Simply put, iron will rust when exposed to air and water. The key to keeping your exterior wrought iron light fixtures and furniture looking like new is just as simple: keep the finish nick-free and maintain protection with occasional paint reapplication. If you're in a humid or rainy environment (sorry Miami) you may need to do this more often, but the beauty of iron is that with minimal maintenance, it will last forever.
Always switch the light off and remove the bulb before you begin the cleaning process. Next, fill a bucket with warm water and a vegetable based soap and wipe the fixture with a dampened low-lint clothe from top to bottom. When thoroughly cleaned, rinse with water and allow to dry. You may need to wipe the fixture (again with a low-lint clothe) to remove all the moisture, especially if you it's in a shaded location. At this point, inspect your light. Do you see any nicks? Rust spots? If not, apply a small layer of clear wax to the surface (a carnauba/beeswax blend is recommended) and enjoy the fruits of your labor!
If yes, don't worry. We can deal with both issues. Use emory paper or 80 grit sandpaper to carefully remove rust patches, or a steel bristled brush if the rust is extensive, and wipe clean. Spray the area with a rust inhibitive primer (Rust-oleum makes a good one), let dry for a day or so and assess your work. At this point, depending on the color of the finish and the size of the problem area, you may want to reapply the original paint color. We are always happy to supply touchup paint for any of our finishes if needed. Once dry, follow up with a small amount of clear wax. With proper maintenance, your wrought iron outdoor light fixtures and furniture will never need replacing!