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Advice needed

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Flow Control, Aug 16, 2009.

  1. Flow Control

    Flow Control LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,267

    My wife and I just purchased a home in SW Florida so we can get out of the cold during the winter.

    My question: will Kichler products hold up in the environment. We are maybe 3 miles away from the Gulf. I plan on doing the Lighting in phases as I add onto the existing landscaping. The first phase will consist of 15 fixtures and I don't want to kick myself down the road for using the proper product for the conditions.
  2. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,173

    NOOOO! Anything aluminum will be toast in a year or two that close to the ocean. Go with solid brass you will have much better luck.
  3. Flow Control

    Flow Control LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,267

  4. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    Try to PM Chris J on here, he is a florida lighting guy that chimes in occaisionally. But I agree with Tim- Aluminum is essentially instant corrosion, just add florida. Solid brass is also my reccomendation.
  5. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    Some guys claim alluminum will last 10 yrs in coastal areas but from what I have seen and experienced they may hold up but not well at all. For just a little more you can get into a brass fixture which will hold up alot better especially in the long run.

    Several landscape outfits are big alluminum vista and Kichler users here. I am over 50 miles inland and see fixtures corroded to the point you can not open them without persuding them with a hammer all the time. Most are in the 5 yr old range and it becomes even worse with a salt water pool area.
  6. Flow Control

    Flow Control LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,267

    I appreciate all the advice and I will use brass fixtures.

    Thanks again, you guys saved me some arse ache down the road.
  7. steveparrott

    steveparrott Sponsor
    Messages: 1,275

    Consider solid bronze (2% zinc) - brass has a very high zinc content (35-40%) and is subject to dezincification (especially in salt-water environments), causing it to become brittle (stress cracking) and mottled (with reddish spots) in time.

    From Copper.org (http://www.copper.org/resources/properties/microstructure/brasses.html)

    "Dezincification can be a problem in alloys containing more than 15% zinc in stagnant, acidic aqueous environments. Dezincification begins as the removal of zinc from the surface of the brass, leaving a relatively porous and weak layer of copper and copper oxide. The dezincification can progress through the brass and weaken the entire component. Stress corrosion cracking can also be a problem for brasses containing more than 15% zinc."

    From Corrosion-doctors.org (http://www.corrosion-doctors.org/Forms-selective/dezinc-valve.htm)

    "Dezincification selectively removes zinc from the alloy, leaving behind a porous, copper-rich structure that has little mechanical strength...During dezincification, the more active zinc is selectively removed from the brass, leaving behind a weak deposit of the porous, more noble copper-rich metal."

    Pictures of dezincification in brass: http://www.corrosion-doctors.org/Forms-selective/dezinc.htm & http://www.corrosion-doctors.org/Forms-selective/dezinc-valve.htm.
  8. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    Until someone can show us a Solid Brass Outdoor Lighting Fixture that has been damaged due to this so called dezincification I wouldnt stress on it too much.

    The only pictures I see were those of irrigation valves which uses are much different and its exposure to water and minerals is much much greater. Unless the fixtures are underwater I dont see how this dezincification process should be anything to fear. And I am sure that this would take a lifetime to occur in an above ground landscape lighting product.
  9. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    While I have seen aluminum corrosion here in Arkansas, bad corrosion even, I know it is ten times worse in coastal conditions. I have never seen brass corrosion, other than maybe a slight haze of greenish on a dark brown patina. Chris J would know more.

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