Every year, homeowners must replace or repair exterior fixtures and trim damaged by water ingress, weather changes, or temperature fluctuations. In coastal environments, salt in the air can lead to corrosion and rust, as well as an increased risk of damage to exterior fixtures in homes in areas that regularly experience extreme weather. The best way to prepare your home and secure your fixtures is to install marine-grade components.
To help you ensure your home is prepared for extreme weather, this article focuses on marine-grade outdoor lighting. It provides an in-depth look at what outdoor lights are, the features of these products, and why they are popular.
We invite you to explore our range of premium outdoor lights to take your exterior decor to new heights. Whether you have a sprawling backyard, a coastal home, a cozy patio or a stunning garden, our outdoor lighting solutions are designed to bring a touch of glamour to your outdoor oasis.
What Does Marine Grade Mean?
You would not be wrong in assuming that anything described as marine-grade is a product designed for use in marine environments. The ability of these products to withstand the most brutal weather conditions has made them popular among home-builders all over the world.
Marine-grade materials are tough, durable, and made of special composite materials. This is why they are favored for creating excellent-quality home fittings.
Marine-grade products are designed to withstand marine-level elements such as storms, corrosion from saltwater, and rough contact. These products are made from sophisticated materials like molybdenum, carbon steel, silicon bronze, and more. Every manufacturer maintains their own, unique composite and manufacturing process for marine-grade fixtures.
Marine-grade materials are often galvanized (dipped in hot zinc) or anodized (electrolytic acid bath) to prevent saltwater corrosion. Other practices include resilient coating treatments and the use of molybdenum.
Examples of marine-grade metals are brass; silicon-bronze, aluminum-bronze, and phosphor-bronze alloys; copper-nickel alloys; most stainless steels; certain grades of aluminum; alloy steel; some, but not all, carbon steels; and galvanized steel, depending on the temperature.
Apart from using metals that exhibit resilience and maintain their properties in rugged environments, it is also important to look at the glass used to house marine-grade lighting. The design and type of glass should not allow for dirt and dust to stick to it, which will ensure that the glass remains cleaner for longer while being easy to clean when the time comes.
The Basics of Marine-Grade Lighting
To fully understand how marine-grade lighting equipment works, it is important to evaluate it against three key metrics: class rating (humidity rating), energy efficiency, and reliability.
Grade Rating (Damp or Wet Rating)
Marine grade lighting should be designed for harsh outdoor conditions. Three independent agencies—CSA International (CSA), Intertek (ETL), and Underwriters Laboratories (UL)—oversee the quality assessment of this equipment, providing an easy way to determine whether a product advertised as marine grade is actually marine grade.
Moisture-resistant lighting fixtures are designed for use in covered outdoor spaces and should not be in direct contact with water. Ideally, they should be installed in covered patios and porches.
Wet-rated luminaires are designed for outdoor use where there is constant direct exposure to water and are capable of functioning during rainfall. A good example is the aluminum outdoor wall light. These lights can be found in outdoor lighting pathways, water features or swimming pools.
According to the US Department of Energy, "Outdoor lighting consumes a significant amount of energy each year, approximately 1.3 trillion British thermal units, at a cost of approximately $10 billion per year." Therefore, using energy-efficient marine-grade lighting is important to conserve energy and save money on your electricity bill.
Outdoor lights using LED bulbs are a great option for energy-efficient lighting. Even in outdoor environments with extreme temperatures, LED bulbs can last for four to six years.
At Vakkerlight, we value sustainability and environmentally friendly practices. Many of our outdoor lighting fixtures feature energy-efficient LED technology, which reduces energy consumption without compromising lighting. Enjoy the perfect blend of beauty and sustainability in your outdoor space with our curated collection.
In addition to being able to handle bad weather and save energy, lighting should also be reliable.
At Vakkerlight, we prioritize quality and craftsmanship with every outdoor lighting fixture we offer. Our marine grade outdoor lights are engineered to withstand the elements, ensuring their resilience in all weather conditions. From rainy weather to hot sun exposure, you can trust our lights will continue to shine bright and beautiful.
Before buying, it's important to consider why you should invest in marine-grade outdoor lights. Is practicality your number one reason, or do you care more about aesthetics? If aesthetics are your main concern, you may be willing to pay more for them, depending on how they look in the location you want.
On the practical side, you'll need to decide on other uses for the lamp. When you know exactly what your fixtures are for, it's much easier for any expert to guide you to the right product.
Outdoor lighting needs vary by location. Many components, even marine-grade fixtures, are designed for specific local conditions and may not function properly outside of those specific conditions.
Marine-grade accessories work best in coastal areas where salt spray, sea air, and high winds are a constant threat. The enhanced corrosion resistance obtained through galvanizing and anodizing processes make it ideal for such areas. If you live along the coast, practicality may take precedence over aesthetics.
Aside from considering your geographic location, you should also take into account the specific location(s) in the building where you intend to install your marine-grade fittings. There are three locations to consider; dry locations, damp locations, and wet locations.
As mentioned earlier, some marine-grade fittings are not designed for use in spaces with direct, or even indirect, contact with water. Such fittings should be installed in covered spaces like the patio. These items are designed to resist harsh winds or salt exposure, but are not designed with moisture in mind.
Many marine-grade fittings are better able to withstand the effects of indirect or infrequent precipitation. Such fittings can be installed in spaces where they are likely to come across water or moisture periodically.
Some outdoor lights and ceiling fans are manufactured to weather direct exposure to moisture and water, such as rainfall. These types of items are in rooftop spaces, verandas, and fences.
Marine class is the future
Marine grade outdoor lights remain relevant for many uses both inside and outside the home. With guaranteed quality, durability and aesthetics, marine-grade features will likely continue to be a part of many homes into the future.
Unfortunately, extreme weather caused by climate change will be in the future. Therefore, the ability of household equipment to withstand natural disasters will become an important consideration when building a new home or renovating an old one.
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