Stand out with Spring Maintenance Packages
Adding a Spring Maintenance package to your landscaping services is a great way to keep an ongoing relationship with existing clients, generate more revenue, and give your projects the ongoing love they deserve. By revisiting old job sites the following year after you complete them (and hopefully the years following that too), you’ll be able to touch up your projects to make them look and feel as good as knew.
If you are returning back to a previously completed project to expand on the work you’ve done already, it would be a nice touch to run through these steps for your clients. These small details will be greatly appreciated by your customers and will make your business stand out from the competition. It’s always nice to go above and beyond their expectations!
When it comes to landscape lighting, there are a few key things we recommend looking into that will go a long way!
Performing Spring Maintenance on your 12-volt outdoor lighting system can be broken down into 3 steps:
- Straighten fixtures
- Clean lights
- Check connections and cables
These 3 steps for Spring Maintenance might seem simple but they will go a long way in preserving the lighting masterpiece you created.
Straightening your landscape lighting fixtures
First and foremost, walk around the property and check out the lighting system. Depending on where you are located, harsh winters and heavy snow could have moved your fixtures around and they may no longer be in the proper position.
We recommend specifically checking on your spotlights (especially if they are low voltage spotlights that have an adjustable head). The heavy snow may have tilted the lights downward, so you’ll want to move those back into place and retighten the screw.
With ground freeze thaw, outdoor fixtures can be pushed upward and move from the position you installed them in. You will want to realign your lighting fixtures and get them back into their original places. Sometimes, the change might be unnoticeable during the day so check out the lighting when it’s on at night. Night focussing will allow you to see if there was a shift in the lighting fixtures so you can easily tilt them back into position.
What is ground freeze thaw?
By definition, ground freeze thaw is when the soil structure changes due to the swelling and shrinkage of soil particles and the volume of frost-susceptible soils increased and pores expanded due to ice expansion during freezing.
Generally, this happens when transitioning from winter to spring. The change in weather causes the ground to "shift” which means lighting fixtures can move around during the change in season. It’s also important to remember that this is one of the reasons why you should always have slack on your mainline cable when you install your low-voltage lighting: this will ensure the fixtures don’t unplug themselves or endure preventable damage.
When installing recessed lightings into pavers or concrete, this expansion can also cause pressure against fixtures if there is area for water to enter between the fixture and the hard surface. This is easily preventable by using the proper sized drill bits so that there is no extra space in the hole where the light is installed.
What is night focussing?
Night focussing is the act of adjusting the light source of your outdoor lighting fixtures at night time (or when it’s dark) to ensure the light casts exactly where you want it to. Fine-tuning your lighting at night is the perfect way to see exactly where the light will shine so you can point it in the proper direction.
Cleaning your low-voltage landscape lights
Wiping down the outside of fixtures with a rag and some soapy water will leave your lights looking new. But more importantly, clean the lens of the fixture. If your outdoor lights have residue or build up on them, the light output may seem dimmer. Use soapy water or glass cleaner to gently wipe the lenses and make sure the lights are shining at their full potential!
As plants grow (and overgrow!), make sure the greenery has been trimmed back: prune bushes and plants back so they aren’t covering the lighting fixtures. Slightly overgrown greenery can ruin the beautiful lighting effects you created, so make sure you cut them down or at least rearrange them so as to not block the light output.
All of these small details can make a big difference when it comes to the light output!
Troubleshooting 12V outdoor lighting connections and cables
If the lighting system is not operating as it should be – if one or more of your low-voltage fixtures are not turning on – you’ll need to quickly troubleshoot the system.
Some quick troubleshooting tips:
- Check the transformer! Does the GFCI outlet have power? Are there any lights flashing on the HUB at the front?
- Is the low-voltage cable cut anywhere it shouldn’t be? Follow the cable from the transformer to the end of the cables to ensure it hasn’t sustained any damage.
- Are the ends of the low-voltage cable sealed properly? If they are exposed or not sealed properly, moisture could have entered your system and is causing it to short.
- Are all of your connections secure? Make sure your Easy-Lock connectors and CC-2 connectors are twisted all the way down and tight. They may not have been secured properly when they were installed and might have come loose over the winter.
For more in-depth support on troubleshooting your 12V lighting system, check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6UcGXUBWx8
If you are still having difficulty finding the problem after following the steps above and watching the video, give our customer service team a call. One of our experienced and educated team members will be able to help you while you’re on the jobsite!
Following these steps will ensure that landscape lighting system is operating to its full potential even after the dreary winter months.