Metal Oxidation for Custom Lighting Fixtures

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When buying custom light fixtures for outdoor use, it is important to get to know the differences in the qualities of the various metals used. While aluminum and stainless steel may look good, they require daily maintenance and cleaning to keep them shiny and corrosion-free. Brass, made from combining copper and zinc, holds well in all environments and also lasts a long time. Brass turns darker when it is exposed to weather elements – it develops a patina – but does not corrode.
Custom outdoor brass post top lighting fixture

Custom lighting fixtures of brass are more expensive but also the most durable. Copper also develops a patina and lasts as long as brass, but with its higher price, the chances of copper custom light fixtures getting stolen are high. Other than brass and copper, the other metals that can be used in custom light fixtures include silver, bronze and nickel in different shades and finishes. Metal oxidation is the process whereby the metal on the custom light fixture reacts with the oxygen in the atmosphere to form the patina on its surface. While in case of some metals such as iron, steel or aluminum, this coating takes the form of unsightly rust and stains, in case of copper, brass, bronze, nickel, etc., the patina formed through metal oxidation gives an antique and classy feel to the surface of the light fixtures. Some customers insist that their metallic custom light fixtures come with a patina. This demand has helped develop the metal oxidation industry in custom lighting fixtures. For industrial use, special chemical solutions are used for treating the metal and helping it acquire a patina.

There are different chemicals used to get a patina of different colors on brass, bronze and copper. Some home-made treatment methods include scrubbing the metal surface with an abrasive pad and water or washing it in alcohol and treating it in ammonia solution. As mentioned earlier, forced oxidation of metal surfaces help prevent corrosion and increase the durability of the metal fixtures, apart from adding a classy and antique look to them.

A sample image of patina finish options:
patina finish options
A sample image of steel patina finish
steel patina finish


About the Author:

Arie Louie, an award-winning lighting designer, worked from an early age in the motion picture and television industry as a freelance lighting director. Following his school career, Arie served for a total sixteen years with the Israel Defense Forces as a Cobra Gunship helicopter pilot. Going back to his love for lighting and design in 1985, Arie started an architectural and event lighting company, Louie's service for event lighting set a new direction in the way events were illuminated. In 1993, Arie moved to Arizona to continue his passion for the design industry. Launching Louie Lighting in Arizona, the successful lighting designer continued to grow with the start of its Web site, in 1998. Louie Lighting has become a major international distributor leading the way in commercial projects such as terminal lighting in Sky Harbor International Airport. Arie also offers his award-winning lighting and designs to homeowners, design and trade professionals. "Arie is known for his creativity and ability to bring art and magic to every space" Arie is known for his creativity and ability to bring art and magic to every space. Sticking to his philosophy, "Light is life", Arie's dynamic presence in the lighting market continues to manifest in his designs for residential, commercial and landscape lighting projects. Louie Lighting is dedicated to serving consumers on a deeper level with products and services to improve all aspects of life through lighting. Working in architectural, theatrical and motion picture lighting, Arie is lighting up the future of design with over a quarter of a century of lighting experience. Sticking to his expertise and vision, Arie streamlines the shopping experience for consumers with intuitive advice designed to efficiently meet any need. After 14 years in Arizona, Arie Louie continues to illuminate the industry with Louie Lighting and, offering the latest in personal and online information, products and resources.
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