Landscape lighting stays more vulnerable than indoor lighting. While the landscape lighting plays the role of Illuminating outdoor, many tend to overlook the fact that they also need necessary care. In various situations, your landscape lighting needs to be fixed before they are damaged. One of the situations is finding short in outdoor and landscape lighting.
Finding shorts in outdoor lighting is a bit tricky than finding shorts in indoor lighting. But tricky doesn’t mean you cannot do it on your own and require a professional hand. Let’s have a look at what will be the solution to this problem.
What is Short and What Causes It?
In electrical, short is a term where the current flows to a path other than the path required to flow. This occurs when the current finds a comparatively low resistance path. Electrical short can cause mild to severe damage to your appliances or even yourself.
There are various reasons an electrical short can happen. If wire insulation gets damaged, that will leave the inner wire fully or partially exposed. This may lead to hot and neutral wire touching and causing a short. Even a tiny puncture in the wire insulation can lead to an electrical short. Damaged appliance wiring or wire connections getting loose can also trigger an electrical short.
When a short occurs in your landscape lighting, that can be a wire short or a light fixture short. You have to check a couple of places. Follow the below-mentioned ways to determine and fix the exact location of short in your landscape lighting.
Tripped Circuit Breaker
A circuit breaker is a protective switch that protects an electrical circuit from getting damaged by a short circuit or overload. Find your circuit breaker box and look for tripped switches where the switches are in OFF position or somewhere between OFF and On. If you find any, turn off or unplug any electrical equipment connected to that corresponding breaker switch while the switch is OFF.
Now you have to find whether the short is in the wire or the outdoor lighting fixture. After turning off or unplugging all outdoor lights, reset the breaker switch to the ON position. If the switch trips back to the OFF position, then you have a wire short; otherwise, the short is in your lighting fixture.
You can find out which light fixture is causing this short. Try turning on or plugging in each lighting element one by one and find out which causes the breaker switch to trip again. You will then be able to identify and fix that specific lighting section to prevent a short circuit.
Fixing The Wire Short
Outdoor wire shorts may occur when the wire insulation gets damaged due to getting old, accidental digging, or other incidents. A loosely connecting wire may also lead to a short in the wire. For this case, you may have to change the whole wire or just a section depending on the affected wire area. Use excellent insulating tape to cover the connection between two wires.
While replacing old wires with new ones, avoid those areas where the wire can get exposed to moisture. The wire can get damaged from high moisture content, which will eventually cause a short circuit.
Fixing The Lighting Fixture Short
Inside the lighting fixture, you will usually find two colors of wire; one black and the other is white. You may also find another bare or green wire. The black is the neutral wire, the white is the hot wire, and the bare or green is the ground wire. When the hot wire touches neutral or ground, electrical short will occur.
The loose connection or uncovered connection is the reason for short. To fix this, open the lighting fixture and look for loose or uncovered connections and tighten or cover them. Also, look for melted or fried wire and cut it out to replace it with a new one.
Don’t use larger bulbs than recommended in your outdoor lighting fixtures. Wire insulation can get damaged from using larger bulbs where defects in insulation are a common issue for electrical short.
Hope the ways, as mentioned earlier, of finding and fixing a short in outdoor & landscape lighting helps. If it doesn’t help, reach a professional to help you out without further investigating the problem by yourself.
Best wishes for you with a short free outdoor lighting!