Outdoor lights are a beautiful way to improve our house’s exterior. It gives the place a different ambiance that can dazzle the occasional guests and help make you more comfortable in your residence. In this article, we talk about the things you shouldn’t do with outdoor lights, along with the things you should do. Read on!
Installing Fixtures Not for the Outdoors
This is a no-brainer: don’t install indoor light fixtures outside. Any fixture you install outdoors should be designed to be there.
When buying outdoor light fixtures, look for labels like “weatherproof,” “weather-resistant,” and “suitable for wet locations.” The fixture should be able to take on dampness and extreme cold or hot temperatures.
Installing Indoor-Rated Bulbs Outdoors
Like light fixtures, bulbs also have ratings. Use bulbs with an IP4 rating or higher to ensure they can survive water damage.
IP ratings are given to all enclosed electrical equipment, indicating how waterproof they are and how they can resist dust and particle ingress.
If you want to install seasonal decor and lights on your porch, use bulbs that are specifically designed to be there. Essentially, keep indoor lights inside and outdoor lights outside.
Inserting Bulbs that Exceed the Fixture’s Max Wattage
Never insert bulbs that have higher wattage than your fixture’s max wattage. Doing this can lead to short circuits and damaged insulation. Always check the bulb’s wattage, which can differ vastly depending on the bulb type you’re using.
If your outdoor LED lighting bulbs are rated for 60 watts, never use higher wattage bulbs. Not only is it dangerous; it’s also uneconomical — you’ll have to replace burnt-out bulbs frequently.
Moreover, always try to use energy-saving bulbs. They use less power and can last much longer than standard bulbs.
Not Using GFCI Protection
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) protection is a crucial electrical safety technology you can’t go without. GFCI outlets should be in kitchens, garages, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. In fact, they should also be in crawl spaces, attics, unfinished basements, and outside outlets.
These outlets are meant to protect people against severe shocks and burns caused by electricity. The GFCI outlet monitors the flow of electric current in your house and cuts power immediately when a fault is detected.
Overloading the Circuit
Never overload the circuit regardless of the reason. Know everything you’re powering outdoors — no systems, fans, or outdoor appliances should draw more power than the circuit can handle, and the same is true for outdoor lights.
Outdoor lights that can operate independently of your main lighting are available in the market. This helps you spread your electrical load around as long as your outlets are installed properly. Seek the help of an electrician or a lighting designer to help you install outdoor lights easily.
Ignoring Flammable Materials
Sometimes, people forget that light bulbs generate heat. As a result, they ignore flammable materials that might come in contact with a heated bulb.
The reminder here is simple: keep the bulb or fixture away from easily flammable materials if you don’t want any unpleasant events like fires.