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Posts Tagged ‘Winter’

Lighting and LEDs – Part 2

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

In the past LEDs in Minnesota, did not work well, they were very expensive and did not melt snow. The prices have come down over the last two years and for a couple of specific uses are now a useful/viable option.

Downlighting out of trees – A costly and time consuming activity is switching out lights that are mounted high up in trees. By switching the lights to LEDs you can forget about having to replace bulbs for a couple of decades.  The only caveat being that you need to make sure you have a good watertight fixture or you risk water damaging your new expensive LED bulbs.

Path or Area Lights – These often use bi-pin style bulbs and manufacturers now have LEDs that will fit most area lights we use.  The biggest savings with these lights is if a system is designed around using LEDs.  If designed for LEDs, the system can use a smaller transformer and wire size, creating potential saving the customer money on the orignal install and on electricity use of the system.

All this comes with the knowledge that LEDs are a still relatively new technology, and it will take some time to see if they really last decades outdoors.

Winter is Almost Here – Time to Check Your Lighting

Friday, October 21st, 2011

The Minnesota Winter is almost here and soon temperatures will be dropping below zero.  This is your last call for any repairs to your outdoor lighting systems.  Once the ground freezes it is almost impossible to repair broken or cut electrical lines.  The decreasing daylight hours in the winter means you will see your landscape lighting more now than you have all year.  Nothing is quite as frustrating as having your system down all winter long.

While you are thinking about your lighting, when is the last time you changed the bulbs?  The tree lights are going to be near impossible to change once it snows. Any fixture using an MR 16 (see below) should really be changed once a year and fall is the best time. So go to the local hardware store or lighting supplier and get those bulbs changed before it snows.

Winterization – Part 2

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

A friendly reminder, don’t wait until it below freezing to get your sprinkler system winterized.  It is important to try and schedule your winterizing at least a week before the temperature drops.  If you are unable to get your system winterized before the first hard freeze, wrap the vacuum breaker with a blanket or towel.  This will help prevent the copper pipes from freezing and breaking.