Lighting Check for Preventive Maintenance
The end of daylight savings time, when you are changing your clocks, is a great time to perform preventive maintenance on your property’s exterior lighting. In the darker winter months it is necessary to pay special attention to exterior lighting to maintain safety and boost curb appeal.
Without a doubt, the most effective way to track lighting PM is to use a checklist. This way the property is inspected quickly (usually within a day or two) and you have an actionable list of lighting concerns that can be addressed. This method allows parts to be ordered and work to be scheduled as time allows, rather than fixing issues as they happen (inevitably when there is also another emergency going on).
To help, we’ve compiled a simple Lighting Preventive Maintenance Checklist by area. To begin, start at the property entrance. Inspect the property sign (if lighted) and then the office / clubhouse. Move on to other common areas and grounds. Then check the amenity areas: pool, dog park, laundry, etc. Don’t overlook the parking lot and carriage lights on any garages. Finally, start on buildings. Make sure to check any exterior building lights, as well as overhead and/or door lights in breezeways and stairwells.
In each area, you are inspecting each light with the following items in mind.
Burned out bulbs or fixtures.
If a light isn’t working, try replacing the bulb, or if it is an integrated LED fixture, then replace the fixture. Pro Tip: Consider replacing all the light bulbs or LED fixtures at one time. Bulbs tend to burn out around the same time. Focused group replacement saves time in the long run and helps prevent future lighting issues.
Dusty and dirty fixtures and lenses.
Dirty lenses can reduce the brightness of any fixture and diminish curb appeal. Make sure to not only clean the light, but also the area around the fixtures too, as no one wants to see bugs (even if they are dead) hanging around the property.
Aim of adjustable lights.
Wear and tear, the elements and human interference may result in adjustable lights not pointing where they should—reducing effectiveness. Taking the time to re-aim any lights ensures the correct area is lit and can help with security.
Look at all visible wiring leading to fixtures to ensure it is sheltered from the elements (in conduit) and is still in good condition. Pay special attention to any exposed wiring around areas that could easily be damaged during landscaping (weed whacking)—this includes sides of buildings and light poles, etc.
Hardware and seals/gaskets.
Make sure all screws, lenses and hardware are in place. If any parts or screws are missing, it is a liability for the property (strange things happen in multifamily housing everyday). Also check the sealant or gaskets to make sure there is no room for water to intrude either in or behind the fixture.
Lights that use dusk to dawn photocells to engage can easily be checked by inspecting the property just after dark. If it’s dark and the light is on, then it is working. If it is not working, then it is necessary to troubleshoot whether the bulb/fixture or the photocell needs to be replaced.
If it is not feasible to check the lights after dark, don’t just assume they are working properly. Test the photocell either using the test mode (if the light has one) or by covering the photocell completely and wait (up to a few minutes) for the light to come on.
Not all light fixtures make use of batteries (or backup batteries); however, some do. It’s important that you check the status of these batteries, and change them if necessary so that they will work as planned when needed.
Color Temperature and Brightness.
If lights that previously matched in color and/or brightness do not any longer, it could be an indication that the light is reaching the end of its working life. Remember LED bulbs/lights are rated for a certain number of hours; once expired the bulb or fixture will need to be replaced to maintain brightness. Pro tip: Group replacement should be considered any time there is a change in color temperature or brightness.
There is one last item to check, once your property has been inspected. Determine what may need to be ordered to repair or replace and check compatibility with existing fixtures. It’s important to keep in mind what type of bulbs you have and what size each fixture requires. For example, in order to output higher lumens, some of the newer LED light bulbs are larger in size. Our Light Bulb Guide will help make sure you can replace with the correct shape bulb. Also, ensure any bulbs or fixtures ordered will fit and meet your needs by color temperature, lumens/brightness and number of hours. Should you need help with selection, contact your local territory sales manager or our customer service specialists, we are always happy to assist.
Now that you have your list of lights that need to be addressed and the parts ordered or on-hand, work can be scheduled as time allows. Take out the ladder and tools and methodically work through the outstanding items on the checklist. If it seems overwhelming, commit to completing several items each day. Before you know it everything will be in proper working order and the time will spring forward (or fall back again), meaning it is time to do a lighting PM check again.
Pro Tip: The first time the property undergoes a preventive maintenance lighting check also make note of manufacturer, fixture or bulb type, color temperature and number of lights in different areas. Then make a list for future reference. Make sure to note the Chadwell Supply part number, or make it a favorite within your account at ChadwellSupply.com. This way, future orders will be easy to place, saving time in the long run.