You’ll be happy to know that lighting maintenance doesn’t take a lot of time, and every minute you spend on it will pay you back exponentially – in lights that are bright as can be and fixtures that look like new. Regular lighting maintenance maximizes light output and keeps your bulbs burning energy-efficiently and your fixtures looking fabulous.
Be Smart About Safety
A few key points here: electricity and access.
Turn off the power source.
You’re dealing with electricity. So before you clean any fixture, inside your home or outside, make sure the power is off. That means beyond the switch – turn off power at its source before you do any lighting cleaning or maintenance – even if you’re just changing a bulb.
- Access suspended lights safely.
That chandelier in your foyer? Don’t try reaching it from the landing on your staircase. It might not work out so well. The same goes for flush and semi-flush ceiling fixtures. If you are not 100% within comfortable reach of a lighting fixture, figure out how to get to it in a safe and secure way. Need a step ladder? Use one. If you need a full-size ladder, enlist a friend to hold the ladder steady.
Make a Schedule
- Once a week.
Some lighting fixtures need attention once a week. Dust and cobwebs gather on ceiling fan bulbs and blades, downlights, flush and semi-flush lighting. These fixtures are simple to build into a weekly cleaning routine – all you need is a long-handle duster and a step ladder.
- Twice a year.
For most other fixtures indoors and outdoors, twice a year is your maintenance mantra. That’s not so bad, is it? Chandeliers and ceiling fixtures can be a messy proposition, so be sure you have a plan before you begin. Think spring cleaning and fall cleaning, and remember that caring for your lighting keeps it looking its best.
- Don’t forget the bulbs.
Did you know a that dirty bulb can suck up more energy than it needs to? Turn off the electricity, remove the bulb and clean it with a non-abrasive, dry cloth to remove the dust.
Love Your Lists
Most of us have a love-hate relationship with our lists. They can be buggers with stubborn items that never seem to get checked off, but your lighting maintenance list can be easy breezy, done before you know it. All you have to be is organized. Make one list for supplies, one for fixtures, one for interior and one for exterior. See? It seems more doable already. No worries – you’ve got this.
- Supply List
Use the list here to start, but know that everybody’s home is different with indoor / outdoor fixtures that need attention in a variety of ways.
- Ladder or step ladder
- Replacement bulbs
- Lint-free cloths
- Warm water
- Mild detergent
Start small and go big. Make your fixture lists one room at a time if you need to. What’s the rush? As long as you get it done right and get it done safely. Kichler Lighting doesn’t recommend spraying fixtures with any kind of cleaner. Instead, use a damp cloth followed by a dry cloth.
- LED tape lighting - Use a dry cloth to clean unless covered by a lens, whereby a slightly damp cloth can be used.
- Wall sconces
- Indoor step lights
- Cabinet lighting
- Ceiling lighting
- Ceiling fans
- Outdoor lighting
Know the Fixture Cleaning Fundamentals
Lighting is durable, yet fragile. Its designs span so many styles, and so do the materials lighting is made of too. From crystal to polished metal, every surface requires a special touch.
- Polished Metal and Painted Fixtures
- Remove any glass shades and hand wash them.
- Dry polish and dust all metal and wood parts.
- Dry fixtures with a lint-free cloth.
- Avoid abrasive cloths or cleaners and products with ammonia or alcohol.
- Stay away from general purpose household window or glass cleaners – they could damage the coating on the fixture.
- Landscape Lighting Fixtures
Clean the fixture to remove all debris and use gentle soap and water if you need to.
Lighting gives us so much. It works hard day in and day out, sitting there, hanging there, standing there, just being beautiful. Once you add lighting into your cleaning schedule, your home will really shine.
- Indoor Lighting Guide
- Lighting Glossary
- Chandelier Installation Guide
- Chandelier Planning and Selecting Tips
- Indoor Lighting Planning and Selecting Tips
- Light Layering
- Cleaning and Maintenance
- Choosing The Right Color Temperature
- Why Lighting Systems
- Project Planning Cabinet Lighting
- Installing Cabinet Lighting
- Use of Tape Lighting And Channels
- Installation Planning for Tape and Channels
- Small Space Solutions
- Open Floor Plan
- Horizon LED Downlights