Copper lighting

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Infinity Landscapes Inc, Dec 12, 2007.

  1. Infinity Landscapes  Inc

    Infinity Landscapes Inc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 168

    Threw two copper fixtures in a demo last week and whet to pull the demo and the copper ones are alredy looking like crap. anyone else use alot of copper? do you have to seal with somthing to keep it looking sharp. I know they fade a little mine have lots of water spots. Thanks
  2. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    HAHAHAHA... are you serious?

    Did you expect it to stay shiny and bright?

    Any raw copper that doesn't start to age immediately upon installation must have been clear-coated. You are fighting a losing battle if you think you're gonna keep them looking like new.

    Most people who install copper do it knowing what it will look like after being subjected to the elements. The natural patina starts out spotty and uneven and depends on humidity, sun exposure and other factors.

    If you want something that's not powdercoated but with more of a controlled "aged" look, I suggest looking at the metallic finishes that Unique, RSL and SPJ offer.
  3. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Unfinished copper fixtures will start to weather and patina as soon as they are removed from the packaging and exposed to the environment.

    If you want to have nice, new, clean looking fixtures for your demo's then you might want to use new fixtures each time, or you could try sealing some with a spray lacquer finish. I would suspect that wear and tear on the demo fixtures will damage that finish however.

    I would recommend you weather a few copper fixtures for your demo kit. That means leaving them outside in the elements starting now and let them do their thing... Then the client will see just what their fixtures will look like after some time. Besides, you should probably focus on selling the system more then the fixtures anyway. "See the effect, not the source."

    Personally, I think the copper fixtures look best after they have weathered for several months and 'settled down' into their own natural patina finish. Others like them best when they are shiny and new.. but keeping them that way is very hard to do.

    Best of luck
  4. Infinity Landscapes  Inc

    Infinity Landscapes Inc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 168

    Thanks guys
    I new it but didn't think it. I'll do that and leave them out for the season. your right aboat the effect not the source. light on.
  5. extlights

    extlights LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    We always take a new copper fixture with us on demo's that we leave in the box. All of our copper fixtures in the demo kit have already turned, this way the customer can see what the fixture will look like the day it's installed, and then how they will patina.
  6. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    You can order our copper lights wih a clear coat powdercoat that will preserve that raw copper look for up to 10 years. Other that that a layer of WD40 I hear looks real wll. Dirt and what not sticks to it and then you can wipe it off and re apply. Gives it that wet look.
  7. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,187

    I have a few customers that have me use a copper cleaner and shine up their fixtures when I do their maintenance. What a pain!!!! Does it cost extra to have them clearcoated if my custom desires that look?
  8. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Watch out for Lacquer or other clear coats on copper fixtures.... I have several Kichler copper and brass path lights out in the field that I installed about 7 or 8 years ago... They came from the factory with a clear coat on them and it has not stood up very well. Now the fixtures look awful... they are all blotchy... shiny where the clear coat stuck and patina where it flaked off over time. (sort of like the Mercury mag wheels on the wife's car)

    A clear powder coat finish might be a lot better then lacquer, but if we are talking about demo fixtures, you have to think that they would take a bit of a beating as they get moved around etc. Stuck in the ground and left alone... who knows, they might stay shiny for 10 years as claimed.
  9. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    Yes, it costs the same as putting a standard powder coat on.

    We do it all the time on our sample/display lights.
  10. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    We had some old lacquerd fixtures get returned that looked just like that too. The sprayed lacquer wears off and does look very unattractive.

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