How Long Do Patio Light Fixtures Last?

Patio lights are important to your home, especially at night. They boost the outside look of your home and give it a welcoming ambiance. If you do not have one, consider buying one and experience the feeling yourself. 

However, just how long will the patio lights serve you? You should try going for long-term solutions. Avoid buying cheap options that would eventually cost you a fortune in the future. In this article, we will look at factors to look at when buying patio lights. Also, we will check out how to maintain the lights so that they serve you for the stipulated time.

Incandescent Light Bulbs vs LED Light Bulbs

The traditional incandescent light bulbs work in a different way to Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs. Both of them utilize electricity, but that is the only similarity. It is obvious that one is better than the other and each suits different functions.

LEDs light when electricity is passed over the electrons in each of the diodes. The LED technology was built to reduce the heat produced during lighting. However, there is some heat produced when the LEDs light. This heat is responsible for wearing out the diodes over time.

Incandescent light bulbs contain a filament that is covered by covers of different designs. When electricity is passed through the filament, it heats up over time. The heating causes the filament to become brittle. If it breaks, then the light bulb burns out. Such bulbs are less efficient compared to LEDs because of the high heat produced.

Measuring Lifespan

The incandescent light bulbs stop working all of sudden and do not light up completely. On the other hand, LEDs start by fading slowly before they become completely burned out. This explains the difference in lifespan ratings between the two. 

Let us look at an incandescent bulb with a lifespan rating of 1300 hours. This means the light bulb will be completely burnt out after 1300 hours of use. You can no longer use it after its time-lapse has elapsed.

The lifespan of LEDs is measured with lumen maintenance as the base. It is done by comparing the brightness of the lights to a new one of the same rating. For example, let us look at an L70 LED bulb rating at 20,000 hours. This means such a bulb at 20,00o hours old, produces 70% of the light that it would have produced when it was new. You will also notice that 30% of the brightness would have been reduced.

Maintaining Your Patio Lights

Do you want your patio lights to serve you long enough? To make them last longer, you will have to take good care of them and follow the maintenance guidelines. Below are some tips to help your lights keep shining for longer;

  1. Clearing and Trimming Nearby Branches and Plants

If you have plants growing into your patio, you may have to consider trimming them. The branches could sway and break the glass on your patio lights. Also, the patio lights may not shine as intended because the leaves are covering the bulbs. This action will also prevent the accumulation of water or snow on the lights. In the end, your light bulbs will last longer than expected. 

  1. Clean Your Patio Lights

Outdoor lights generally are prone to dirt and debris. It is almost inevitable but this can be solved by occasional cleaning of the light fixtures. Mud, spider webs, or leaves can find their way into the bulbs reducing their efficiency. 

  1. Repairs Should Be Done Almost Immediately

If your patio lights stop working or some wires get exposed, deal with the situation immediately. It may be time to find a replacement if your patio lights have been in use for a long time. The other issue could be with the whole lighting system. If you have a problem fixing the issue, you can always call the installation company or an electrician for help.

What Would Cause Patio Lights to Stop Working?

Sitting on your patio relaxing then your lights go out. What could cause your new light bulbs to stop working? Here are some of the reasons;

  • Burnt Socket or Bulb

Any light bulb or socket can go bad. A burnt-out light bulb won’t light even if it is new. A dirty or flattened socket does not allow for current to flow to the bulbs. The solution for such includes replacing the spoilt bulb or socket.

  • Faulty Wiring

Circuit overload, short circuit, or ground faults can occur in any light fixture. This happens when the wires are loosely connected or connected to the wrong ends. If wires end up touching metal parts of the patio lights, the current will be redirected away from the light bulb. There could be a potential fire due to bad wiring also. The solution is correcting the wiring or getting a new patio light.

  • An Outlet with Problems

If you connect your patio lights using an electrical outlet into a wall plug, there could be problems with the outlet. The light bulb could be okay but the outlet has wiring problems. Try correcting the problems on the outlets before putting the lights on again. If there are still problems, then the light fixture has a problem. 


Outdoor patio lights can last for years depending on how well you take care of them. If you want to improve your patio’s safety and look, the LED light bulbs could just be the solution. There are other options and designs in incandescent bulbs. You should also be ready to do repairs if you experience some problems. Lighting your patio should now be an easy task.