How to Protect Your Outdoor Lighting Fixtures from the Elements

What You'll Need
Solar Lights
LED lights
Light shields

Outdoor lighting fixtures are useful additions that set off your landscaping and for guiding people safely along the path to your door. A frequent problem is that outdoor lighting fixtures are at the mercy of the elements and are most affected by rain and snow. These conditions can have a detrimental effect on them. Read on to learn some ways to protect your fixtures from water and the possibility of them shorting out.

Step 1 - Location

The simplest way to protect your outdoor lighting fixtures from the elements is by locating them correctly. Have the porch lights close to the front door where the rain can’t reach them.

Similarly, you can locate lights under overhangs where there will be a lot less chance of the rain reaching them. This is also a good place to install lights that switch on as soon as they detect motion. Not only do they add to your home’s security, but you don’t have to leave them on all evening when you go out. This can save large sums of money on utility bills.

These methods are the simplest way to keep your outdoor lighting fixtures safe although they may not always be possible.

Step 2 - Solar Lights

Putting solar lights along outdoor pathways is a good way to make sure you don’t have to worry about the elements. There’s no wiring involved so there’s no danger of wires becoming damp and creating short circuits. Solar lights absorb energy during the day and expend it at night in the light that they give out. Since they’re sealed units, water is unable to enter.

The only downside is that the energy stored in the light won’t last all night. However, many solar lights also have batteries fitted so you can run them as long as you need.

Step 3 - LED Lights

An alternative to solar lights are LED lights. These are also individual lights which are sealed units and are operated by batteries. They give out a stronger light than solar lights so they can be better for darker areas of the garden or for a main path to the house.

You must be aware that each light needs to be turned on by hand (as do solar lights), so if it’s raining or snowing outside,  you’re going to get a little wet when you turn them on and off. It’s easy to install as many or as few lights as you wish. They simply plant in the ground on stakes in much the same way as solar lights. LED lights are generally bought in packs of six.

Step 4 - Light Shields

Where you have outdoor lighting fixtures that are on the mains system but are out in the open, you can buy light shields to protect them. These are small, clear boxes that fit over the outdoor light fixtures and seal them to make sure no moisture can penetrate through to the bulb or the light fitting.

It’s also possible to buy outdoor lighting fixtures that are completely weatherproof but if you already have fixtures in place and don’t want to go to the expense and time of replacing them, light shields are an effective solution.