So, you finally decided to invest in landscape lighting or perhaps you bought a new home that had it already installed and now you are wondering how to protect your outdoor lights during a hurricane. This is a good question to ask before you are faced with repairing the damage. Professionally installed landscape lighting stands the best chance against these storms. This is because we have the experience on proper placement and know what lighting systems are up for the weather.
Protection from Surges
The main threat to your landscape lighting comes from a surge caused by lightning. Electrical systems are designed to handle small surges in power, in fact they experience this every time you flip a light switch. These small increases in voltage can be easily managed by properly wired systems. However, a large surge in power can overwhelm our homes system and destroy our specially designed lighting. Some homeowners may diligently unplug any equipment prior to a storm, however, there are more convenient options available to protect your outdoor lights from hurricanes.
Plug-In Surge Protectors
Plug-in surge protectors are a common precaution taken by many homeowners. These options allow you to connect several devices into one central point that will disconnect power if a large surge is detected. This is useful if you have many devices in a central location such as an entertainment center. But they are less useful when considering landscape lighting, which is spread out across your property, and is often directly wired into your system.
A more effective way to protect outdoor lights from hurricanes is a whole house surge protector. As the name implies these systems protect your entire home and all of your devices from a large surge in power. These systems should be installed by a professional as they are installed at your main electrical panel. They work by directing any large surge of power into the ground rather than allowing it to pass down the lines and cause problems for your homes wiring and any devices connected to it.
These systems are highly effective but do need to be monitored over time by a professional lighting company. Every time these whole house surge protectors are activated their components degrade. They can typically handle several large surges before requiring repairs, but it is a good idea to have them checked out yearly to make sure they are still operational.
Of course, surges in electricity are not the only risk hurricanes pose to outdoor lighting. With heavy rain, moisture can find its way into any gaps or breaks in the weatherproof materials. And as we all know water and electricity don’t mix well. Damage to surrounding trees can also cause dead branches to fall on and break lighting systems that may lay in their way.
Prior to hurricane season it is a good idea to have a professional lighting company evaluate your system. We can help you identify any potential issues that may arise from a storm. Over time the conduit that covers wiring materials to protect them from the elements may come loose. Or minor damage to a light fixture can allow water a way in and destroy it.
One option for added protection is to purchase covers for your lights. These boxes will prevent moisture from finding its way into any openings. These should also be installed by a professional to ensure a proper seal. Additionally, taking the time to properly prune any trees around your property can help eliminate any damage to your lighting system and your home.
Hurricane season doesn’t have to end with costly repairs. Contact us to help get your landscape lighting ready for even the worst weather mother nature has to offer.