Over the past 15 years, trends have evolved and there has been a surge in the demand for garden lamp posts, which replicate the traditional Victorian styles first manufactured in the late 1800’s. As a consumer the choice you’re quickly faced with is aluminium VS cast iron? This article highlights 6 of the most important factors to help you make an educated decision, although the final choice is obviously yours!
1) Aluminium garden lamp posts are often considerably cheaper than the cast iron alternatives, the trade-off is durability. Whilst many reclaimed cast iron lamp posts have already survived fifty years or more, you’ll rarely find an aluminium lamp post with a guarantee which extends for longer than a year or two.
2) Cast iron is extremely heavy, and requires fairly substantial anchoring pads, to ensure they stand firm during testing weather conditions. If your garden is particularly exposed, located on a steep incline or cannot offer a substantial base for the post, a cast iron lamp post may not be physically practical.
3) Aluminium is prone to sheering; a knock with a car is enough to split the metal, once a split appears it is very difficult to stop it spreading or to make good with a repair. This is the same with dents, as the metal is quiet thin, it can easily be dented and due to inaccessibility, removing the dent is often not possible. This often makes aluminium lighting impractical for commercial applications where high traffic flow is an issue.
4) Cast iron is brittle, you must be careful when transporting your outdoor lamp post back to your garden, a drop from a fairly low height onto a hard surface can lead to sections cracking and breaking away. As with aluminium it is very difficult to make a repair, especially so if you’ve damage an anchoring point at the base.
5) Unlike cast iron, aluminium does not rust, although not in the traditional sense as it still corrodes, but often this corrosion will not cause any structural weakness. Iron however will rust and does require a protective barrier, such as a powder coat paint for protection.
6) If you’re looking for traditional design and craftsmanship, a garden lamp post manufactured from iron, will always appear more authentic and substantial. Aluminium posts are often punched from large sections of sheet, which means they often lack character and personality, almost resembling a plastic like effect, due to the consistent smoothness.