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replacing exterior & porch lights: what's best? led? cfl? incand?

Posted by staceyneil (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 29, 11 at 8:25

We're replacing three outdoor lights. I'm REALLY torn about what to buy! I feel like the technology on bulbs is changing so fast, and I don't really know whether to believe the manufacturers claims about the new LEDs and CFLs looking as good as incandecents... I'd really appreciate some advice from folks who have first-hand experience!

I see there are CFL-specific fixtures. Or a "regular" fixture that can take incadescent, CFL, or LED bulb. Or a LED-specific.

Concerns:
1) cold weather performance: I live in Maine
2) quality of light: I really prefer a warm, welcoming-looking light to the cool light I associate with LEDs and CFLs. But maybe technology has vastly improved?
3) energy-efficiency... At least one will be on a timer and be on for at least 6 hours a day during wintertime.
4) "look" of the bulb (many of the fixture styles I like have clear globes, so the actual bulb will show. Since they're in high-visibility locations they need to look nice. No spiral-CFL bulbs...


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: replacing exterior & porch lights: what's best? led? cfl? inc

The Philips EnduraLED A19 (12W) is supposed to have an operating temp range of -20 C to 45 C.
2700k light color
Not spiral, but still strange looking, especially when not in use.

Here is a link that might be useful: Specifications from Philips


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RE: replacing exterior & porch lights: what's best? led? cfl? inc

I am looking at the same thing. I figure I will get porch fixtures that I can use either incandescent, CFLs, or LED replacements. Given that the current regular base LEDs which give the best light distribution are the Philips AmbientLEDs (rather weird looking), I am looking for fixtures where the bulb itself will not be very visible. In addition, the fixtures are not completely enclosed. (e.g. open at the bottom).

Also, there are glass-covered CFLs if you do not like the looks of spirals....


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RE: replacing exterior & porch lights: what's best? led? cfl? inc

I haven't done any detailed research in the past several months, but my take on LEDs is that the "cost + light output + energy usage" formula needs to mature a bit more to be viable. The cost is much higher than CFLs, the light output is less, and the energy usage is only slightly less.

I'm still using the same set of 7 Sylvania 16W CFL floods that I installed three years ago in my outside soffit lights, which I run dusk-to-dawn. They are "cooler" looking than incandescent (I think they are 3000�K), but not as bad as CFLs used to be. And they do take a minute or two to "warm up" in the winter, which would not make them ideal for front door use, but isn't a problem for soffit lights.

I'm using incandescent bulbs on the outside wall fixtures because I have "soft on" switches installed in two locations, which aren't compatible with other technologies ... but we rarely use those fixtures anyway, so I'm fine with that.


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RE: replacing exterior & porch lights: what's best? led? cfl? inc

Find a A-style halogen bulb.

The quartz envelope is inside a conventional A-style globe.


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RE: replacing exterior & porch lights: what's best? led? cfl? inc

I ll suggest you to go out for cfl bulbs.They are very popular now. and lighting is also very good.Prices are also not high. Go for cfls...


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RE: replacing exterior & porch lights: what's best? led? cfl? inc

Three exterior light bulbs won't break the bank, nor will the savings of cfl's pay for college.

I stick with the quality incandescent lamps that are "real" light bulbs, especially for outdoor use.

Here is a link that might be useful: 10,000 hour bulb.


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RE: replacing exterior & porch lights: what's best? led? cfl? inc

Last year I bought some exterior sconce type lights at Costco (as of last week the had them again) that I love the style but HATE the light they give off. They have pretty crackle glass, open at the bottom and you don't see any lightbulbs. I figured they would be super easy to clean. The lightbulbs are tiny things up in the "ceiling" of the fixture and are supposed to last for ages, so I think they are LED fixtures. Problem is I HATE the color of the light they give off. My porch still has a regular old fashioned type fixture/bulbs and that light is much warmer and yellower compared to the ones describe above. Since both the sconces and the old porch light are on the same switch, they are always on together and the difference in the color of the light they give off really bugs me.
The color of the LEDS may have improved, but not enough for me.


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RE: replacing exterior & porch lights: what's best? led? cfl? inc

I am facing some similar decisions. I wonder how well long-lived outdoor bulbs will fare in their sockets. Are the quality of the sockets and the mating surface on the bulbs up to a bulb life of several years to decades? This will be a bigger problem in humid areas with bulbs that produce little or no heat to drive the moisture away at night when the lights might be in a condensing environment.

I am thinking that there will be lot of reports of bulbs corroded into their fixtures over the next decade.


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RE: replacing exterior & porch lights: what's best? led? cfl? inc

In equatorial island countries like Singapore where the humidity is typically ~ 90+%, outdoor fixtures are usually sealed/ weatherproof. Most outdoor lighting is provided by sodium lamps.

If you're really concerned about corrosion, use weatherproof fixtures.


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RE: replacing exterior & porch lights: what's best? led? cfl? inc

Dtchgirl
I got some of those Costco lamps and I love them! The color is a tad off but the advantages are they go on without a timer, just sense the darkness and go off and on automatically. I the winter I leave in the dark and come home in the dark I feel much safer and they cost nothing to use. I wouldn't want them in the house but love them outside, bright and safe!


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RE: replacing exterior & porch lights: what's best? led? cfl? inc

"In equatorial island countries like Singapore where the humidity is typically ~ 90+%, outdoor fixtures are usually sealed/ weatherproof. Most outdoor lighting is provided by sodium lamps.

If you're really concerned about corrosion, use weatherproof fixtures. "

"Weatherproof" usually means that drainage has been provided.

It is not really possible to seal a light fixture long term for outside use.

Just like outdoor conduit fills with water from condensation, so will any light fixture that cannot drain.


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RE: replacing exterior & porch lights: what's best? led? cfl? inc

I'm also looking to replace our outdoor light bulbs (porch and garage). Any suggestions for a brand/model? Thanks!


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RE: replacing exterior & porch lights: what's best? led? cfl? inc

Thinking more about the need for water draining from fixtures as pointed out by brickeye. An outlet for vapor at the top would probably be useful too. At least that would promote drying when the sun hits the fixture instead of condensation at the upper end.


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RE: replacing exterior & porch lights: what's best? led? cfl? inc

Hi,
Just saw this post because I was trying to decide the exact same thing and had the exact same requirements.
So, the suspense is killing me. What type of bulb did you choose? I was thinking of maybe a candle type or whatever bulb has kind of an orang-ish hue in the form of a candle? Have an incandescent soft white, but don't like it.


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