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CC Images via Compfight

It is nice to have some cool weather for a change. The lower temperatures seem to get you in the mood for the holidays coming up. There are several reminders about holiday decorating to keep in mind.

Be sure you trim all of your shrubs and trees before putting decorations on them. Just keep in mind that trimming encourages new growth and we don’t want new growth on plants when very cold winter temperatures are coming. So if you trim, do it soon. Also, make sure you check that all of your lights are working before you start putting them up and before you go up the ladder. Try to get needed decorations early, the stores seem to sell out fast. Also, try not to overload any one electrical outlet. If your circuit panel keeps tripping, try decreasing the load or get a professional in to fix the problem.

Be sure to ’foot’ your ladder. Make sure the feet are on level ground and secure. The best thing is to have someone push the ladder into the house while climbing to keep it from sliding out.

Last but not least, is to have a wonderful holiday season and enjoy family, friends and good food. Just remember moderation. All the festive foods can quickly pack on a few inches, making us all a little more jolly than we would like.

Filed Under Landscaping, Lighting  | | Comments Off on Make Light of Your Landscape

There is no question that landsacpe lighting adds beauty and value to your home. Lighting can make your home more attractive and give you the ablilty to use outdoor living areas after dark. The problems come in when you notice the lights are not working. In most cases the problem is generally a simple burned out light bulb and is easy to fix. There are a few things to keep in mind when you go about it. First be sure the power is off before you work on any electrical item. If you have determined just on light is out and the others are working, remove the bulb from the fixture. Be sure to notice that bulbs have different markings for watts and degree spread of light depending on the bulb. Replacing a burned out bulb with one of higher wattage could take your system and overload it causing more bulbs to burn out. Be sure to use the same wattage and the same degree spreas on the bulb. The spread is the width of the beam of light. The lower the number, the tighter the beam and the higher the number the bigger the spread. Using the wrong spread may cause the item being lit to not be lit enough or to light up all the areas around and cause it not to stand out as it was designed.

If you are going to change the wattage of the bulbs, be sure to check your voltages with a voltmeter and you do not go to low. Idealy you want 12 volts at each fixture but that is usually not possible. Your system can take some variation from that and you can adjust it by jumping up the terminal board in the transformer to a hihger voltage or try an inline voltage booster.If you dont have any power to your system and you have determined the outlet is working, It may be that your transformer is broken. Check that your timer is working and set correctly. If it checks out, bypass the timer and if still no lights, your transformer is probably bad. If you are going to replace it yourself, be certain to get one with the correct wattage and hook up the wires just as they were removed. Crossing the wires up could change the line voltage and cause you problems with the bulbs. In the event you have some lights working up to a certain point and past that point nothing works, you might have a cut line. To find it go to the last bulb working and pull up the wire and follow it until you find the break. When yo find it, strip back the ends and reconnect them using silicone filled wire nuts or grease caps. Do not use regular wire nuts or black tape. Both will allow water in and you wiill be back to fix it again soon.

Filed Under Lighting  | | Comments Off on Landscape Lighting Tips

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