Outdoor LED lighting can be a big investment, especially for business owners. However, it’s in your best interest to properly light the area outside your business or home to make it safe to walk around at night.
That expensive investment is exposed to the elements and susceptible to damage. So, how can you properly protect it to avoid costly repairs and replacements?
You will have to factor weather, insects, power surges, and theft into your plan. The best way to protect against these threats is to implement protections during installation, but there are a few things you can do if you’ve already installed your lights.
Here are six ways you can protect your outdoor LED lights from common threats.
6 Ways to Protect Outdoor LED Lights
1. Keep Bugs Away
Luckily, LED lights are already cooler than many other lights. Insects are attracted to warmth, meaning that fewer insects will be attracted to cooler LED lights. However, many will still make their way into your fixtures, creating a mess you have to clean.
The best way to get rid of bugs is to make the area safe for their natural predators, birds, and bats. Birds eat them during the day, and bats eat them at night. There’s always someone on bug extermination duty.
By adding bird feeders and houses to your property, you will invite more feathered friends who can cut down on insect populations. And both birds and bats enjoy a birdbath. Add one to your property to provide them both with a water source.
To encourage bats to visit, you can add bat boxes. These provide a safe place for them to nest. Just make sure your building is properly sealed. You want them outside doing their jobs, not slacking off in your attic.
2. Install Light Shields
If you’ve already installed outdoor lights and are looking for ways to protect them, this is one of your only options that doesn’t require expensive modifications or natural solutions. They are simply boxes that cover your fixtures to protect them from the elements or redirect light away from a certain direction.
This isn’t the best-looking option, but it will do in a pinch. You can also get them in different colors that will change the color of the light. This will make the lights dimmer, but the added protection is worth it.
The following tactics look much better and work better to protect your lights. However, they need to be implemented during installation.
3. Pick the Right Locations
The simplest solution to protect your lights is to place them in areas that are away from the elements. Use common sense when deciding where you would like to put your lights.
If you have lights attached to the side of your house, install them under overhangs. If you need porch lighting, install recessed lighting to keep the bulbs protected in the ceiling. If you install street lights or parking lot lighting, make sure the fixtures are away from any trees that might get blown over and take the fixtures down with them.
Work together with LED commercial and residential distributors and your electrician to pick the best spots to place your lights. They will know which spots are safer than others.
4. Use Outdoor-Rated Fixtures & Bulbs
There are certain fixtures and bulbs that are made to be used outdoors. It’s foolish to use an indoor bulb or fixture outside.
Look for options that clearly state that they are for use outdoors and in damp locations. Other common words used include weatherproof and weather resistant. If there is no mention of any of these words, it’s likely meant to be used indoors.
Another tactic to use is to look for freezer and oven bulbs. If they can handle those extreme temperatures, they should be fine outside.
5. Prevent Theft
This also has a lot to do with the location of your lights. Obviously, street lights and lights that are attached to your home are difficult to steal. Plus, thieves wouldn’t get much for cheaper lights.
However, if you have solar-powered lights, it can become an issue. They don’t need to be plugged in, which means they can be easy to grab and run off with if they aren’t secured properly.
You can install additional security measures, including cameras, spotlights, and alarms. If that isn’t feasible or necessary, you should at least either install your solar lights up high or set them in concrete. Doing one of those two things will make them much more difficult to steal.
6. Include Surge Protectors
Although LED lights typically last longer, they are more easily damaged by power surges than other lights. Fortunately, there are surge protection options available that will protect your lights from lightning strikes and other sudden surges.
Surge protectors ground any additional electricity that tries to get to the fixture. Without the protector, all that extra electricity makes it way to the device.
You’re probably familiar with plug-in surge protectors for computers, TVs, and other electronics. These are common in most homes, but your entire home can be protected as well.
You should have whole house protection installed in your home already. If you don’t you should reach out to a local electrician to get it installed. This protection can then be extended to your outdoor lights.
What steps have you taken to protect your outdoor lights? Let us know in the comments below!