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The Bright Ideas Blog

Design inspiration and outdoor lighting tips and advice for homeowners

Landscape Lighting Fixtures of Yesterday vs. Fixtures of Today

In the world of landscape lighting there is perpetual improvement. The development of better systems and components has changed the game for the industry. The developments in the way fixtures are being built and engineered is a wonderful example of this. 

What is the best part about the advances we've seen? The way these changes are benefiting our clients!

 A great example of clients benefiting from the progressive changes in the lighting industry is made evident by the introduction of LED technology. The installation of LED lamps has provided homeowners with hitherto unknown nicety: increased lamp life, heightened system performance, and decreased electrical costs are all made possible because of LED.

What did homeowners have to work with before advancements in LED technology? Homeowners were only left with one option: halogen. Halogen lamps burnt out yearly, cost a fortune in electrical energy, and required an inordinate amount of up keep. 

Something beautiful about LED is that homeowners with lighting systems can enjoy it, even years after their original lighting system was installed. 

While LED LED technology is one great example of the improvements being made to outdoor lighting, there is still another that is too often overlooked: fixtures

What good is LED technology in an outdoor setting if the fixtures housing this technology haven't been improving too?


Looking for fixtures built of copper and brass had always been the elementary standard for evaluating a fixture's durability. Simply put, brass and copper are durable materials that will last for the long term. However, the way these materials are employed, the way the fixture is built and constructed, plays a crucial role. 

The industry has grown and made many improvements to fixtures based off of the issues fixtures were having in real world applications. 

A big problem was the construction. While copper and brass are great materials, they are only as good as the way they were put together. In the past, Quality copper and brass fixtures were constructed out of numerous parts. Pieces were soldered and screwed together, leaving weak points where fixtures could be easily damaged. 

Today, fixtures are being built using C and C machines. Rather than build dozens of different parts for a path light, a C and C machine will build a fixture out of one solid piece of copper or brass. 

The C and C machine will take a block of metal and literally take a laser and diamond cutter to the metal in order to carve and shape it into a fixture. 

This process creates a more solid fixture with less components, and less weak points. 

Not only the construction, but also the engineering behind many of today's fixtures has changed the game. Gaskets and silicone seals were used, and are still often used to ensure that fixtures will be able to keep water and moisture out. But today manufacturers have taken moisture reduction to the next level. 


Hard water deposits on lenses are inevitable. But some fixture designs are helping to greatly re duct the amount of hard water deposits. There are up lights being built now with vents around the lens to help water drain off the side of the fixture. These fixtures are designed to not only keep water out of the fixture, but to also keep water off of the fixture. 

The evolution of fixtures, like the introduction of LED lamps, has really begun to change the game for the lighting industry. But like I said before, the people who really benefit from these improvements the most aren't the installers and designers, its the people whose homes and landscape are being lit. 

Like LED lamps, old systems can be revamped and improved by integrating new fixtures into the system. For example, if your path lights have been abused and broken, rather than replace them with matching fixtures that will inevitably suffer the same fate, why not up grade all your path lights to a more sophisticated and stronger built fixture?


If you system needs a face lift, or maybe more than just a face lift, and you're interested in finding out more about the improvements being made to today's fixtures, give us a call anytime M - F 7:30 AM - 5:00 PM or simply fill out our form today to set up a consultation with one of our talented designers. 

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