Lighting Up Your Landscape with Frankie Flowers & the Electrical Safety Authority
With the warmer weather, you’re probably thinking about upgrading your outdoor spaces. From twinkle lights in gardens to in-ground lighting along pathways, there is a lot you can do to light up your landscape. But there is more to outdoor lighting than simply plugging it in. It’s important to keep electrical safety considerations in mind.
The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) provides Ontarians with information and resources to ensure their electrical projects are done safely and properly. Trusted gardening expert and weatherman Frank Ferragine (a.k.a. Frankie Flowers) knows a lot about creating beautiful exterior spaces. He has partnered with ESA to share tips to on how to create a safe outdoor oasis that can be enjoyed day and night.
Start with a plan
While you may have an idea of how to take your backyard to the next level, Frankie recommends starting with a plan and hiring the right professionals for the job – ideally a landscape designer and a Licensed Electrical Contractor (LEC). A landscape designer will plan the layout to help you get the most out of your space, and a Licensed Electrical Contractor will ensure all electrical work is done properly and safely.
Did you know?
Only a Licensed Electrical Contractor is legally able to conduct electrical work for hire in Ontario? An LEC is required to comply with the Ontario Electrical Safety code and will handle all the details that come with electrical work, such as permits and inspections.
Find a Licensed Electrical Contractor in your area.
Hired a General Contractor?
That’s no problem, you need to ensure the electrician they’ve hired has a valid ECRA/ESA licence number and confirm that they’re a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Create an outdoor space powered to perform
From pathway lighting to flood lights, there are many ways to light up your home’s exterior. Frankie suggests incorporating a layered lighting plan with uplighting and downlighting to bring plants out of the shadows and allow you to enjoy your space day and night. With uplighting, lights are strategically placed on the ground and pointed upward in your garden, along a pool or against the front of your house. They can provide as much or as little light you need, depending on the type of lights and wattage. Downlighting displays your home and garden by casting a subtle downward glow. Regardless of the type of lighting you choose, be sure to consult a Licensed Electrical Contractor to ensure safe and proper installation.
There are several safety implications that should be considered before embarking on outdoor projects. All electrical components must be rated for outdoor use, and there are specific requirements for outdoor outlets and lighting installed around water features. If you’re planning a project that requires digging, contact Ontario One Call to locate all utility-owned underground infrastructure before you dig. A Licensed Electrical Contractor can help you navigate this process and ensure the appropriate safety measures are taken before work begins and provide you with an Electrical Safety Authority Certificate for your records when work is complete.
Who is the ESA?
The Electrical Safety Authority is the administrative authority acting on behalf of the Government of Ontario to enhance electrical safety in the province. ESA uses its insights, expertise and passion for safety to help achieve its vision of an Ontario where people can live, work and play safe from electrical harm. ESA’s primary activities are identifying and targeting leading causes of electrical safety risk; monitoring and enforcing regulations; promoting awareness, education and training; and collaborating with stakeholders to improve the state of electrical safety in Ontario.
For more information about landscape lighting and electrical considerations for the rest of your home, visit ESAsafe.com