Coastal Outdoor Finishes—Robust and Refined

Outdoor climates can be punishing on lighting fixtures. No one knows this better than our Hubbardton Forge Manufacturing Process Engineer. We recently asked him to explain the trials and tribulations associated with developing long-lasting and beautiful outdoor finishes.

©Images: Zurdo | DGS

“We started exploring possible finishing and coating improvements for our outdoor line in 2014, after deciding that we wanted to offer greater protection against the elements,” Justin explains. “Working with our powder coating vendor helped us identify the option for an even more durable basecoat to go underneath our translucent topcoat powders, giving our customers the same color finish that they loved. The Coastal Outdoor Finish is the result of the “two-coat” process.”

It’s the final portion of the finishing process that is key to creating a truly durable outdoor finish, “The powder basecoat is what gives the process its durability. Epoxy powder coatings are commonly used for exterior applications to extend product life and protect from corrosion and are very safe compared to liquid resins. Nobody is exposed to toxic fumes in this process. Our decorative and UV stable topcoats add the color and act like a pair of sunglasses—blocking the UV rays. The translucent topcoats are the very same powders that we use as a single coat process on all of our interior products—therefore the color and feel is consistent between our indoor and outdoor lines.”

The real proof comes after rigorous testing and punishing trials. These sample fixtures are exposed to harsh coastal conditions, “To test the coastal finish process, we purchased our own salt fog test chamber in late 2015. The salt fog cabinet is nearly 100% humidity at 95°F with a 5% salt content—saltier than the Atlantic Ocean. The cabinet creates a very corrosive environment meant to destruct the coating. This allowed side-by-side comparisons to our previous finishing process. We tested both fixtures and lab quality aluminum panels in every color combination available to validate our test, seeing a minimum of 3X better performance.”

Outdoor lighting fixtures in coastal environments have the greatest risk of corrosion, but even inland lighting has to combat rust due to high-humidity conditions. Wherever your outdoor lighting placement may be, Hubbardton Forge has you covered. They offer a Lifetime Limited Warranty* not only on their indoor products, but also for all outdoor products featuring Coastal Outdoor Finishes. Made for the outdoors, but elegant enough for indoor use as well.*Lifetime Limited Warranty applies to residential use only. For commercial application, see terms of our Commercial Warranty.