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Fixtures: Brass Vs. Copper

Customers from Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio often ask us why we use copper as the main component for our outdoor lighting fixtures. The brass vs. copper debate should be one of the easier decisions when it comes to choosing the best landscape lighting fixture for you. While copper and brass are both excellent materials for outdoor lighting fixtures, copper offers a few advantages.

Copper is the best material for application in outdoor lighting when it comes to longevity. It thoroughly resists corrosion from fresh water, salt water, various soil types, and is resistant to temperature fluctuations and extremes in Ohio’s Midwestern climate. Copper is also resistant to corrosion from a wide variety of inorganic and organic chemicals. These are precisely the reasons why copper is often used as a roofing material, along with a wide variety of other architectural applications from doorknobs to kick plates.

Dezincification of brass

Dezincification of brass. The affected area is circled in a green.

While brass may be slightly less expensive, it contains zinc. Overtime, this zinc leaches from the fixture while in the presence of moisture and oxygen. This process is called dezincification. The result is a fixture filled with microscopic pores, causing a loss in structural integrity and a change in color.

Another advantage copper has over brass is its environmental sustainability. When being recycled, the value of copper is significantly higher than plastic, aluminum, or brass. Copper is also more likely to be recycled than brass because brass is an alloy comprised of copper and zinc. If sustainability is a primary concern regarding your landscape lighting system, the combination of a copper fixtures with an LED bulb remains unmatched.

About the Author: Jim Hilliard

I started Outdoor Lighting Perspectives back in 1995, since then we have franchised and now have over 35 offices around the country. Our business has grown to what it is today because of our extraordinary service. Thank you for your interest in Outdoor Lighting Perspectives.