoke. If left for an extended period of time, the fixture could become hot enough to melt the PVC composite on your landscape lighting fixtures, and possibly burn off the insulation around the wires. Needless to say, this could cause an immense amount of damage – all of which could have been avoided with a little patience and maintenance.
Warning! If too much heat is allowed to build up under too large a pile of mulch, a fire may even start, causing far more serious damage than a few broken lights and wires.
How can this be avoided?
It pays to be cautious with your landscape lighting maintenance. If someone else is applying your mulch, make sure to tell them exactly where each fixture is. It’s also a good idea to check once the mulch is applied to ensure that no mistakes have been made or light fixtures have been accidentally buried.
If there’s been a storm recently, take the time to survey any damage to your gardens and mulch. Always make sure that mulch hasn’t blown onto your landscape lighting fixtures after a period of high winds or rain.
Clear off any mulch that is covering fixtures. This quick and easy task will save you time and money on your landscape lighting maintenance in the long run.
Fortunately, Nite Time Decors lighting products and fixtures come with a covering over any light bulbs. This will prevent mulch from directly touching the light, creating an efficient heat barrier. It’s generally a good idea to go with energy efficient LED lighting systems, as they heat up less than conventional light bulbs.
Don’t buy cheap mulch. While buying affordable mulch is always recommended, purchasing the cheapest is not. It is usually priced at a bargain basement price because of its weight. The cheaper the mulch, the lighter it is and the more likely it will be blown around in a storm.
Not only does this ruin the aesthetics of your lawn, but it also increases the odds of the mulch blowing onto your landscape lighting fixtures.
If you take these simple precautions, you shouldn’t have any problem maintaining a beautifully manicured and mulched garden, as well as a safe and efficient landscape lighting system.
Contact Us Today!
For the best landscape lighting installation or maintenance, request your free quote from Nite Time Décor today! Serving Halton, Hamilton, Oakville, Burlington and Mississauga homes and businesses.
How to Prevent Damage to your Outdoor Lighting
For homeowners who purchased and installed their landscape lighting system years ago, they may find that their system isn’t running like it used to. This is common if you’ve installed a landscape lighting system and have simply left it on its own for a great length of time.
Our team of experienced lighting professionals have decided to compile this list of the best prevention tips to help keep your system in prime, working condition all year round and to prevent damage.
Benefits of Landscape Lighting
A professionally installed landscape lighting system has many benefits. Not only does it highlight key aesthetic features of your home and boost curb appeal, but it also helps to increase safety and security around your home and property. Outdoor lighting systems give the impression that someone is home, even if that is not the case.
These are just some of the many benefits that a landscape lighting design can bring to your home. But, like many things in life, your landscape lighting system will only be effective if it is in working condition.
Luckily for our Nite Time Decor customers, outdoor lighting maintenance to prevent future damage is usually not a laborious task.
Outdoor Lighting Prevention Tips
Follow these tips to prevent damage to your outdoor lighting systems – either accidentally or purposefully by potential intruders.
Keep Landscape Lighting Away from Lawnmowers
When cutting the grass, avoid mowing too close to landscape lighting. You could potentially hit the lighting with the lawn mower or have debris shooting out the side of the mower. Both situations can cause damage to your light fixtures. A simple solution is to place a bucket over your light fixtures before mowing the lawn or using a weed whacker to trim around your lights.
Protect Outdoor Lighting from Rain, Snow and Fertilizer
Landscape lighting components can potentially get damaged from heavy rain, snow, or fertilizer. You can protect the glass portion of the lighting with a protective glass treatment to help prevent the glass from getting scratched or foggy.
A solution that does not involve treatment is to position lights under the cover of awnings and overhangs to protect against weather hazards. You should also check your lights weekly for signs of wear or damage and replace any broken or burned-out bulbs. In addition, you should clean off the lights monthly with a damp rag to ensure there is no dirt build-up. After a rain or ice storm, dry the lights off and clear away any ice that has frozen on to the fixture.
Placing Outdoor Lighting Away from Traffic
To prevent damage before it occurs, try having your lights placed in areas that don’t receive a lot of foot traffic. You can place your outdoor lights in a way that will highlight your garden and illuminate any unwanted company that happens to wander into your yard. Our down light is an excellent example of a light that can multi-task!
To further discourage unwanted traffic around your home, set your exterior lights on timers. It is preferable to have them come on once it gets dark. However, if the lights operate on a light-sensor, this step is not necessary. Having your exterior lights on a daily routine is useful in creating the impression that there is always someone at home.
Perform Regular Maintenance Checks
Regular maintenance checks will do wonders for increasing the longevity of your landscape lighting system. Simply walk around your property on a weekly or monthly basis and keep an eye out for any damage to your bulbs, fixtures, or wires. If you take this opportunity to clean and straighten your fixtures, and clear away any build up of dirt, snow or ice, your system is sure to be more effective all year long.
Contact Nite Time Décor Oakville
Preventing damage to your landscape lighting system starts with properly creating your design. From choosing quality materials to planning out the exact placement for each light, you’ll want to be sure you are making the right choices. Our team of landscape lighting professionals can help you make these important decisions. If you reside in Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Ancaster, Halton or the Hamilton regions, contact us today to find out how we can help you create the landscape lighting design of your dreams.
Need some cleaning tips to clean your outdoor lighting fixtures?
It’s not uncommon for our customers to forget to perform basic landscape lighting maintenance.
Outdoor light fixtures are often taken for granted in terms of decorative additions to homes, as well as the safe, welcoming light they cast. When the warmer weather arrives and if you are busy cleaning windows and sprucing up the inside of your home, don’t forget to clean your outdoor lighting. This is not a glamorous task, but it won’t take long, and you’ll reap the rewards all season long.
Cleaning outdoor light fixtures will enhance their beauty and improve the quality of light cast. It’s quite easy to do and doesn’t require special equipment. All you will need is some spare time and plenty of attention to avoid getting water into electrical sockets. Read on for the best 20 tips on how to clean your landscape lighting.
Check Manufacturer’s Instructions
Always check the manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning before you begin. Read through the manufacturer’s booklet for washing instructions. If the booklet is long gone, try checking online. If your lights were installed by Nite Time Décor, give us a call, we are always available to help or answer any questions.
Best 20 Tips to Clean Your Landscape Lighting
These steps will work for all outdoor light fixtures.
Make sure the light is turned off and disconnect all power sources before removing fixtures or components.
If you cannot reach the light from a ground, secure a ladder near any out-of-reach fixtures. Ensure the ladder is sturdy and the footing is secure before beginning.
While each fixture is unique, most have components that easily removed and cleaned. Remove any globe, shields or grills with the appropriate tool – usually a screwdriver.
Remove the light bulb. Set all parts aside. You are now ready to begin the cleaning part of your landscape lighting maintenance.
Fill two buckets with hot water and add some dish soap. Make sure it has some suds.
Note: Chemical cleaners, unless recommended by the manufacturer, can leave a filmy residue on glass that leaves the fixture looking dull. Some cleaners may contain mild abrasives that will mark the glass or finish. Some recommend vinegar and water. Use your best judgement.
Place the removed items (except light bulbs) in one bucket.
Dip a rag or sponge in the second sudsy bucket and use that to wipe down the parts of the light fixture that you could not remove. Wipe off the bug carcasses and spider webs. Make sure to keep water from running into open sockets.
Rinse the fixed pieces and the loosened pieces with water.
When all are dry, apply polish or wax to metal parts if desired; clean glass or shades with glass cleaner.
Wipe off light bulbs with a damp rag (if burnt out, replace them). Again, make sure you do not get the end that screws into the socket wet.
If they are Nite Time Décor lighting, contact us if they are burnt out! The LED lights we use should last for about 10 years!
Reassemble your lighting fixtures and voila – you have completed your landscape lighting maintenance!
Tips for Cleaning Copper and Tiki Torch Lights
As mentioned, please make sure to check the manufacturer’s website for cleaning tips for the specific product that you are cleaning.
There are a variety of metal cleaners on the market. For light fixtures that are made from copper sources recommend you cut a lemon in half and dip the half into salt and scrub the copper lighting fixtures. The acid in the lemon helps loosen any tarnish while the grit in the salt helps scrub the tarnish away. Then remove the lemon juice and salt from the copper light with a damp rag and sprinkle on some copper polish. Wait a few moments and then clean off the polish.
If your outdoor lighting is a tiki torch (Nite Time Decor tiki lamps, for example), before you clean the torch, make sure there are no combustible items nearby. Natural or propane gas tiki lamps burn cleanly, but there will be some carbon build-up. Clean the head with mild soap and warm water.
Other Maintenance Tips
Since you’re out cleaning the outdoor lights, why not do a visual check to identify and fix any potential problems. Here are some general things to watch out for. Remember to always call a professional if any of this is beyond your know-how.
Check all the lights. Do they work? Some bulbs may simply need to be tightened and others may need to be replaced. This is a great time to do that while you’re thinking of it.
Check around the lighting, especially ground or garden lighting. Have any bushes or greenery grown enough to block or cast shadows? Trim or prune back what you need to. Did all the surrounding flora survive the winter? Have any branches or limbs come down that need to be tidied up? Have high winds or winter snowfall shifted the lighting? Take the time to readjust it if you can, or call a professional.
Wiring and cords are sometimes susceptible to damage from the weather, rodents, pets and other things. Do a visual check and ensure everything is in top shape. Repair any damage if necessary.
Have a look around the yard. Is it time to upgrade or change out some fixtures? Builders often install fixtures that are too small to save costs, now might be the time to swap those out. Tired of cleaning dead bugs out of light fixtures? Maybe it’s time to put up outdoor lighting bugs aren’t attracted to or can’t get in to.
For a more detailed list of maintenance tips, click to read this article, Fall And Winter Landscape Lighting Maintenance Checklist.
Install the best landscape lighting
One of the best ways to reduce maintenance and to save time and money is to get sturdy fixtures. High quality lighting fixtures will stand up better to wear and tear. Bring in experts from Nite Time Décor Oakville to help you find the highest quality lighting available.
Plan Outdoor Lighting with Care
You may want to re-adjust your Nite Time Décor landscape lighting fixtures now that the weather is warmer. Winter designs may not work as well for spring or summer, so maybe it’s time for a tweak.
Landscape lights should highlight your landscaping in all its glory! Now that you’re taking the time to properly clean your existing outdoor lights, you might want to highlight new flowerbeds and foliage in a way that you couldn’t over winter. It’s not only about the architectural features anymore, but nature is the star. Talk to a Nite Time Décor Oakville specialist to see how you can use plants, trees, and water features in your outdoor lighting display.
Catch your neighbours by surprise with gorgeous outdoor lighting services! Receive your complimentary consultation from Nite Time Décor today. You’ll be glad you did!
We Are Always Available To Help!
If you are unsure about any part in the landscape lighting cleaning process, feel free to contact us. Our Nite Time Decor associates are always willing to help you out!