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The Bright Ideas Blog

Design inspiration and outdoor lighting tips and advice for homeowners

Reasons To Not Service Your Low Voltage Outdoor Lighting System


We've heard it all: "It costs too much; it seems excessive and unnecessary to do it every year". There are numerous excuses to not have an annual service performed on your low voltage outdoor lighting system. But it's important to understand that, just like your car, having regular service performed on your lighting system is vital. An annual service helps to maintain the continued consistent performance of your outdoor lights. Here are some of the reasons you might think an annual service isn't needed, and the truth about why an annual service isn't just necessary, but crucial.

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1. My system was just installed last year; do I really need to have it serviced already? 

It's understandable that some might come to this conclusion. If your system is only a year old, why does it already need to have work done on it? Try to understand that the issue isn't the system itself. The problem is the outside forces acting on your lighting system.

If you've ever owned a wooden deck, you know that it will need to be re-stained every other year. This isn't done because there is something wrong with the deck itself; it's done because outside forces like the sun, snow, wind, rain, etc., have done their work on it. We put a new coat of wood stain to prolong our continued enjoyment of the deck in its best condition. We service our wooden decks for the same reason we service our lighting systems: To ensure that we can enjoy and keep them at their best, and protect them. 

As your plant's and trees root systems grow and we experience freeze and thaw cycles all winter long, your fixtures will gradually be lifted and raised out of the ground little by little. This is called frost lifting or heaving. Your fixtures will need to be placed back properly and re-aimed. Your fixtures will also collect hard water on their lenses from rain and irrigation. The fixtures will need to be scrubbed clean to keep their light from being obstructed. 

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As your vegetation and plants grow over your light fixtures, they will need to be trimmed back so that your fixture will be able to shine its light appropriately. In some cases, your tree or other plants can even grow to the point that we will need to re-situate your fixture further back and re-aim it. 

Something else to consider is whether or not you have a halogen system. If you do, your lamps will need to be replaced once every year to ensure you don't experience any burnouts. It might be worth noting here that, with the advancements that have been made in outdoor lighting technology, it may be time to consider retro-fitting your halogen system with less power hungry, more cost efficient, longer lasting LED lamps.

2. It costs too much to have done every year.

Though it might seem like a smart idea to have your lighting systems service done less frequently, to save money, the truth is quite the opposite. It will become more apparent that the longer you go without servicing your system, the more work there will be to do when the time finally comes to have something done. This means that your service will take longer and require more work if you keep going without it. 

3. I can just do it myself. 

Sure, of course you could do it yourself. There are plenty of people who dedicate themselves to working on their lighting systems. But before undergoing this yourself, you need to consider a few things. What kind of lamps do you need? Regardless of whether or not they are halogen or LED, you need to be careful which lamps you buy. If you purchase the incorrect lamp, you could overload your system and have to drive back to the big box store numerous times before you get it right.

What if you change the lamp (even if you are using the correct lamp) and it doesn't come on? How will you trouble shoot the problem? If there is a cut line somewhere, how will you find it? How do you know that it's actually not working because of a faulty socket? If you do figure out that it's the socket, then you'll have to try and find the right socket to replace it (there are numerous different kinds of low voltage outdoor lighting sockets). 

Do you know how to wire your transformer, if you ever had to work on it for some reason? What if your astronomical timer needs to be adjusted, or reset?

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The point I'm trying to get across is simply that a lot goes into keeping your outdoor lighting system running at peak performance. And no one can keep up on your system like your outdoor lighting specialists, besides don't you have something you'd rather be doing with your Saturday afternoon? 

Give us a call: To learn more about how to light your outdoor living space, call us at (801) 440-7647 to schedule a free consultation, or feel free to simply fill out a contact form on our website, www.utahlights.com

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