Atomic #29

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Mike M, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Posts: 1,941

    How good is copper?

    I was wondering if anyone has ever had failures with a fixture, directly or indirectly attributed to copper material. Could "harmless" surface corrosion interfere with seals/gaskets, or cause seizing? Does it look far less appealing over time vs. brass/bronze?

    Ever-obsessed with the details,

    Mike M.
     
  2. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    Mike. I have never had a fixture failure that I could directly attribute to the copper that the fixture was made from.

    As for the appearance over time vs Brass, I find that brass (from the same manufacturer) is more "reliable" in its finish (more even shade, less variations) but that copper is a pretty close 2nd. I would much rather see the patina of raw copper then the failure of a powder coat (fading, staining, etc).

    I prefer the look of copper fixtures because they are usually more finely designed and produced then what you can get with a cast product. As an example compare the NS Copper Postliter to the new CAST postlight. Each have their application, but IMO the NS product is more refined.

    Regards.
     
  3. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Posts: 1,941

    James--Cast post light? Do you mean the deck light?

    If you have a pic of older copper bullets, fixtures, with the patina I'd appreciate it.

    Tanks.

    Mike M
     
  4. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    Mike. I was just at a trade show and saw a couple of new CAST fixtures. One is a small pathlight, an MR11 bullet and a small post light.

    Sorry but I dont have pictures (close ups) of older copper fixtures, only distance shots of the effects. I will have another look through my files for you though.

    Regards.
     
  5. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Posts: 1,941

    Thanks, James!

    Unique's copper bullet is economical and I like the hardware. I like Cast and Unique for many reasons, including the 25' leads.
     
  6. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,933

    Mike you dont have to justify your liking of Unique and Cast. We all know why!!
     
  7. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Posts: 1,941

    Joey,

    So what happens in the fifteenth year of a copper fixture's life? Does it become so ugly that it has to be replaced, or does it actually lose structural integrity?

    I'm serious. It is less nobel than brass, but what does that mean over time on a plastic stake under a tree with a hot light inside?

    Pics? Anyone?
     
  8. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,535

    Mike,

    No disrespect intended, but sometimes I get the sense you tend to over analyze things.

    Install the fixtures in the field and monitor the results. Learn from your mistakes and your successes.

    A fixture that survives fifteen years exposed to the elements is a good product.

    To be honest, half of the homes you've worked on will probably have changed hands once or twice by then, and subject to the tastes or whims of the new owners...



    Our work, like much art, is impermanent and unenduring. It's the harsh reality of working in a medium that requires regular feeding (electricity) and maintenance, and is surrounded by living things.



    Such is the lot of the under-appreciated artist....





    :laugh:
     
  9. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    Mike, don't worry about Copper fixtures not standing the test of time. Copper has been used as a roofing, flashing, and eavestrough material for hundreds of years. One of the reasons is because it lasts so long. I would expect those copper fixtures will outlast most of us.

    Regards.
     
  10. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,535


    Copper is very durable.

    As a matter of fact, back in the late 70s I was working at a former summer home of a US Senator that was turned into a public park called Hakone Gardens. We came across some copper solar water heating panels mounted on an old garage that dated back to the 1920s.

    Another couple of homes, landscaped by a famous architect named Thomas (Tommy) Church had copper sprinkler pipes installed in 1948 and '49 and that I encountered and were still working in the 90's.
     

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