As winter fast approaches we must prepare our landscaping for shorter days. Winter landscape lighting is the key to enjoying the foliage and outdoor living space all year-round.
Not sure where to start? Here are our top tips for winter landscape lighting.
First, Why Does Winter Landscape Lighting Matter?
Outdoor lighting places an important role all year round, but especially in the darker and colder months. This is because lighting:
- Boosts your winter curb appeal
- Protects you from hazards (e.g. slipping)
- Deters criminals and pests
- Enhances your home’s appearance especially during the holidays
Keep Wires Underground
One of the top landscape lighting tips is taking care of any exposed wires. During the early winter months, weather conditions can cause the ground to repeatedly freeze and thaw. Because wires can come up to the surface, you will need to make sure to rebury them six-inches deep before the ground freezes to ensure everyone’s safety.
Note that if the wire looks damaged, or if you can see the copper wire, it’ll need to be repaired before you rebury it. If this is the case, call in a professional landscape lighting technician for safe and reliable help.
Let Lights Enhance Your Leaves
What good are amazing lights if they are covered by the trees in your yard? It’s important to let your landscape lighting highlight peak foliage. For the best effect, make sure your lighting fixtures aren’t hidden by branches.
Dim the Lights
Once the trees have shed their leaves, you’re left with bare branches. The last thing you want is to highlight them, which would create a spooky atmosphere in your yard.
It might be great for Halloween, but it’s better to adjust the brightness of your lights and add frosted lenses for a softer look. You can also lower the light’s angle so it illuminates the tree trunk rather than the branches.
Create a Guided Pathv
Fallen leaves are beautiful when they cover grass but can be a safety hazard when wet. Adding path lighting to your winter landscape will prevent any unwanted falls and make your path look more inviting.
Swap Out Your Lights if Possible
Out of all the landscaping lighting tips, a wise decision is to switch your fixtures to cast bronze. Not only are these fixtures beautiful and durable, you don’t have to worry about corrosion during the wettest months.
Warm Up Your Yard with Lighting
Add uplighting or downlighting to your outdoor landscape lighting to create a warm environment. Doing this will create an inviting environment where friends can gather to share stories and sip mulled wine.
Highlight Outdoor Living Areas
If you have outdoor space for entertaining, enhance the area with lights. String lights, for example, work great in dreary weather and create the perfect atmosphere for socializing and warmth.
If you have any architectural features like columns, you should highlight them with spotlights. Doing this lets you show off key aspects of your property whatever the weather.
Adjust Your Timer
Like our watches, we must adjust our outdoor lighting timer to fit the season. Most timers automatically turn your landscape lighting on at dusk and off after a certain amount of time.
It’s important to account for the shorter days and update your lighting so family and guests aren’t lost in the dark. For example, you should set the schedule to accommodate leaving for work or school.
Clean Your Outdoor Lights
When our lights are blurred with dirt they can appear dim, even when they’re working. Bugs and mud can block the light so remember to clean them.
Before cleaning your LED landscape lighting fixtures, shut off the power and check for any nests that may have been built by wasps or other stinging insects.
Use a glass cleaner to wipe down the lights and a damp cloth to scrub clean the surrounding metal.
A dramatic shift in weather and temperature can shorten a bulb’s lifespan. Change them when one burns out, otherwise nearby bulbs will receive more voltage and potentially die.
Consider switching to LEDs, as they last much longer and perform better in the cold.
Prevent Moisture from Seeping In
Winter means there’s a higher chance of damage because of moisture. To prevent this, remove snow from your outdoor lighting fixtures so no water can get into the light’s inner workings.
Another step to take is choosing quality fixtures from the get-go. They often have a lifetime warranty, so you won’t have to pay for any moisture-related damage. If you already have outdoor lighting fixtures, do a routine check to ensure all globes and casings are tightened and sealed properly. If any are broken, replace them.
You should do a routine walk-around of your landscape, especially after a big snowfall. If the light can’t shine through the bulb or mound, it’s ineffective and won’t benefit you at all.
How Will You Help Your Winter Landscape Lighting?
Winter landscape lighting requires more attention to detail, but it’s important to do so. Not only does it prolong your investment on the lighting fixtures, but it will keep you and others safe during the darker months. Furthermore, you can use your fixtures creatively to highlight your favorite aspects of your property.
If you think you want to switch to LED lighting, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us here for more details.