When purchasing outdoor lighting, it is important to know the differences in the various metals used. Many people purchase outdoor lighting based on the way the fixture looks as well as the light source, but don’t pay much attention to the metals used. At Light Bulbs Etc , we educate our customers on the pros and cons of various metals used in outdoor fixtures including copper, stainless steel, aluminum and brass.
Aluminum Outdoor Lighting
Aluminum fixtures are very affordable, but are of the lowest quality of the metals we will discuss and are simply not designed to last for a long period of time outdoors. Over time, the aluminum will oxidize and the paint will fade quite a bit. Aluminum doesn’t hold up well around salt and will corrode over time and is not recommended for coastal applications. If aluminum fixtures are powder coated, the life will be extended as the paint will seal the aluminum. Light Bulbs Etc. has a large variety of aluminum outdoor fixtures as they are an affordable option and are great for applications where customers will not be staying in the residence for a long period of time.
Stainless Steel Outdoor Lighting
Stainless Steel looks great in modern applications as it reflects in the sun. Stainless steel must be cleaned to keep it looking beautiful and to protect it from corrosion. Stainless steel is protected from corrosion by a layer of chromium oxide, but this layer is compromised by sand, dirt and other materials. Constant cleaning is vital in stainless steel outdoor lighting fixtures to maintain the layer of chromium oxide to prevent corrosion.
Brass Outdoor Lighting
Brass is a hard metal that holds up well in all environments and is made from a combination of copper and zinc. Brass fixtures will last for many years and several manufactures including Best Quality Lighting, Corona Lighting and Focus Lighting offer extended warranties on their brass products. Brass will “patina” or turn darker over time as it is exposed to the elements, but it will not corrode and is a great option for outdoor and landscape lighting. Brass fixtures are great options for coastal environments. Brass fixtures are more expensive that some of the other metals used, but is the best quality and most durable metal that will last the longest.
Copper Outdoor Lighting
Copper is another great quality option for outdoor lighting. Copper is not quite as solid as brass, so some manufacturers will make brass fixtures and coat them with copper so you have the best of both worlds, the longevity of brass and the beauty of copper. Copper will also “patina” over time and will darken when exposed to the elements. Copper prices continue to rise as the reserves continue to be depleted throughout the world, so one downfall of copper fixtures is that there is the potential that they will be stolen due to the value of the metal.
Vivex Outdoor Lighting
Maxim Lighting's revolutionary outdoor lighting material, Vivex, is far superior to the polyurethane resin material used in most outdoor lighting. Vivex is not a resin. It is a unique synthetic composition of ground marble powder for strength and latex composite for durability, bonded together with an ATP adhesive. ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) is an adhesive that has been tested to temperatures that exceed 130°F and as low as -20°F. This material is expected to withstand even greater temperatures, and is both fire retardant and biodegradable.Excellent for applications near the coast as the material will always maintain it's look and durability.