Curated landscape lighting not only surrounds your home in a luminous halo but also protects your property after dark. A darkened home and surrounding is dangerous; you might fall or get into accidents and is also dismal. so, what do you do when your front yard lamp is not working?
To some, the faulty front yard lamp may not seem like a big deal as long as the other lights are working. However, if you neglect it, you do get to miss out on the safety that comes with being able to properly see well at night.
Because the front yard lamp brightens up the entryway. It makes your home visible as well as its beauty. They give the appearance of a warm and welcoming home.
Troubleshooting is solving problems by tracking down their sources. Ever been in a situation where your low voltage system is operating nicely with the exception of the front yard lamp?
It is not a good one however fixing this is much easier than you think. Here are a few troubleshooting tips for your outdoor fixture.
Begin by checking for obvious physical damage such as the fixture being knocked over. Most times the physical damage can cause the inner workings of the lamp to become defective causing it not to work. More than likely this would require you to replace the fixture.
Check the connectors both the easy lock and mini connector are what connect your individual light to the entire system. Should one or both of these not be connected properly, your light will not work. In order to check the connection points, simply disconnect both the easy lock and mini connector and then reattach them.
Ensure the cables are in a straight line and that the wire guide is placed on the correct side. Then while twisting the cap down ensure not to cross-thread it. Once fully tightened the easy log should have no gaps. Then simply attach the mini connector while making sure that it’s firmly tightened.
General areas around the fixtures that have had recent work done such as planting, gardening, or sprinkler repairs. Often the cable can become dislodged or damaged without your knowledge. Make sure to check those junction points. This can usually be fixed by disconnecting and reconnecting it.
In addition to that while looking for cable damage, try to follow the cable run and pay close attention to areas where the cables are exposed such as under decks, along pathways, or in rock guards. Here you are looking for physical damage to the main line cable that could have been caused by either humans or even animals and roads. If you find damage to the cable, cut the ends and reattach them again.
How do you change your front door light fixture?
First things first, just like with any project dealing with electricity, you want to head to the circuit breaker box and make sure to flip off the circuit. which controls that particular fixture and those around it. Once the power is off, check with a tester as well just to be sure.
It is always best to begin this way and then work your way down the line. The first place is the breaker panel which is the transformer that powers your outdoor lighting. Verify if it’s on. In case it’s off, turn it on, and if the front yard lamp does not come on move on to the next step.
If you are wondering, a breaker panel is a component of an electricity supply system that divides an electrical power feed into subsidiary circuits while providing a circuit breaker for each circuit in a common enclosure.
Next, remove the breaker panel cover in order to see the breaker and the wiring. Check for loose wiring and test. How? Using a two-pronged electrical tester on the crew located on the rear of the breaker. If it lights up, replace the cover and move on if not replace the breaker.
The only tool you will need is a screwdriver. Which you will use to remove the little screws and the nuts that hold the fixture onto the posts. You will expose the actual wiring which includes the earth, neutral and live. Save the wire caps because you will potentially reuse them. If you do not have a clearly evident black and white wire with the ground, make sure you identify and mark them.
Be keen with what you remove from the old light fixture because you will use them to hook the lamp back up the same way. Once you have removed the old one, level the bracket, tighten the mounting posts then tighten the bracket. connect the earth which will often serve as kind of an anchoring point. Do it just like how it was connected before. Then reconnect the positive and the neutrals.
The wires should be white to white, black to black, and ground to ground. Once the wire connections are made, put them back into the junction box.
Now you can put the light on the box. The goal here is to make sure you have a good secure connection between the wires. Go back to the breaker panel and flip it on and your light fixture is fixed.
If you arrive home to find that your landscape lights are not functioning, here are three quick checks you can perform to restore power.
Check to make sure you have not lost the main power to the circuit controlling your lighting. Visually inspect the circuit panel by running your fingers down the Breakers to ensure that they are all locked into the on position. Make sure they are all locked into the right position
A tripped breaker will rest in the middle or neutral position. To reset simply push the breaker all the way to the off position and then back to the on position. It should lock into place hence restoring power to that circuit breaker.
If the breaker was not the issue check the GFCI receptacle. This controls power to the circuit and is where your power center is plugged into. Be aware that the GFCI may be located in a garage or on an outside wall. Often an indicator light will show that the circuit has been tripped. Thus, simply push the reset button until it locks into place and restore power to that circuit.
The final thing to check if the power is still not restored will be the internal Breakers of your lighting power center. They resemble simple light switches. Ensure that all of the Breakers are in the off position. If this does not work it is time to call in a professional.
How do you replace an outdoor post lantern?
Replacing an outdoor post lantern is pretty simple. Once you have flipped the switch off at the circuit breaker, start by uninstalling the fixture. Here you just unscrew it to expose the wiring. At this point, you have to consider whether you are just replacing the lantern and posts or reusing them. This determines the level of care you will require while performing the task.
In the case of reusing, perhaps you like the light fixture as it is and you just want to repaint it. Don’t try to tape it off and then paint it. Disassemble all the parts instead, clean it up, rough up the surface, then prime it and then paint it with rust oleum in multiple coats. Hence making it really ready to be used for that second life.
As you work to get your new hole posts set with hand tools, you do not want to go too low that you affect the height of the lamp. Usually, it is recommended 18 inches, the bottom 6 inches being rocks that establish the base for the concrete. Before you set the posts, you need to get your Romex wire back through that side hole.
When you set your post there are a few things you need to look at. One is the photoelectric hole at the top and the cross member. For those two holes, you want them to be parallel with the road so that the cross member runs in the same direction as your street.
When you get it set where you want, you can start putting a little bit more concrete around the pole with water. The materials are totally dependent on the diameter of your hole. Then let it set when the post is stable and is not dancing back and forth.
Before putting up the light fixture, there are a few wire connections to do in the working area. Usually, the ground goes with the ground in the Romex wire in the post while the black wire will connect to the red wire or the switched hot side from the photocells. They come with connectors that are more of a push-type creating a bond for two to three wires. Then you connect the neutrals.
With your photocell, and mounting screws you are good to mount your light fixture. After all the wires are connected to the Romex wire such that the neutrals, earth, and the black are all together. Test out your fixture to see if it lights up. When it does, continue on to put in the screws. Ensure that everything is level.
Ever wondered what happens when your light fixture stops working? chances are:
- The light fixture was unplugged.
- The light bulb burnt out.
- The circuit breaker tripped.
- The socket tab got flattened hence not making contact with the bulb.
- The light switch has stopped working.
- The wires are not connected properly. Thus, causing a short circuit
- The ballast needs to be replaced.
- Problem with an outlet. Especially if your light fixture plugs into an electrical outlet via a wall plug.
Always keep in mind that prevention is better than cure. Take precautions before attempting to fix any problems related to electricity. Such as turning off the breaker, wearing shoes, and drying off the surroundings so that there is no water around you. Water causes electric shock and our bodies can conduct electric charge. Use tools that have handles like wood or plastic which are poor conductors of electricity.
Sometimes there is no need to wait until the light fixture stops working for you to fix it. Here are some signs to look out for when the light fixture needs to be replaced.
A flickering light. It could mean a bad bulb or bad ballast.
Hearing buzzing sounds from the light fixture.
Different levels of light. Even though bulbs can change their color throughout their lifespan, keep an eye out for dark areas or overall inconsistent lighting.
Dimmer than normal lighting.
A short circuit occurs when electricity unexpectedly travels in a pathway that is the shortest route to the earth. Normally this route is different from its usual path. To fix it begin by inspecting and locating where the short circuit is occurring. Once you have found it, use the correct equipment to fix it.
You will need a new copper wire, a soldering gun, a utility knife, and safety gloves. When the copper wire is cut at the right length while the hardware usually saves a lot of time. With the utility knife remove small amounts of insulation at the end of the wire for exposure. Use the soldering gun to put some solder onto the contact points. Then attach them together using the soldering iron.
It is always good to test if your job was successful by putting the wires into the system and then turning on the circuit breaker. If you followed the instructions well, it should be working.
In conclusion, always put safety at the forefront when dealing with electricity. Perform regular inspections with the appliances and call in an electrician when the task becomes overwhelming. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Remember, outdoor lighting can transform your yard into a magical paradise at night.
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