Summer and stay-at-home orders are two things that we need to contend with right now. While restrictions about going outside have eased and plenty of people have started going to beaches and other outdoor recreation, it’s still best to keep to yourself to minimize the risk of getting coronavirus.
No worries, though, because your home can be your vacation destination if you know what to do. With a few simple summer upgrades for your home, such as creating an outdoor retreat or revitalizing your yard, you can spend time outdoors and enjoy the summer sun without risking your health.
Of course, if you want to create an outdoor retreat for the summer, installing outdoor lights can help set the mood, especially when you want to enjoy balmy nights outside. You only have to be conscious of taking care of your outdoor lights as high temperatures may damage them.
With that said, below is a checklist of things to do to ensure that your outdoor lights remain safe and functioning all summer long.
1. Use GFCI outlets
Ground fault circuit interrupter or GFCI is a type of circuit breaker that can detect any imbalance between the incoming and outgoing current. That protects you from shock or electrocution in case your outdoor lights get in contact with water. So if you have lights near your pool or if you plan on leaving your outdoor lights all year long, a GFCI outlet is a must.
2. Invest in quality light cover
Outdoor lights, like permanent Christmas lights, come with their own protection upon installation. But if you’re repurposing other kinds of lighting or if you want to make sure your lights are protected from the elements, then it’s essential to choose a quality cover for them. Select a fixture that completely covers the sensitive parts of your outdoor lights without blocking their glow, such as a transparent or translucent cover.
3. Inspect the lights and power cords regularly
If you’re about to install your outdoor lights and they come from storage or fresh the box, inspect them before plugging them in. Look for possible frayed cords, loose connections, or cracked fixtures. When you use the lights without checking, they might get further damage and cause a fire.
4. Clean and secure the light fixtures
Your outdoor space will need light fixtures for you to install the lights properly. If you’ve had fixtures that have been sitting empty or if you’ve just installed them, check if there’s debris and if they are securely attached. Doing so helps ensure your outdoor lights won’t short circuit.
5. Replace bulbs as needed
Permanent outdoor lights are susceptible to damage because of year-round exposure to the elements. Even seasonal lights can get damaged when they’ve been in storage for a while. If this happens to your outdoor lights, replace the bulbs immediately to keep your outdoors beautifully illuminated without compromising your safety.
Outdoor lighting is a crucial part of transforming your yard into a beautiful outdoor retreat. Follow the checklist above so that you can enjoy the benefits of your outdoor space lit up throughout the season.