Outdoor Copper Lighting
To me, outdoor copper lighting fixtures are one of the classiest forms of exterior lighting for a house. No matter what style your house is, or whether it’s mounted on a deck, porch, patio, or right on the exterior wall, copper can look and feel appropriate. But the key is to choose the right style of copper fixture, and with the perfect finish or patina.
The biggest division in lighting is traditional vs. modern, and that’s the first decision you need to tackle before continuing your search. This is completely personal preference, so there really isn’t a correct answer. I’ve seen many traditional houses that were spiced up with light fixtures that leaned towards the modern side of the spectrum, and I’ve seen modern homes where traditional copper fixtures were used to help give the outdoor space a splash of tradition. Luckily, man lighting manufacturers and online lighting outlets make it really easy to narrow the search and get a feel for your taste. In many cases, you can find very traditional versions of a wall sconce, for example, and then from the same retailer, a more modern version of the same traditional design.
Finish and patina:
Copper fixtures will start their lives with a shiny glow that will become dull, darker, and sometimes tarnish to a greenish color as it ages. This natural aged finish is part of why traditionalists love the metal so much, but if it’s not your style, you can either try to maintain that shine with a copper lacquer, buy a fixture that is factory-treated to create a certain look, or give the metal your own custom patina with the help of some chemicals.
This is a great example of a real, solid-copper wall light, complete with soldered cross-bars, that has been given an antique patina - not shiny like new, and not green and tarnished (although the company offers fixtures in both of those options, as well).
If you like the look of new, shiny copper, the metal can be coated with lacquer. It won't necessarily stop the aging process, but it will slow it down. Here's a good example of a slightly modern wall mount fixture by SPJ Lighting, which is buffed out to a high copper shine.