Why to buy 316 Marine Grade Stainless Steel Lights
When buying lighting, particularly exterior lighting, there are many things to consider and the main one is - is the material right for your application? In this lighting blog, we will run through the points on why you should buy 316 marine grade stainless steel lighting over 304 stainless and aluminium and what questions to ask yourself before purchasing.
There are so many materials and styles of lights and when you are in a marine salt water environment you know a lot of things rust easy and exterior lights especially. 316 stainless steel contains around 3% molybdenum and with this chemical element added it prevents the steel from corrosion. So if you are investing on new lights in salt water areas you want to buy something that will last and hold up and last the distance - otherwise in a few years you will be back buying new lights plus paying for an electrician at around $80 an hour to replace. Below is a prime example of what happens when aluminium is installed on a waterfront property.
1. Location - If you are situated within 10kms of salt water from the sea and within 50 meters of a salt pool you should look at a 316 marine grade stainless steel light as this will have a greater corrosion resistance. Salt eats through 304 or aluminium within a few of years.
2. Brand - You will see many people stating their products are 316 stainless steel but they shave down the thickness of the stainless steel and in the end, it rusts anyway. When you go into a lighting store, ask to hold a high end 316 fitting as opposed to a cheaper brand. The weight can sometimes be up to 10 x heavier because it is a much thicker stainless steel which will hold up much longer than the cheaper models. The best brand by far for 316 stainless steel lighting is
followed by Aqualux. Stay clear of the big chains stating 316 at a cheap price you are simply wasting your time and money.
3. Maintenance - People think they can buy 316 marine grade stainless steel and install then forget about it - this is untrue - you will still need to maintain 316 every 3-6 months wiping the fitting down with WD40 with a rag leaving a coating on the fitting or you can use a
stainless steel rejuvenation kit
which is what’s used for BBQ’s and high-end yachts, this will increase the life to 20+ years.
4. Materials - When using 316 steel lights (maintained correctly) your lights will last 20 years plus, as opposed to aluminium and 304 stainless, which will start to tea stain and corrode after a few years. Aluminium is a good option when you are not in a salt environment, but if you do decide to go aluminium, we would suggest a matt black finish as the pitting will not be as visible. Another corrosion-free option for marine environments is solid copper or brass fittings, but be careful, some again will say “copper or brass coated” which are not solid and will flake off after a few years. Again, look at Havit Lighting and Aqualux for high-quality solid copper or brass fittings. Brass is really on trend at the moment which looks great and will last almost forever.
5. Time - How long do you intend on staying at your property? If this is your dream home then invest highly for style and quality. If you are thinking of selling or renting the property out, then consider a matt black aluminium which will go with every colour and should hold up around 5 years or so.