Outdoor lighting can be a great addition to your property. Whether you want to create an ambient effect on your patio or install a motion-sensor floodlight for security purposes, there are countless reasons why it makes sense to use outdoor lighting. However, while sufficient lighting can improve your safety outside, it can also create some hazards if not properly set up. Here are some of the best practices you should always follow when setting up your outdoor lighting.
1. Avoid Tripping Hazards
Be strategic about where you place your cords to avoid having them be in the path of foot traffic.
2. Never Use Indoor Lights Outside
While you can use outdoor lighting fixtures inside, you should never use indoor lighting outside because they aren’t sealed against moisture and could become hazardous if corrosion occurs inside the unit.
3. Never Use Indoor Extension Cords Outside
Similarly, you should never use an indoor extension cord outside because outdoor cords are designed with a thicker insulation that can withstand fluctuations in temperature and moisture. Another huge difference is that outdoor cords have 3-pronged cords (instead of the typical indoor 2 prong options), which can reduce the risk of fire or electrical shock.
4. Make Sure Your Lightbulbs Are Safe for Outdoor Use
If you’ve already made sure to purchase the proper lighting fixture and cord for your outdoor lighting project, don’t stop at the lightbulb. Always use as indicated on the package.
5. Don’t Position Electric Lighting Near Water
It’s no secret that electricity and water don’t mix. Even if you’re using products that are rated for outdoor use, most electrical items should never be submerged in water because it could cause severe electrocution or even death.
6. Don’t Position Electric Lighting Near Flammable Materials
Even though lightbulbs only produce a minimal amount of heat, risk of electrical spark comes with any electrical device. For this reason, it’s best practice to keep your outdoor lighting fixtures a safe distance from any flammable materials, including dried pine needles or wood chips.
7. Hire a Professional to Install Hardwired Lighting
While it may seem like a simple project, installing any electrical device in your home should always be handled by a trained professional because an improper installation could cause serious risks of fire or electrocution.
When it comes to improving your outdoor space, incorporating lighting can be a great addition. But before you dive into the project, make sure you understand how to reduce the risk of hazard. If you are ever unsure of the best way to approach an electrical project, your best bet is to give us a call at Mister Sparky. We can help answer your questions and schedule one of our trained technicians to complete the job for you.