Installing outdoor patio lighting is a fantastic addition to your home but you should also be aware of how to make it safe. If installed incorrectly you run the risk of fires or accidentally electrocuting one of your guests. These are absolutely things you wish to avoid, so there are a few tips you can follow to keep you, your family, and your guests safe.
The first thing you need to do is carefully check your outdoor patio lighting on a regular basis. You are looking for anything unusual or out of the ordinary. If a socket appears frayed or worn then you need to have this repaired.
Also be on the lookout for cracks and bent fixtures. It’s also possible that if there is any exposed wiring that is may have become victim to an animal chewing on it. They may not do enough damage to injure themselves but may do enough to damage the wire.
Checking for bare wires is an essential part of this inspection. Loose wires can also be dangerous; they can result in sparks and a house fire. Make sure all the wires are securely in place and entirely encased in the protective outer casing.
While doing your inspection you also need to be sure the lighting fixtures themselves are secure. A few windy nights or a particularly bad storm could loosen the fixtures and this could cause them to fall since they are not properly secured. When placing these fixtures outside you may consider fixing them to something sturdier than a pole, a tree would make a good post.
If you are installing these fixtures yourself it is completely necessary to make sure you are not nailing or stapling any of the lighting cords. You could seriously injure yourself. Finally, make sure that there is enough room for the lighting in the home’s circuit breaker.
Overloading the breaker could cause a complete power shut down or a fire. Following these simple steps will ensure you get all the ambiance of your outdoor patio lighting without the risk.
Precautions with Outdoor Home Lighting
Although outdoor home lighting is nothing new, it has changed. In addition to new materials being used and gorgeous designs being created, another change has been specific to safety. Because outdoor lighting is exposed to the elements, systems have to be different from indoor lighting. As a part of the design and development, safety is always at the top of the list. Although industry and government standards must be met for outdoor home lighting, unfortunately some companies skirt by using sub-quality materials and poor workmanship. As a result, risks are created that with buying quality lighting systems could be avoided. Therefore, lighting systems such as this should always be purchased from reputable companies.
Precautions also exist for outdoor home lighting on a different level. In this case, installation must be done according to manufacturer’s instructions. Most people are aware of their electrical skill level and know when to call in reinforcement in the form of a contractor or electrician. Unfortunately, some people are convinced they can do anything even if they have no proper training so if installation was done incorrectly or not according to safety requirements noted by the manufacturer, it could pose a risk of shock or even electrocution. In addition to risk of life, trying to install a complex outdoor home lighting system without proper credentials puts the home at risk of fire.
Another precaution specific to outdoor home lighting has to do with security. Many types of outdoor lighting systems are designed to illuminate large areas of a property or isolated spots that would make good hiding areas for home intruders. However, unless the homeowner purchases the right type of lighting system, installs it correctly, and knows the right places to position it, the system could end up being virtually worthless. To learn about using outdoor home lighting for security, the internet offers a wealth of information.
It would also be important whenever using wired outdoor home lighting to consider placement very carefully. Although systems such as the low voltage home lighting solution are designed to be safe, it would still be essential to choose proper placement. For instance, any outdoor home lighting with electrical wiring should be placed away from water. Therefore, the system should never be installed near a swimming pool, garden pond, waterfall feature, and even built-in sprinkler system.
Then, for outdoor home lighting systems that require digging, it is critical that the local electrical company be contacted first. The reason is that if a shovel were to hit underground cabling, wiring, or even a gas line, the result could be deadly. With the phone call made, a representative from the utility company would come to the home, conduct testing, and determine if the area where the homeowner wants to install the lighting is safe. If there are any risks, the representative could help the homeowner identify a path that would be deemed safe.
Finally, if outdoor home lighting would be placed in and/or around bushes, shrubs, ground covering, or flowers, it would be important to choose a low voltage or solar powered system. Some types of lights can become extremely hot and if the lighting system were installed too close to vegetation, a fire hazard would be created. The bottom line is that using a few precautionary steps would provide a homeowner with incredible opportunity to enhance the appearance of the home and boost security with outdoor home lighting while not worrying about possible risks.
Just remember that multiple resources exist that would walk you through a variety of processes associated with outdoor home lighting. However, if at any point you feel overwhelmed or simply have no time to complete the installation of new lighting, you can always hire a contractor or electrician to assist.