Why do outdoor lights stop working?

security lighting

How do you maintain an outdoor light fixture?

After you have had outdoor lighting to light up house installed around your beautiful home, you want it to keep shining brightly. These lights accent the beauty of your home while keeping lit for safety and security, which is shy outdoor light maintenance is important. One burned out light can take away from the aesthetics, safety, and security. 

Today, the outdoor lighting bulbs are more durable, and weather resistant and the outdoor lighting fixtures are stronger and sturdier too. Yet, the bulbs aren’t resistant to getting dirty, becoming oxidize. The soil burying the outdoor light fixtures wiring gets washed off, exposing the wiring over time. It is those things that create the need for outdoor light maintenance.   

So, what all does outdoor light maintenance consist of, how hard can it be? We’re going to answer some questions on the subject for you: 

Outdoor light fixtures provide decorative ways to make your home safe and secure, and too often, they are forgotten, taken for granted. Like anything around and inside your outdoor lighting will need attention, care, and upkeep from time to time. This means you should establish an outdoor light maintenance routine or hire a professional lighting contractor. 

When your outdoor light fixtures are clean and in working order, they are more attractive. They are providing that safety and security lighting you desired. To get the best performance your outdoor fixtures can provide, bi-annual outdoor light maintenance that includes adjusting, bulb replacement, and cleaning is recommended. 

Fortunately, there isn’t special equipment or skills needed for outdoor light maintenance.  An extending ladder, clean rags, bucket of clear water, and replacement bulbs. Along with being alert and cautious with electrical sockets and wiring, it isn’t hard, but it can be time consuming, so plan a full day on a Saturday for your outdoor light maintenance project.

 Keep your eye on the prize that you’ll have clean, properly adjusted light fixtures when you’re done to enhance the beauty of your home with improve outdoor light quality. The following are basic steps that will guide you through your outdoor light maintenance: 

  • Make sure all of the outdoor lights are turned off.
  • Position and secure a ladder for the outdoor lighting that is out-of-reach.
  • Remove any light globes, grills, or shields, some of these may require a screwdriver. 
  • Remove the light bulbs from each fixture as you clean them and set it aside.
  • Have two buckets filled with hot water and sudsy dish soap and one bucket of clean, clear water.
  • Place the removed light globes, grills, or shields in one bucket.
  • Wet a clean rag or  sponge  in the second bucket, wring it out and wash off, wipe down the light fixture part that couldn’t be removed, keeping the water out of the open socket. 
  • Rinse the fixed lighting pieces and the removed pieces with the clean, clear water.
  • Wipe down everything with clean, clear water and sit aside to finish air drying. 
  • Apply the correct type of polish or wax to any metal parts if needed. 
  • Replace burnt out light bulbs and gently wipe off with a damp rage all working light bulbs.  
  • Reassemble the lighting fixtures, turn them on for testing,  and sit back to enjoy your outdoor light maintenance job. 

A Few Additional Tips for Outdoor Light Maintenance

  • Check the lighting fixture manufacturer’s website for advice, hints, tips, and cleaning product specifications for outdoor light maintenance. 
  • Any copper outdoor light maintenance should be one using a lemon cut in half and dipped in salt to scrub the copper lighting fixture. The acid will loosen the tarnish and the salt scrubs off the tarnish. Use a clean damp rag to remove the lemon and salt, the cover the fixture with copper polish. Let that sit for a minute or two, then wipe the polish off. 
  • Remember, detergents can discolor bronze and copper lighting fixtures. They should be cleaned according to the manufacturer’s instructions or with a clean, damp cloth. Never submerge bronze or copper lighting fixtures in water. 

How often must the exterior light fixtures be cleaned?

Review the manufacturer’s suggestions in the manual with each lighting fixture is always best. An annual outdoor light maintenance routine is sufficient, but lighting experts recommend a bi-annual outdoor light maintenance routine, following the tips we listed above. 

Depending on the number and placement of your outdoor lighting, it may be easier to have the lighting contractor that installs the lights do the bi-annual outdoor light maintenance. Most lighting contractors will have maintenance programs that include burnt bulb replacement in between the maintenance appointments. 

How do I clean oxidized outdoor lights?

Outdoor lighting oxidization can be cleaned by mixing two teaspoons of baking soda with a squeeze of lemon juice, creating a paste. With a clean, soft cloth, spread the paste over the light fixture. If tough stains are on the fixture, sprinkle backing soda over the fixture and rub with clean, damp, soft cloth. Then wipe the paste and baking soda off with a clean, dry, soft rag.

garden lights

Why do outdoor lights stop working?

When they aren’t working, the outdoor lighting, what is the problem?  The three most common problems that cause outdoor lighting not to work are: 

  • A Power Outage: As many of us have recently experienced here in Texas, power outages happen. Outdoor lighting on a timer that switches to battery backup mode will only last for a short time. If the power has been out for hours, even days, the batteries are probably drained. Check the automatic timer and reset if necessary, then replace the batteries. 
  • A GGCI Tripped: Another recent experience for us here in Texas, when we do things here, we do them big and that includes multiple types of weather within a week!  Strong storms with heavy rains can flood outdoor electrical outlets, and we know electricity and water do not go together! The Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, aka GFCI, is a fail-safe electrical outlet that turns off the power to that outlet when water has reached it. You probably have this in your bathroom and kitchen too. Each GFCI outlet has a reset button, simply push that button and your outdoor lighting should be bright again. 
  • A Tripped Breaker: If the timer is still set, backup batteries are replaced, and the GFCI outlet is rest, but the outdoor lighting still isn’t working, check the breaker. After a stormy weather event, if the power went out at any time, it could trip the breaker. Simply flip that switch back and your outdoor lighting should come back on with the timer. 

If you have checked all of these and still can’t get your outdoor lighting on, time to call a professional lighting contractor.  There could be something in the wiring and that isn’t something you want to handle yourself unless you’re experienced with electricity. 

Your Outdoor Lighting Maintenance

Just like your HVAC system and the appliances in your home, you have made an investment. Keep that outdoor lighting investment in proper working order with a outdoor light maintenance agreement with the contractor that installed your lighting system. Getting the most you can from your investment for the beauty of your home and your own enjoyment. Call (817) 345-3696 today for outdoor lighting maintenance for your home.