LED Outdoor Lights

Posted by John on June 11th, 2012

For the past couple years since we’ve lived in our current house we’ve had some issues with our exterior garage lights.  The fixtures themselves aren’t really the problem, it’s the bulbs.  I’m not sure if it’s the changing temperatures between the seasons or what, but they never seem to last longer than a few weeks before one or both are burned out.

Ehh.  Looks like they need to be cleaned a bit too!

Anyway, one of the culprits of their short life may due to the fact that they’re on pretty much 24/7.  A few months ago, we added a very basic light sensor to each bulb.  Essentially, if it’s daylight out, the lights are supposed to be off.  That worked for a couple weeks, then some nasty bugs crawled into the light sensor and blocked the light, so they run all day.

Here’s that sensor on the bulb…

and separated… that little stem is where the sensor/bugs are.

While in Lowe’s recently, buying more poplar for our raised panel project, I stopped in the light bulb section.  Stops in this isle for outside bulbs have been way too frequent.  This trip was the first time I paid any attention to the LEDs.  I’ve been aware of LED for industrial applications and some more unique residential uses like undercabinet lighting, but I’ve never noticed them for plan old bulb replacement.  I can tell you the prices varied wildly.  A large flood light style LED was listed for nearly $56!!  I didn’t think they’d made or carried the LED equivalent of what I was looking for, which is a clear exterior grade bulb.

Then I bumped into this guy…

It was around $13 and if you can read the label, it’s supposed to last 50 times longer than the average 25 Watt filament bulb!  It’s around 130 lumens, where an actual 25 Watt bulb is around 190.  So, the filaments are slightly brighter.  At about $1.50 a bulb, if I get even 10 times the life of the average bulb, then this LED has paid for itself.  The big question though is how does it look.  How’s the quality and the ambiance?

Not bad.  I’m not one to worry too much about the ambiance or the color of the light for outside bulbs, so to be honest, I want it to be bright and last a while.  It’s certainly bright.  It looks brighter than the 190 lumen 25 Watt bulbs I’ve been using.  I think I’ll keep them.

Any green bulbs in your house or apartment?  What do you think of them?  Are you stocking up on filament bulbs?

Posted in Garage and Tools. Tagged in ,, ,