Category Archives: Outdoor Lighting Maintenance

Outdoor landscape light troubleshooting – All Lights All Out

Most homeowners are not skilled at outdoor landscape light troubleshooting but this article can help with the basics.

The question we get every day is, “My landscape lights are all out. What do I do?”  While this article will not present every option, it will help you with the most likely reasons your system is not working.

Every system is different but these instructions are designed for one of the most popular setups. Follow the steps below and you may get your system back in just a few minutes.

Make Sure Your System Has Power

The most likely reason all of your lights are out is there is no power coming from the transformer to the lights. The first thing to check is whether you actually have power coming into your transformer.

Check the receptacle that your transformer is plugged in to. If you don’t have a voltmeter use a hairdryer or portable fan or something similar. Does it have power? If so skip down to the transformer tripped circuit section. If not proceed to the next step.

Circuit Breaker in your Electrical Panel

Go to the electrical panel box for your home and make sure you do not have a tripped circuit. If you do reset it and check your lights.

Need help resetting your breaker – look here.

GFCI Receptacle Tripped

Is the GFCI receptacle tripped where your transformer is plugged in? If so reset it and check your lights. Does that help? If not check every other GFCI receptacle inside and out of the house. Frequently if one GFCI is tripped none of them will have power.

Don’t know how to reset a GFCI? – check this video

Transformer Circuit Breaker Tripped
Clean transformers are safe and last longer
Clean transformers are safe and last longer

Most transformers have a built-in circuit breaker. If the built-in breaker is tripped your lights will not come on.

Look for a little white toggle switch (see photo). If the switch is in the down or middle position it is likely tripped and not allowing power to flow.

Flip the switch down (off) and back up to reset it.

Timer Problem
Astronomical Landscape Lighting Transformer
Astronomical Landscape Lighting Transformer

If your lights still don’t come on your timer could be mis-programmed or not functioning correctly.

To check your timer open your transformer door and you should see a timer that looks something like the one in the photo.

Grab the timer and pull it straight out. Then take the plug that is plugged into the timer, remove it and plug it into the socket that the timer came out of.  If your lights come on then you’ve found an issue.

If the timer is the issue most likely your timer programing is not correct. To re-program your  timer take it inside the house and watch this video. Once you have it programmed correctly put it back in the transformer the way it was and your system.

Still in the dark?

While the above steps will fix a large percentage of the issues we see it won’t fix them all.  If your system still doesn’t work we can help.

Phone: 770-521-2805
Email: service@abulouslighting.com

Landscape Lights All Out – What Do I Do?

Landscape Lights All Out – What Do I Do?

Atlanta, Milton, Cumming, Johns Creek, Alpharetta, Roswell, Marietta, Sandy Springs, Duluth, Buckhead.

Homeowner’s Guide to Professional Landscape Light Maintenance

Homeowner’s Guide to Professional Landscape Light Maintenance

If you want to maintain your system like a pro here is your homeowner’s guide to professional landscape light maintenance. These steps are copied almost verbatim from our technician-training manual.

Tools and equipment needed

  • Screwdriver (Philips and standard).
  • Diagonal plyers (wire cutters).
  • Wire strippers.
  • Wire nuts (see image below).
  • Buriable stranded wire (make sure you have appropriate gauge wire).
  • Glass cleaner (such as Windex).
  • Non-abrasive power cleaner (such as Bartender’s Friend).
  • A bucket of lukewarm water with a mild household soap solution.
  • Another bucket with water only.
  • A towel.
  • A soft cloth.
  • Heavy-duty paper towels.
  • Electric silicone grease or spray.
  • Electrician’s grease.
  • Toothpicks.
  • An old toothbrush.
  • Cotton swabs.
  • WD-40 or similar.
  • Voltmeter (must be able to measure AC).
  • Replacement stakes.

Survey the system

Landscape light systems run on 12 volt AC power. Make sure you have purchased bulbs that are rated for AC (not DC).

Continue reading Homeowner’s Guide to Professional Landscape Light Maintenance

Why outdoor lighting maintenance is important

Outdoor lighting maintenance

Well maintained outdoor lighting systems last much longer than those that are not maintained.  Outdoor lighting maintenance should be performed on a regular basis.  Set a calendar and check the system on the first day of each season for example.  Or check it the first day of every third month. No matter when you check your system you should check your system regularly to make sure the components are in good working order and not subject to premature failure.

We’ve seen some really poorly maintained systems in our day. Don’t find yourself having to deal with problems resulting from neglecting your lighting system. This video below show a fixture that was neglected.  Over time ivy had grown over the fixture and the spike was bent over and the fixture was touching the ground. Then ants built mounds of soil around the fixture. Then the seals failed and the bugs got inside. Finally these bugs (maggots?) got inside and ate everything up. It was so bad the fixture could not be rebuilt. We just had to replace it. If the owner had just checked it every so often and kept it upright this never would have happened.

Continue reading Why outdoor lighting maintenance is important