Outdoor lighting can be a beautiful touch on any commercial building. But safety is important when you're working with outdoor lighting that will be exposed to the elements. Here are some things to consider.
Check the Voltage Requirements Carefully
Step one is to make sure that you have enough electrical power to do your lighting display correctly. Signs and other commercial lighting displays can be fairly power hungry. Check your outlets' maximum voltage output against the electrical requirements of your lights (combined). If you need to have an additional circuit breaker installed or more outlets and extension cords put in place, your commercial electrician can easily take care of these tasks when they come out for their next home inspection.
Make Sure Lighting Is Designed to Be Outdoors
Some lights are hardy enough to be outdoors, and they tend to come with a more sturdy waterproof casing to protect their electrical components. Other types of lights could easily short circuit when exposed to moisture. Find out which kind you have before you plug them in.
Tuck Away Cords
Another potential hazard is the cords of your lights. For one, if someone trips over them, they might get hurt, or bring down the whole lighting display, or potentially damage a light and expose the electrical components. You might want to tape or pin the cords to the walls or base of your building so that they aren't dangling in anyone's way. If you need to run the cords along the ground, be sure they aren't in a place where someone could accidentally mow over a cord, chopping it in half and creating an open circuit.
Watch for Fire Hazards
Finally, you'll want to make sure that your lighting won't cause any fire hazards on your lawn. One example is if you have old, dead leaves or other dry foliage next to a lighting or heat source (and lighting is often its own heat source). There is a potential fire risk if your lights are on 24/7 next to flammable objects. So just make sure that you keep your yard swept and that lights are far enough away from flammable objects to not cause a big hazard.
These are some of the biggest things to look out for as you plan out your outdoor lighting display. Consult your electrician about what you can do for added safety, such as installing additional outdoor outlets or grouping lights in a specific way to reduce the load on your circuit breaker. For more information, contact companies like Plymouth Electric Inc.