So you’re thinking about putting up some security lighting on your Minneapolis property? Perhaps you’re planning to add a little nighttime ambiance to your yard with a few well-placed landscaping lights?
While strategically placed outdoor lights can absolutely improve the safety and visual appeal of your property, they won’t do you much good if they’re improperly wired and installed. Worse, they can be downright dangerous. That’s where a licensed electrician comes in.
At Harrison Electric, we understand many homeowners enjoy engaging in DIY home improvement projects, and if you’re one of them, more power to you! But when it comes to electrical work, only a qualified and licensed electrician should ever handle the wiring both inside and outside of your home.
Read on to learn about serious dangers you can run into by installing outdoor light fixtures on your own.
Overlamping Light Fixtures
Generally, you want your outdoor lights to be more powerful than their indoor counterparts, but that doesn’t mean you can just twist in high-wattage bulbs and call it good. Most light fixtures have a label that states their maximum wattage, and whatever that number is, respect it.
Using lightbulbs that exceed the max wattage rating on your fixtures can overheat the wiring in the fixture and potentially, cause deeper wiring issues too. And, anytime you overheat electrical wiring, you put your property at risk for a fire.
Installing the Wrong Type of Fixtures
When you’re installing light fixtures outdoors — no matter where you put them — they must be rated for outdoor use! Porch lights are a great example here: Although these lights sit beneath the roof of your porch and may never see a single raindrop, they’ll still get plenty of exposure to humidity, heat, and cold.
Creating a Fire Hazard
Any type of lighting material that generates heat must be installed far away from potentially flammable materials! Even if you think a lighting fire couldn’t possibly happen on your property, the bottom line is: you never know.
Hiring a licensed electrician for your outdoor light fixture installation is the best way to ensure your lights are properly placed to minimize the risk of fire.
Failing to Install Outlet Covers
If you plan to plug any of your outdoor lights into outdoor receptacles, those receptacles must have protective covers that repel water. That’s especially true if you’ll be placing lights near water sources, like a pond or a pool, or near the eaves of your house where rainwater can drip off the roof.
Those covers don’t only protect plugged-in lights; they're also designed to keep moisture out of the receptacle even when it’s not in use. If you’re not sure what type of covers to use, where they should go, or how to install them properly, call an electrician for help.
Installing the Wrong Receptacles
We all know harsh weather and electricity don’t play well together, right? So that means any outlet replacements you need to install outdoors should all be of the weatherproof variety. Even though those same receptacles should also feature protective covers, outdoor outlets still need to be able to withstand harsh weather conditions without sustaining damage.
Hiring an electrician for installing outdoor light fixtures ensures you get the right type of outlets complete with the right type of outlet protection. When you’re mixing weather and electricity, you really can’t afford to take any chances.
Lacking GFCI Protection
According to National Electric Code, all outdoor receptacles must now have GFCI protection. If you fail to install this type of outlet, you put yourself at risk for injury and your wiring at risk for serious damage.
When you need new receptacles for installing outdoor light fixtures, always rely on a licensed electrician who knows how to do the work properly and up to code. Your safety is at stake.
Schedule Outdoor Light Fixture Installation in Minneapolis
If you’re ready to spruce up your Minneapolis property with landscaping lighting or security lighting, our team at Harrison Electric is here to serve you. We specialize in comprehensive electrical installations, service upgrades, repairs, troubleshooting, and more, and all of our electricians are fully licensed, bonded, and insured.
To get started, call our Minneapolis office today at 763-544-3300 or request a quote. Feel free to message us with any questions, and we’ll be in touch!