How to Test Landscape Lights with a Multimeter

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Are your landscape lights not working? That’s when you realize that your landscape totally looks incomplete. If you are like most individuals, you do not like to pay a contractor’s fee only to have them stop by and repair the issue by skimming a few switches.

So, before you grab that phone and call a technician, take the time to learn more about how you can fix it. 

What is Landscape Lighting?

Your home is your joy and pride. After you have laid down the lawn, set up the barbecue on the back porch, planted your flower beds, you may think your work is finished. There is more, though. Adding a lovely landscape lighting is an excellent way to showcase the best features of your yard and make your home a much safer place.

Landscape lighting brings out the best of what you have by showcasing the architectural features of your home and drawing attention to your beautifully embellished trees and flower beds. Also, this lighting could help convert your boring yard into an outdoor living space to be enjoyed by everyone day and night.

You see, adding landscape lighting to your whole property not just makes your landscape visible at nighttime, but it can also help keep your belongings and family safe. 

What are the Most Common Landscape Lighting Problems?

Landscape lighting showcases the most striking features of your property, and keeping lights working must be a part of your regular home maintenance. Any lighting issue could be stressful for homeowners because failures could compromise the security and safety of the property.

Further, regular maintenance by a landscape lighting expert is an excellent way to make sure that everything is in top shape. You also need to identify the causes of frequent lighting concerns. 

Here are some of the common landscape lighting problems you may want to anticipate:

  • Solar outdoor lighting

You will experience some specific challenges if you go for a solar outdoor lighting, like the issue of where to place the lights to make the most of sunlight exposure, what to do if the sun isn’t shining, and what storage or battery options to use.

  • Bugs

Depending on where you live, your landscape lighting might face pests and bug infestations such as cockroaches, fire ants, and more. Other users report finding some insects mounted over the top of the lighting fixtures, which stand nearly eight inches above ground level.

They are also considered to get into and fill up sealed lighting fixtures. 

  • Corrosion

Do you often expose your landscape lighting to the elements? Then you’re going to experience the prospects of corrosion and rust. Typically, the first place observed is in the sockets in which your lamps are attached. 

Often, the lamp will produce enough heat to vaporize any moisture or condensation that accumulates in the light fixture. However, corrosion could easily accumulate in the light socket. As we have noticed, bad connections will cause water to seep into the wiring, leading to corrosion and rust, making it so much challenging for the electricity to reach the lighting fixtures.

To prevent such concerns, you can use dielectric compounds or substances at the base of the lamp sockets. It also utilizes waterproof connectors so moisture does not seep into the landscape lighting’s wiring. 

  • Connections

Connections are a huge concern you will experience with your landscape lighting. Most installers utilize piece point connectors to connect up the outdoor lighting. However, that just puts holes in the wire strands, making it more prone to being damaged by water. That, in turn, results in short circuits.

To prevent such problems, make sure you get frequent maintenance for your incandescent and halogen lighting. The suggested maintenance schedule for your landscape lighting is at least two times every year, along with a complete overhaul of your outsight lights suggested every few years. 

  • Burn out light bulbs

This is a typical issue with your landscape lighting, particularly when you depend on halogen and incandescent outdoor lights. You’re also more susceptible to experiencing burnouts when you depend on daisy chain wiring in which none of the lights get the right voltage. They are feeding on the same power source. 

That phenomenon also happens when you have landscape lighting using multi-tap transformer technology. Keep in mind that a single lamp burnout could cause a huge amount of voltage to be delivered to the other lights in the circuit that they too burn out on a premature basis. 

How Do You Know if Your Landscape Lights are Bad? 

The basic test utilized when testing any light fixture is the continuity test. This test measures when an electric circuit is good or bad, broken, or continuous. The initial test to be done is to identify whether or not there’s voltage accessible at the lighting outlet box.

Further, a voltage check could be done with either the noncontact voltage tester or AC voltage function on your multimeter (DMM). 

  • Turn off the circuit breaker. Check the circuit again with the voltage tester to ensure you’ve turned off the proper circuit breakers. Lower the light fixture from the outlet box and check to ensure a good connection between the branch circuit wires and the fixture wires. 
  • With the multimeter sets on the ohms function, check for continuity amid the white fixture and metal shell inside the light socket. There’s a continuity if the meter will show 0.000 reading. If the socket is bad, the meter will show O.L. reading. 
  • Check for continuity between the brass in the lamp socket and the black fixture wire. The display will either show O.L. or 0.000. If your socket checks out alright, but the light still doesn’t work, the brass contacts of the contact aren’t making contact with the bulb’s base and should be pried away from the socket’s base. 

Final Thoughts

In case you still experience issues with your landscape lighting, make sure you consult a landscape lighting expert. A lighting technician will help you troubleshoot your problem. We hope you find this post useful and informative. Share your thoughts by leaving your comments below.

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