Aside from the beauty that outdoor lighting and other types of garden lights can add to an outdoor space, another benefit of illuminating this area is for improved security.
There are many different types of outdoor lighting fixtures. You can choose from beautiful outdoor lanterns, wall lights, solar lights to decorative fairy lights to name just a few. With all these choices, it is now easier than ever to achieve the look you want. But, before you buy any outdoor lights, keep in mind that safety is the number one goal.
Here are some top tips for safe outdoor lighting:
This should be your first step in installing outdoor lighting. Plan where you are placing the lights, particularly where the wiring should go. Is there an electrical source near the area? If not, you may need to reconsider the type of light and opt for battery-operated LED or solar lights. Make sure you choose the best type of lighting fixture that is most suitable for the lighting needs of the space.
Take every precaution when installing lighting
Make sure the electrical outlet is closed and your work area is dry and clean before installing any outdoor lighting. You should have your tools at the ready and make sure there are no additional materials needed. If you are in any doubt consult your local electrician!
Always use outdoor rated lights and light bulbs
Make sure what you buy is designed for outdoor use. Outdoor lights and light bulbs are not the same as indoor and this can be very dangerous if you get it wrong. Outdoor weather conditions, such as wet, cold and humid temperatures, need to be taken into consideration and outdoor lighting is made with this in mind.
If you are using decorative lights, make sure they are labelled for outdoor use.
Use the correct wattage
All indoor and outdoor lighting fixtures will have a maximum wattage usage. Make sure you stick to this as it is there for your safety. Failure to do this could result in using a wrong bulb that could overheat the wiring.
Opt for weatherproof boxes and receptacles
This is to ensure that they will not corrode or get damaged by harsh weather. Many outdoor lighting features require surface mounted switches. If yours are like this, do not let the switches be exposed to harsh weather. For added safety, you can have the switches encased in waterproof boxes.
If you are using temporary lights, always plug them into outdoor receptacles which are rated as weather-resistant, rather than running an extension lead through a doorway or window into your home.
Install a Residual Current Device (RCD)
A RCD is there to protect people from electric shock and shuts off an electric power circuit when it detects the current is flowing along an unintended path. If you are unsure if the wiring that feeds your outdoor lighting has RCD protection then consult with your local electrician.
Although outdoor lighting can bring a lot of benefits to a home, the installation can be tedious for many people, especially when they are not really used to carrying out such work. If this sounds like you, after buying the perfect lights to be installed, you might want to consult an expert when it comes to their proper and safe installation. It is better to be safe than sorry.
If you live in Kent and you would like some advice on your outdoor lighting, please contact us.
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