Brass is a fantastic outdoor lighting solution because it comes in many different natural colors, can fit any outdoor home decor, and is low maintenance, lasting for many years.
If you are considering purchasing an exterior wall light fixture to add to your home’s curb appeal, you can’t go wrong with brass. If you aren’t sure how to select the best brass outdoor light or what is required to maintain this metal, then check out the rest of our article below.
Why Choose Brass Outdoor Lighting Fixtures?
Before discussing why you should choose brass for your lighting fixtures, let’s talk a little about what brass is. Brass is an alloy or mixture of copper and zinc. This mixture creates a strong, durable, and sustainable metal that can hold up in most types of weather conditions and exposure.
The color of brass varies from gold to red and even white, depending on the type of alloy.
So, why should you choose brass for outdoor lighting fixtures? Well, because it will look fantastic with any outdoor setup and will require little maintenance.
How to Select the Right Brass Outdoor Lighting Fixtures
Brass lighting fixtures are often hand-made and designed through casting or forging, or are dye cut, wrought, or stamped, meaning the options are almost limitless. Each piece can be made specific to your preference.
Although brass is one of the most commonly used materials in lighting fixtures for the outdoors, there are some things to consider before you go out and purchase any product.
Zinc to Copper Ratio
Many lighting experts recommend choosing a brass fixture made from mostly copper, with only around 15% zinc added to the pot, ensuring that you have a strong, durable, and more weather-resistant product.
Keep in mind, this isn’t a set-in-stone rule; there are many outdoor fixtures you can choose from that have a higher level of zinc and will simply need a little more TLC.
As mentioned above, the color of brass can look a lot different depending on the ratio of copper to zinc.
- Red– Red is one of the most common colors for brass fixtures due to a high concentration of copper to zinc. (Zinc is less than 15%.) The higher levels of copper ensure the most amount of protection for your lighting.
- Yellow– There is up to 35% zinc in yellow brass metal. Although yellow isn’t as durable as red, it is much easier to work with and will provide more flexibility in design and structure.
- White- With up to 40% of zinc mixed into the metal, white brass is one of the lesser-used options in outdoor decor; however, it is still an option and does look very nice but will require more care than the other alloys.
You can also find different colors such as brown, black, dark blue, etc., which have other elements added to the mix.
Because there are many ways for brass fixtures to be designed, there are many products to choose from. Keep in mind that these items will cost you more than plastic, aluminum, or other thin metals due to their durability and the fact that most are hand-crafted.
Some beautiful fixtures you can choose for outdoor wall lighting include:
- Wall mount lighting
- Wall sconce
- Landscape lighting
- LED lighting
- Stairs and step lighting
- Rock lights
- Tall post lights
There are plenty of other options for brass outdoor lighting, too, if you’re not looking for wall lights. Try a pendant light, path light, outdoor lantern, picture lights, or outdoor chandeliers if you like the look of brass, but want to use it in another way.
Where you Plan on Placing Your Lighting
Before buying a light fixture, take a good look at your yard and decide the best place to install your lighting and why you want it there.
If you are looking for a way to illuminate your back patio, then a fixture with a higher concentration of zinc may be okay if you install the product under a porch roof or awning.
If you are purchasing lighting to brighten up your driveway, tall posts or floodlights on your garage are great options.
Maybe you want to showcase your beautiful garden at night with an equally exquisite brass light design. Well then, a handcrafted landscaping light would be a perfect fit.
How to Care For Your Brass Outdoor Lighting Fixtures
One of the best things about a brass fixture is that it doesn’t require much maintenance to keep its natural beauty. Actually, the appearance of brass can become more and more attractive as it ages.
The weathered look resembles antique brass, making it just as beautiful as it was on day one, but in a whole new way.
Should You Lacquer Brass Outdoor Lighting Fixtures?
Some people may recommend lacquering your brass outdoor exterior wall light fixtures to add extra protection from the elements. This is not necessary and will lead to much more maintenance in the end.
Lacquer will start to deteriorate from sun and moisture, causing it to peel and look awful. Once this happens, you will need to remove the old product and reapply a fresh new coat. This will happen over and over again.
How to Clean a Dirty Brass Outdoor Light Fixture
While brass may be durable and low-maintenance, it isn’t dirt- and dust-proof, so you will want to wash it from time to time. Lighting in an outdoor space can get messy. Luckily, cleaning doesn’t require very much work and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.
If your light fixture is just dusty, you can remove the dirt and debris with a soft cloth and rub it or dust it gently away.
If there are heavily soiled spots, you can use a brass cleaner or a mixture of water, vinegar, and baking soda, as a DIY cleaner.
Use a damp washcloth and wipe away as much of the debris as possible, then apply a small amount of cleaner or your mixture to the cloth or soft bristle toothbrush and gently scrub at the stuck-on residue until it is completely gone.
Rinse the towel and gently wipe away any leftover cleaner or dirt with clean water, then dry the fixture with a clean towel. You can also dry the brass with a blow dryer if you would prefer.
If you have a lacquered brass lighting fixture, clean it off with water and a damp washcloth. If you use any cleaning product, it can dry and be cloudy.
Summing Things Up
There is a reason that brass is one of the most commonly used metals found on outdoor lighting fixtures. There are very few options that compare to its beauty, durability, and low-maintenance designs.