The importance of LM6 in exterior lighting

It’s a common sight to see rust-stained walls or garden lights falling over and New Zealand’s property owners, both domestic and commercial are despondent as they replace, yet again, their exterior lighting due to corrosion.

What is LM6?

LM6 is a British alloy standard that has been adapted internationally for manufacturing products suitable for highly corrosive environments, such as marine and coastal applications.

The LM6 alloy composite is precisely formulated to resist oxidation. Oxidation is a chemical reaction in which a metal loses electrons. This reaction is accelerated by water, and as salt water is a much better conductor than fresh it exponentially accelerates the corrosion process.
This is why with 75+% of Kiwis living within 10km of the coast, buying exterior products that won’t corrode is essential.

Cu Mg Si Fe Mn Ni Zn Pb Sn Ti
<0.1 0.1 10.0 – 13.0 0.6 0.5 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.05 0.2

Then why is LM6 not always standard in NZ?

As with a lot of things in life, it comes down to cutting corners to save cost.  

Aside from the obvious raw material cost, common aluminium contains copper and other elements which help the composition to liquify.  

The absence of these in LM6 alloy complicates the process and makes it significantly more difficult to cast by causing drag and wear on the tools.  To reduce these affects and get a flawless product, the process is slower and requires special tools with coolant and lubricant.

Unilamp have taken a big step converting all their production lines to LM6, and are finally offering an affordable exterior option that won’t corrode.

In addition to the LM6 alloy, all Unilamp fittings undergo a special 16-stage coating system to make a truly New Zealand proof luminaire.