Maintenance & Repairs

The Importance of Maintaining Your Lighting System

Expert installation is the first important step in creating a great landscape lighting system. However, maintaining your lighting system investment is just as important. Maintenance of a lighting system can help prevent costly repairs in the future and keep your system looking it’s best. Maintenance also allows for adjustments to your system as your landscape matures.The low-voltage lamps we install typically have an average life of about 4,000 hours – which is equivalent to 12-18 months of life. However there is no written guarantee from the manufacturer. So, to make sure all of your lights are working properly, we recommend a 100% bulb replacement every 12 months. When a lamp burns out, it reduces the voltage draw on the system and causes the others to burn brighter
than normal, eventually causing successive burnouts. A maintenance program with Southern Lights will ensure your system is working properly, looking it best and will help avoid costly and potentially dangerous hazards. Does your system need to be repaired or replaced?
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Landscape Lighting- DIY Troubleshooting and Q/A

Usually this is due to connection problems. Lighting systems that utilize pierce point connections (usually from the Big Box stores or inexperience lighting installers) tend to loosen and will have corrosion at the pierce point due to not being waterproof and only making a tiny connection . Sometimes this can be temporarily fixed by squeezing the connection with pliers. A better solution is to cut the connections, strip the wire a bit, and reconnect using compression butt connectors with heat shrink. The best solution is to make a new connection with brass/copper lugs and heat shrink or place in a lockable 2″ grease tube. Another problem could be the socket has gone bad from corrosion. The only thing you can do for this is to put di-electric grease on the connection ends of the lamps and cross your fingers. Otherwise replace the fixture or socket. (By the way, we carry lifetime warranty fixtures). Still can’t figure it out? Contact us and we’ll send out an expert to locate issue and repair it for you.
This usually is indicative of an electrical short. First, check the GFI and press “Reset”. Your GFI button for the outdoor plug may even be in an indoor bathroom! Beyond this, troubleshooting landscape lighting requires a voltmeter. Make sure you are getting voltage at the plug. If so, check the fuse or breaker on the transformer. Then check the clock timer. If all these are working, check to make sure you have proper voltage on the secondary side. The amperage coming out of the transformer should not exceed the printed limits on the transformer. If so, you will have problems with your landscape lights. If the amps are really high, you have a short somewhere down the line. You can check the voltage on each fixture to narrow down the location of the short. Still can’t figure it out? Contact us and we’ll send out an expert to locate issue and repair it for you.

Most of the time, this will mean there’s improper voltage at the lamp. Because of every light fixture you have and the number of feet of wire leads to voltage drop. Without waterproof connections, you get even more voltage drop. Sometimes people try to get higher wattage lights to compensate for the lights being dim, but this just makes the voltage drop problem worse. Check the voltage at the end of the line with your voltmeter to troubleshoot your landscape lighting. Is it less than 10 volts? This means the halogen lamp will not fire correctly and leads to premature burnouts and dim bulbs. You can help this low voltage problem by creating a loop (using waterproof connections) from the end of the wire back to just before the first fixture. This will help distribute the power more evenly among the lights. You could also remove some of the lights and run a separate wire to reduce voltage drop. Perhaps you are placing too much demand on your transformer and need another one to power all your lights. Still can’t figure it out? Contact us and we’ll send out an expert to locate issue and repair it for you.

Worry Free Maintenance Agreements


Services Provided Basic  

1 Visit

Full

2 Visits 

Comprehensive

3 + Visits 

 Check connections X X X
 Check operation of: photocells, timers, remotes, relays, etc. X X X
 Prune shrubs that have covered light fixtures obstructing light output X X X
 Remove mulch and debris that might be covering lights X X X
 Check gaskets for wear or compression X X X
 Clean glass housing and fixture body X X X
 Straighten any leaning fixtures X X X
 Re-aim fixture to account for plant growth X X X
 Check tree hardware and re-adjust for tree growth as needed X X X
 Take amp readings at transformer on secondary and primary X X X
 Take volt readings at transformer on secondary and primary X X X
 Check transformer terminal lugs and cables for tightness X X X
 Re-lamp where needed using di-electric compound (cost of bulb not included) X X X
 Update maintenance log with any new information X X X
 Refer a friend that signs up for new installation & get $150 CASH X X X
 20% Discount on all non-warranty parts (Ex: timers, connections, lamps, etc.) X X
 1st half hr service charge FREE (1 visit) X X
 Reset timer for daylight-savings X X
 Replace Battery in Timer  X X
 Label Zones or Scenes on transformer  X X
 Renew 10 year Warranty on System *  X X
 Re-locate fixture to account for plant growth  X
 Night time fixture aiming check X
 Label Fixtures Individually X
 Create Lighting Diagram w/ Fixtures & Placement X
 * Includes wire, connections, fixtures, and transformers.
  • Worry free operation of your landscape lighting system.
  • Regular incandescent light bulbs have an average lamp life of 8-15 months.
  • Dirty fixtures and old lamps diminish the quality of light.
  • Failed lamps often go unnoticed and place additional strain on your system.
  • Improper replacement of the correct lamp wattage can result in blown fuses and overloading of your system creating a dangerous situation.
Southern Lights can make sure that your landscape lighting always looks spectacular and is checked on an ongoing basis to prevent problems. Our busy clients, and those who travel and entertain frequently, tell us that the maintenance agreement is worth every penny. No longer do they have to remember to check their lighting system. A maintenance agreement eliminates their concerns; it ensures that their new lighting system will perform like new for years! All hassle-free! These services guarantee that your system will always look as good as it did the day it was installed. All lamps replaced under our maintenance agreement are guaranteed for one year, meaning your Southern Lights landscape lighting system is worry free. Our ten-year warranty on (wire, connections, and transformer) is also extended each year a maintenance agreement is in place. Southern Lights Annual Service Agreement will ensure a year without interruptions and operate at an optimum level throughout the next year.
There is an hourly charge for service, plus the cost of materials. The cost is dependent on many factors: number of fixtures (in trees, path lights, spots, can lights, specialty lights, etc.), number of transformers, vegetation and maturity of plants, timing controls & automation, whether pruning is necessary, how many specialty fixtures are onsite, etc. Contact Us today, we’d be happy to provide you with a quote for Worry Free Maintenance.

Click HERE to fill out a Lighting Maintenance Agreement Request Form!