Troubleshooting for Common Lighting Issues

Outdoor lighting of many varieties can effectively keep your space well-lit, safe, and inviting for you and your guests. These lights are typically reliable and long-lasting, but if they stop working and leave you in the dark, it can be a frustrating experience. Having an understanding of your lights and their potential issues can help you if you need to conduct outdoor lighting troubleshooting. There are several types of outdoor lights, all with different looks and objectives. Spotlights provide bright, direct light onto a specific area. Uplights are installed at or below ground level to shine upwards onto objects while downlights are installed high in a tree or structure to shine down. Floodlights use a motion sensor to shine directly onto an area when they sense someone there. Path or walkway lights are installed as individual fixtures along a walkway to illuminate it. Solar lights gather energy from the sun throughout the day, then turn on at night. These lights are installed in a variety of areas such as on a home; on a deck; around a patio, deck, sitting area, or pool; or on the ground. There are also a variety of bulbs including halogen, incandescent, LED (light emitting diode) and bug light, each with their own uses and benefits. Each of these fixtures has several parts and can be susceptible to different issues depending on their parts and assembly. If your lights aren’t working properly, it can be concerning, and create potentially dangerous situations.

Why You Should Fix Faulty Lights

Your outdoor lights are intended to protect you, your family, and friends from danger, so if they are not working properly, you should immediately check them and have them fixed to ensure they aren’t instead making your yard more dangerous. If your lights are not working properly, it may be difficult to see in your yard, making the space uncomfortable, uninviting, and dangerous, while putting those in it at risk for injuries. If you ignore problems with your lights, you could also be putting yourself at risk for electrical shock, or your property at risk for fire. Intruders are also more likely to approach an unlit property because they think they won’t be seen. If you cannot see well in your yard, you can also be in greater danger of an unwanted encounter with an animal. Below are some outdoor lighting troubleshooting techniques to solve common lighting issues and get your lights up and running again.

Outdoor Lighting Troubleshooting

Hard-wired lights aren’t turning on: If your hard-wired lights aren’t working correctly, first check if the bulb is burnt out. A burnt out bulb is the most common reason that a light stops working. If the bulb is not burnt out, check each fixture, bulb, or wire for loose connections, broken parts, or moisture. Before you check the fixtures, you should turn off the circuit breaker to prevent electrocution.

Solar lights aren’t turning on: Solar lights use a sensor to determine whether it is night or day. If the solar fixture is installed near a hard-wired light, it could prevent the sensor from working properly. If your solar light is not working correctly, try moving it away from other light sources. If that doesn’t work, check the battery connection. Occasionally, the batteries in a solar light can become dislodged, preventing them from providing an electrical charge to the fixture.

LED bulb won’t work: LED (light emitting diode) bulbs typically last for several years without any issues, but there is some low quality LED bulbs on the market. If your LED light bulb in either a solar or hard-wired light fixture is not working, try replacing the bulb. Using high-quality bulbs from reputable companies is worth the investment because they are longer-lasting and more reliable compared to cheaper bulbs. If changing the bulb doesn’t work, check the fixture, wires, and connection for potential damage.

Lights are on, but dim: If your lights are dim, first try checking the connection. Loose bulbs and loose or pinched wires could prevent enough electricity from getting to the bulb. Dirt, dust, pollen, or other contaminants can also build up on glass fixtures, hindering light from shining through. You can clean your fixtures with water and vinegar to remove residue and keep your lights shining brightly.While some outdoor lighting troubleshooting can easily be done on your own, outdoor lights are complex fixtures that aren’t always easy to diagnose and fix.

If the above techniques do not solve your problems, or you are not comfortable with attempting them on your own, you should seek help from Beacon Electrical Services, who will diagnose the issue and fix it in the most effective way.

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