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Exterior Lighting Resources

Exterior Details-Italian Styled Small Vacation Home

Powder Coated Porch Lanterns

After much searching on both the Internet and in 'brick & mortar' lighting showrooms, and building supply stores, I was unable to locate exterior porch lanterns that were suitable and affordable. Eventually, I settled on these  $118 dollar oversized steel lights from Lowe's. Each lantern holds 6 bulbs--I liked that. I used the grinder to remove the upper curls. I covered the cut ends with small black plastic tips which I glued in place after the painting process was complete.

Since they were steel, and not expected to last long in our salt air, I completely disassembled them to have them sand-blasted & powder-coat painted. It  was no small task,  I had to remove all combustible materials, wiring, sockets, etc. They were bead-blasted in Mobile,  powder-coated at a manufacturer of exercise equipment in another town and re-assembled by me. Again, no small task considering the tiny tubing. A fellow who had worked at a lighting manufacturer suggested I use fan-pull ball type chain to pull the wiring back thru the tubing. It was a very good suggestion. It is possible to twist the leads of the wire around the chain between the balls and not add to the diameter of the wire you are attempting to pull through the tubing.

porch lantern porch lantern exterior lighting

lantern rewire rewiring exterior lighting
Rewiring after powder-coat painting

I had my hanging brackets made by a Baldwin County native named Joe Wainwright of Daphne. He did a great job making them from my drawings and I had them painted at the same time as the lanterns.

hanging porch lanternElectrician Michael Bates came right out to mount & hang them for us. I had him put an exterior outlet boxes for the lanterns when we did the initial house wiring, so we put a standard plug on the lantern's cord and plugged them in rather than hard wiring them. The thinking here is that we may be able to unplug them and bring the lanterns inside in case of hurricane.

lantern-hanging porch

hanging lanterns porch lights

This is a photo of the house before the hurricane shutters were installed. We are pleased with the scale of the exterior porch lanterns on the structure.

UPDATE: One year later--these lanterns are rusting like crazy. There is flaking paint on the porch under them every morning! After all the trouble I went to. A marine engineer told me that he thought the problem might have been the fact that I had them bead blasted in Mobile and then drove with them in my car to a nearby town to have them powder coat painted. They were exposed to the atmosphere during that time in transit. And the atmosphere down here is still below the 'salt line'....oh well. The other day a fellow who is an interior designer on the coast commented how lucky I was to have found such great antique exterior lanterns....steel and salt air = instant antiques!

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Exterior Lighting Resources

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