Elevate your landscaping: Lighting with ‘living’ finishes

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10 July 2022

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3 min read

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Illumination is a key part of a successful landscape design, and choosing a copper or bronze finish will mean that the lighting naturally ages in style as the garden grows alongside. We speak with Hunza's Joseph Waddingham to learn more.

Instead of needing to be replaced regularly, copper and cast bronze outdoor lighting fixtures are considered to be ‘living’ – made from physically robust materials that self-heal and blend with the surrounding environment, making them ideal for the harsh weather conditions faced in New Zealand.

“Copper and bronze finishes age in style and outdoor exposure leaves a unique patina on every luminaire,” says Hunza Lighting’s Joseph Waddingham. “They work with any outdoor colour palette and blend into your environment over time.”

Joseph shares the benefits of using copper and bronze outdoor lights in a garden lighting design, and the options available from Hunza.

ArchiPro: Why are copper and cast bronze finishes ideal for outdoor settings?

Joseph Waddingham: Our products range from about IP 66 to IP 67. The luminaires are waterproof, and copper adds another layer of natural protection. A really iconic use of copper in harsh environments over time is Statue of Liberty, which is full copper.

Copper can be used across the New Zealand landscape because it can last in close proximity to the sea and in wet conditions. It patinas and ages naturally – it's pretty amazing.

Copper and bronze finishes age in style and outdoor exposure leaves a unique patina on every luminaire.

AP: What is the difference between PVD and Solid CNC copper luminaires?

JW: PVD is a coating of a colour – such as rose gold or titanium – on a fixture that might be aluminium or brass, for example. This coating can last a long time, but after time the coating tends to lift in harsh environments which does not happen with pure copper. 

AP: What sort of projects have these lights been used for lately?

JW: A lot of our customers use Hunza’s lighting for heritage sites, because the copper and bronze blend in nicely with the old brickwork and much of the scoria rock that’s found around the country, especially in Auckland. The lights go really well with these materials as they patina.

Copper and bronze finishes patina – meaning that as the project ages, so too does the lighting’s finish.
Copper and bronze finishes patina – meaning that as the project ages, so too does the lighting’s finish.

Copper and bronze blend in nicely with the old brickwork and much of the scoria rock that’s found around the country.

AP: What’s your advice when it comes to building an outdoor lighting plan for residential projects?

JW: The advice I’d give homeowners is to really invest in a long-term solution for their project. When you’re doing a brick wall, or another feature around your home or garden, you’ve already put a lot of cost into it. Using copper or bronze luminaires means that as the project ages, the lighting’s finish is going to age at the same time.

Hunza's lighting products range IP 66 to IP 67, making them ideal for landscape lighting designs.
Hunza's lighting products range IP 66 to IP 67, making them ideal for landscape lighting designs.

Going that extra step to insert a copper or bronze finish means that as the project ages, the lighting’s finish is going to age at the same time.

AP: Can Hunza’s copper and bronze lighting solutions be customised?

JW: For large projects we can age copper and bronze prior to installation. We also provide luminaire customisation in any of our three primary materials that can be used with CNC machining technology. Around New Zealand, we’ve done some amazing sculptural pieces.

We have a full design team here, and an engineering team at Hunza. All powder-coating finishes are done in-house as well.

Explore the copper and cast bronze outdoor lighting solutions available from Hunza.