Autumn Landscape Lighting
Landscape lighting sets a special tone for each season and enhances the beauty in the features of of your property that you wish to highlight. In the winter, lights glimmer off of snow and ice, producing a soft glow that illuminates the surroundings. In the spring, the lights capture young leaves and blossoms. Color erupts from every part of the landscape and the night is replete with rainbow hues. In summer, the leaves mature into their darker more saturated greens – the landscape lighting reflects this and reveals a lush verdant panorama emerging from the darkness.
Then time steps into Autumn and the landscape retreats into a phase where colors change again. In northern climates, the leaves reward you with dazzling displays of reds, yellows, and oranges. This is a short pleasure since the display may last only a few days followed by a time we know too well – falling leaves and bare branches – perhaps the biggest challenge to our landscape lights.
While leaves are falling, pull out your rake and make sure your lights stay leaf-free! Sorry, but you should do this at least once a week till the leaves stop falling.
Replace Older Halogen Bulbs with New LED Bulbs
There are so many benefits to using LED lights for landscape lighting. Besides being brighter and highly energy efficient (LED lights use about 50% less electricity than other lighting options), LED lights last 30-50 times longer than conventional bulbs. LED lights are not as delicate as other lights, having no glass enclosures or filaments, so they are much more durable. LEDs like the cold! Unlike fluorescent lamps, they don’t require any more energy to illuminate when temperatures drop.
LED lights are very “controllable” – they illuminate instantly and offer continuous dimming. You can make them scarier in the fall. For the last week of October, go Halloween on your trees and use color filters. Select red green or purple and orange filters. Just keep in mind these filters cut down the brightness quite a bit, so it only works when you have a very bright spotlight. You can also use these colors on some of your other lights. Have fun!
Perform Annual Transformer and System Maintenance
Make it a part of your autumn landscape lighting upkeep routine.
- Tighten all screws on both sides of your transformer’s terminal blocks
- Visually inspect any exposed wire for damage
- Clean any accumulated debris from inside cabinet housing
- Check the time clock programming and replace the battery
- Clean the photocell and prune any plant material obstructing the light fixtures
- Adjust fixtures that might have been hit or moved.
Fall Back into a New Timer Schedule
It’s that time of year again when you’ll need to adjust your outdoor lighting timer. Most timers are set to automatically turn your landscape lighting on at dusk and turn off after a certain number of hours. With the clocks falling back soon, remember to account for the shorter days and update your lighting schedule so that guests (or even family members) don’t come home to a dark house. Also set the schedule to accommodate for leaving for work or the school bus in the dark.
Keep Wires Underground
Buried lighting wires may have become unearthed over the summer months. Before the leaves really start to fall, scan your property for exposed wires. This ensures you are up to code, which requires wire to be buried a minimum of 6 inches deep. This also ensures overall safety. Exposed wire can be a tripping hazard, and wild animals or pets could chew on it. In either scenario, not only are you threatening people and animals with electrical dangers, you risk shorting out your landscape lighting system.
Contact Cole professionals if you want to learn more about enhancing the beauty of your property with landscape lighting.
Whether residential or commercial, Cole will design, install and take down your holiday lights and deocorations so you can relax and spend time with family and friends. Contact Cole today and let us put together a decorating plan for you!