Installing outdoor LED lighting is an excellent way to enhance the landscape of your home, by creating silhouette images of trees, plants and shrubs. You can do the job yourself. But it pays to hire a licensed landscape lighting contractor, who has design expertise and knowledge about the different type of fixtures that will work best for your environment.
Some landscape lighting firms claim they can “save you money” by offering to install aluminum lighting fixtures. It’s true that aluminum is less expensive than brass lighting fixtures, at least during the initial installation. But you could wind up paying more in the long run because aluminum doesn’t last, especially in humid climates like Florida.
Risks of Using Aluminum Fixtures
Aluminum lighting fixtures are low quality, and are not designed to last outdoors for a long period of time. Aluminum oxides and corrodes over time, and the paint will fade a great deal. Powder-coating can extend the fixture’s life a little bit, since the paint seals the aluminum. But the fixture will still fade long before the LED bulb burns out. And since the bulb is typically integrated right into the aluminum fixture, you’ll have to bear the expense of replacing the entire light fixture when it wears out.
Another problem with aluminum fixtures is that most of them take a lesser wattage bulb than other metal fixtures, resulting in lower lumens or light output from the fixture. Aluminum is also more susceptibe to corrosion from environmental factors such as animal urine, and they’re more vulnerable to damage from landscapers. A typical aluminum lighting fixture will only last about 2-3 years, while other materials like brass, can last decades.
Benefits of Using Brass Fixtures
At Elegant Custom Images, we recommend either Heavy Cast Brass or Milled Brass lighting fixtures for our landscape lighting installations. Brass is exceptional in terms of both quality and durability because it is a hard metal that holds up in all types of environments. Brass is made from a combination of copper and zinc, and will “patina” over time, developing a darker finish as it’s exposed to the elements. Unlike aluminum, brass fixtures won’t corrode, making them an attractive addition to your landscape.
We use brass lighting fixtures made by CopperMoon, an industry leader, with 20 years in the business. Milled brass fixtures can be less expensive than heavy cast, but are still durable and able to withstand Florida’s heat and humidity. Both types of brass fixtures come with a full 25-year warranty.
Brass lighting fixtures are more expensive than aluminum at the outset, but they will pay for themselves over the life of the fixture, saving you money in the long run. And should anything happen to the LED bulb or the brass fixture, a repair can be made very easily. Contact Elegant Custom Images for more information about installing outdoor LED lighting for your property.
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