Copper is one of the traditional metals used to make high quality outdoor lights. But why? Is there any advantage to copper lights over aluminum ones, or over other metals?
There certainly is! The biggest one is rust.
Contrary to what you might have heard, aluminum rusts. So does steel and the rest of the “base metals”. The only truly rust-free metals are what are called the “nobel metals”, which resist corrosion and oxidation in moist air. The nobel metals include things like gold, silver, and platinum, but as you can imagine those are too costly to make sense for outdoor light fixtures.
Luckily, there’s another choice that’s perfect: copper.
Copper is a nobel metal, so it won’t corrode, and it’s also soft enough to be crafted into an amazing variety of forms to direct and shape the light effect.
And while copper won’t corrode it will take on a lovely dark patina, ideal for vanishing into your landscape. Invisible during the day, beautiful lighting at night. But unlike rust, the patina on copper can be instantly wiped away back to a bright shine with any copper polish (or even just citrus and a bit of elbow grease!).
The best part is, unlike with painted aluminum or plastic lights, with copper fixtures you get a naturally dark fixture with no paint to peel, fade, or discolour over time, and no worry that the fixture will corrode to let water in causing the light to fail.
That’s why copper is often the metal of choice for an outdoor light that you can install once and enjoy for the life of your home.