Entropy is the inherent nature of the universe to collapse into chaos. It affects all aspects of our daily lives. We take our cars to the mechanics, get our teeth cleaned at the dentist, and hire landscapers and contractors to make repairs to our homes that can stand against the elements. Lighting systems are no different.
Carolina Outdoor Lighting designers and technicians take many preventative steps to protect our systems from the onslaught of rain and wind that North Carolina throws throughout the year. We only select sturdy, high-quality, weather resistant systems that have the best chance of survival. Additionally, we offer fixture warranties to guarantee replacement parts should anything fail.
It is important to keep in mind however, that in order to keep your outdoor lighting looking as gorgeous as ever – and protect your investment – maintenance and care for your system should be a continuous process. (Sadly, we can’t do laundry or wash the dishes just once and have them clean forever.) Changing foliage drops old leaves that may cover lenses, or a wandering bear could break a stake or kick a light off course. Furthermore, children are a force of nature unto themselves, and often less than forthcoming when a stray soccer ball collides with a path light. Pre-scheduling seasonal maintenance visits can take all of that off your plate.
Before I dive into all the benefits that our Preventative Maintenance Program offers, however, I would like to take a brief moment to step outside my role as a writer and speak to you directly as a technician – which is how I spend most of my time with Carolina Outdoor Lighting. I have completed many maintenance visits and have seen first hand how important this program is. I’ve seen fixtures so covered by debris or over-growth the owners had forgotten they were there. I’ve heard the phrase “I didn’t know how much we needed this” more times than I can count after home-owners saw their refreshed systems. Spiders build nests in the lights, landscapers blow wood chips over lenses, and occasionally the electrical flow itself needs to be boosted by changing wire placements in the transformer – something I highly recommend having a trained technician take care of. Preventative Maintenance is a truly valuable service that we offer and one critical for maintaining system value after installation
Did you say PMP?
After years of installing and maintaining lighting systems, we have developed a comprehensive Preventative Maintenance Program (PMP) to address all the issues that may arise over the course of a North Carolina season and verify the continued quality of your lighting. To help understand the scope of our attention, let’s break the discussion into two topics: Function and Design
- Transformers and Timers: Power surges or extended outages can disrupt the timers that turn your lights on and off, and after years of wear and use, certain aspects of the electrical flow of the system may have changed. When we turn on your system for our maintenance visit, we make sure all the timers are appropriately set and verify that the electrical resistances at the transformer are still within the ideal range. We also add a repellant to the system to discourage the many climbing insects and arachnids that like to make their homes in transformers.
- Wires and Connections: Though we always bury our electrical lines well, it is inevitable that some wire will eventually make its way to the surface. Growing roots, new landscape installations, or blowing leaves and mulch can all expose wire or connections to the surface. Once there they are susceptible to damage. Thus as part of our standard maintenance visits, our technicians rebury any exposed wire or connections and make repairs to any nicks or damages to the system.
- Lamps and Volts: With the system on, our technicians verify the performance of each bulb. Many times a burnt out bulb (or lamp) is covered under warranty, and will be replaced at no additional cost. In the case of LED bulbs, occasionally, just one diode in the lamp is burnt out. It may seem like everything is fine, but once we replace the bulb with all diodes working, you’ll notice the difference immediately. During this stage our technicians will also verify that enough power is getting to each fixture for appropriate function.
- Fixture Appearance: To keep each fixture looking as good as the day it was installed, we spend time cleaning and polishing each one. If any moisture has found its way into the fixture’s casing, we dismantle and dry it to achieve the best light output. Additionally, some mounting aspects of the fixture can loosen during the natural course of its life, and making sure the fixture is secure prevents greater damage down the line. When polishing, we make sure to use cleaning products that can break down hard-water deposits on lenses that would otherwise reduce your light output.
- Lighting Direction: As mentioned, there are many different forces that can knock a lighting fixture off of its directed target or cause it to droop. During your PMP, our technicians verify that each fixture is still directed at its intended target, and make adjustments when needed. One of the most common adjustments during this stage of PMP’s is path lights. Shifting soil from erosion, new growth, or foot traffic can often cause path lights to end up at akimbo angles. Using precision levels and gentle pressure, our technicians reestablish order.
- Environmental Assessment: It is very usual for a landscape to change appearance over the course of seasons, New shrubs may have been placed or old ones may have had growth spurts. When needed our technicians with qualified landscaping experience trim back enough plant material to let the light shine. If new growth completely restricts the light’s purpose – and trimming would be unsafe for the health of the foliage – we will even reposition the fixture to achieve the best design.
Entropy Doesn’t Stand a
Continuous care, diligent attention, and thorough planning are our best defenses against the constant chaos of the natural world. The entire team here at Carolina Outdoor Lighting feels very strongly that everyone with an outdoor lighting system should have regular maintenance visits. To make these visits as effective and cost efficient as possible, we have created a Preventative Maintenance Program which offers a discounted rate and complimentary service calls with each quarterly inspection. We feel passionately about wanting your system to be running smoothly, efficiently and beautifully.
Please give us a call to learn more about our Preventative Maintenance Program, or reach out via our contact links here on our website!