We generally advise avoiding outdoor light fixtures that are painted. Paint on fixtures is usually used to hide its sins, like low grade aluminum or plastic fixtures that simply won’t survive out in the elements. But there is one case where powder coating might actually be the right way to go.

Powder coated copper fence light
Click to view full size

When possible, it’s usually better to select a metal fixture that will develop a suitable patina but will also never corrode. As a rule of thumb, that means solid copper or cast brass for dark fixtures, while bright finishes can be made from stainless steel or solid billet aluminum. The paint will inevitably fade or discolour after years out in the summer sun and winter snow, and it’s not a suitable way to protect against corrosion with outdoor lights.

But sometimes, powder coating a fixture is the best approach when trying to hide it in plain sight.

When it comes to outdoor lights in gardens, solid colours stand out more than a natural patina. For instance, the mottled dark browns and greens of weathered copper will vanish into a landscape far more invisibly than a solid black painted fixture, because no surface in nature is a continuous solid black. Against the deep browns of the soil and the mixed greens of the garden, copper stays hidden while solid black draws the eye.

Powder coated copper fence light
Click to view full size

But against a solid single-colour surface, such as a painted wall, the most invisible approach can be a painted fixture. Invisible is not always best, but if that is the goal then paint can be the right solution. The photo to the right shows our solid copper BB08 half-moon surface light that has been powder coated with the same paint that was used on the fence.

The photo is a close-up, but from normal viewing distances throughout the yard the lights just vanish against the fence. Then during the evening they come alive with a lovely wide-throw waterfall lighting effect that’s just stunning.

The paint will someday require touching up, which is the way of all paint. But for the years in-between touchups this offered the best way to have fence-mounted fixtures that are effectively invisible.

We can powder coat any fixture we install, and can match any colour including PMS colours. Whether it’s to blend invisibly against a painted wall, or to have outdoor lights that exactly match your logo, we can custom paint and install every style of outdoor lighting in exactly the finish you desire. (We have colour-tuneable LED bulbs, too, so we can not only match the paint to your logo but also match the light colour too.)