How to Quickly Resolve Annoying Garden Light Malfunctions Without Calling an Electrician

Having issues with your garden lighting can be extremely frustrating, but there's no need to immediately call an expensive electrician. Many common garden light problems can be easily diagnosed and resolved on your own without any special tools or knowledge. With a few simple troubleshooting techniques, you can have your garden lights back up and running quickly.

Inspect the Light Fixtures

The first thing I do when my garden lights stop working properly is inspect each individual light fixture.

Check for Loose Wires

I unplug each light and open it up to check that all the wires are tightly secured. Often vibrations from the weather can cause wires inside the fixtures to become loose over time. Reconnecting any loose wires is usually an easy fix to get the lights back on.

Check for Broken Bulbs

I also check that the light bulb is still intact and screwed in fully. Basic worn out light bulbs are one of the most common reasons garden lights malfunction. I keep spare bulbs on hand to quickly swap out.

Check for Corrosion

In outdoor lights, the elements can cause corrosion on the wires and connection points inside the fixture. I inspect these areas closely and clean off any corrosion I find with rubbing alcohol. This can instantly get previously non-working lights back up and running.

Check the Connections

Issues with garden light circuits are often due to problems with the connections rather than the individual fixtures themselves.

Inspect Connector Points

I check each light's connector or wiring joining it to the next light. If I spot any damaged, loose, or corroded connectors, I reuse connectors or replace with new ones as needed to complete the circuit.

Check Timer/Transformer Connection

For lights wired into a transformer or timer, I inspect where they connect to the transformer/timer unit. Damaged connections here can knock out power to the whole system.

Test with Direct Power

To isolate wiring issues, I’ll often directly connect a light to a power source to see if it turns on. This confirms whether the problem is with the light itself or the connectors/cables.

Check for Faults in Wiring

More complex problems with garden lights are usually hidden faults somewhere in the wiring circuitry. Here are some tactics I use to locate and repair buried wiring faults:

Inspect Entire Length

I carefully inspect along the entire wire path looking for any physical damage like cuts, abrasions exposing the copper, or crushed points that could be interrupting the current flow. I repair any damage found.

Test Continuity

Using a multimeter tester, I check the continuity of each wire run. This can identify locations where the circuit is broken even if the damage isn't visible.

Replace Old Wiring

If my light wiring is many years old, sometimes its best to replace the entire wiring run if its condition is poor. Installing fresh new wiring can eliminate a whole host of issues.

With some basic troubleshooting techniques, I’m able to handle most garden light problems myself without needing to call an electrician. Proper inspection and testing of lights, connectors, and wiring can pinpoint common issues that are easy to repair. With a little DIY effort, I can quickly get my landscape lighting back up and running.