LED bulbs in yard


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Old 08-16-15, 07:59 PM
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LED bulbs in yard

Hi,
I've been using incandescent bulbs in my porch light and a front yard post lamp for several years now and want to stop wasting $$ and energy on these. The porch light bulb is enclosed in a small removable globe while the post lamp bulb is enclosed in a fairly large glass box. Not sure if these enclosed fixtures would rule out the use of LEDs. I'd like the LED equivalent of about a 150 watt incandescent on the porch and a 200-300 watt incandescent in the post lamp. would appreciate it if any of you out there might have some information here.
Thanks,
9er
 
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Old 08-16-15, 08:16 PM
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Hi 9er, and welcome to the forum.

40 and 60 watt equivalent bulbs are common and reasonably priced, but the higher illumination bulbs are fewer and more expensive. However, I have been impressed with the daylight 60 watt bulbs, very bright. The shift from soft white to daylight almost doubles the effective light, my opinion.

What I would recommend is the doughnut shaped 60 watt eq bulbs from Sylvania I believe. Very distinctive style you can't miss it. I think orange box store was last I saw them under $5. As for outside in enclosed lamps, they produce far less heat than any incandescents so should be fine. Try a couple and at worst, use those elsewhere inside if you don't like the results.

Haven't looked for higher wattage eq bulbs in a while, but I believe they are showing up.

Bud
 
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Old 08-16-15, 09:21 PM
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It was a few years ago that I tried LED lamps in my outside fixtures but I was sorely disappointed. Admittedly they were only 40 watt equivalent but I found they offered almost no scattered illumination, in other words, they did NOT illuminate the area at all but only gave direct light. I had been using 9 watt equivalent CFLs and been extremely happy with them as they cut my electric bill about $4.00 a month or better than 10% at the time.

So, I would try ONE LED bulb in a fixture and see how it works. If you like the illumination then get more.


I might add that I really do like LED lighting. I have a LED reflector lamp in a recessed fixture illuminating my computer area, two, LED reflector lamps in my project room, one (of four) of my reflector bulbs in the kitchen is an LED (testing its compatibility with the dimmer) and I also have small low-voltage LEDs for night lights plus a "corn" (looks like a corn cob) bulb in my bedside lamp. If they weren't so darn expensive I would have all my lights using LED bulbs.
 
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Old 08-16-15, 09:55 PM
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I had been using 9 watt equivalent CFLs and been extremely happy with them as they cut my electric bill about $4.00 a month or better than 10% at the time.
X 2... I do the same
........................
 
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Old 08-17-15, 03:46 AM
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Furd's comments about the directional properties is why I recommended the doughnut shaped LED bulb, it provides a better lighting pattern from the original lamp on top designs that came out early in this transition. The better distribution plus the daylight (5,000 K) are a big improvement.

Bud

They are also plastic which I also found interesting for some applications.
 

Last edited by Bud9051; 08-17-15 at 03:49 AM. Reason: addition
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Old 08-18-15, 12:22 AM
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I should add here that I average about 2-1/2 years of service on my CFL lights. I also have them on a photocell so they average about 10-12 hours of use daily year-round.

Plus, I bought a boatload of them when I found them at Sam's Club with a local utility discount, about a buck per six pack. I think I have enough CFLs to last for ten years.
 
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Old 08-18-15, 09:56 AM
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Thanks for the help, guys.

Those donut shaped Sylvania daylight bulbs that Bud mentioned sound like they might work but I was unable to find any that looked donut shaped at their company website. Would you have a model name/# or a link you can post? Thanks for the help.
 
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Old 08-18-15, 10:32 AM
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Old 08-18-15, 12:56 PM
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Donut Bulbs

Thanks, Bud. They look like they might work well. And you're not the only one who missed something. After reading your suggestion and then not finding them on Sylvania site, I looked over the Phillips site too and never even noticed them. there.
 
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Old 08-18-15, 01:30 PM
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I think orange box is where I got mine. I have been trying newer versions as they come out so I have some real experience with some of them. As newer ones or brighter ones come available I move the older ones to less frequently used places. What is funny is that the long life of these new bulbs will exceed my own. I tell the kids I will have to include these in my will.

BTW, the first outside floods I purchased were 75 watt eq and cost $50 each. Outrageous, but given their automatic operation they will still pay for themselves and more.

Bud
 
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Old 08-18-15, 01:45 PM
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Since I wanted a lot of light, I briefly considered getting LED floods for the post lantern but since all the light is directed upward toward the roof of the fixture, that sure wasn't going to work. If they work, that would be the advantage of these donut bulbs--better coverage of the area around the base of the lantern. Thanks again, Bud.
 
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Old 08-21-15, 05:11 AM
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I have been slowly changing over to LEDs throughout my house, including in the front yard.

I have also been exceedingly happy with the results. Most of the directional, brightness, and color issues that were a huge headache a couple years ago have been solved now. The main problem that I'm seeing with what you're looking for is the higher wattage bulbs. 100W-equivalent bulbs have gotten down to about the standard size in most cases. But from what I've seen so far, looking for anything over 100 Watts increases in size dramatically and probably will not fit your fixtures.

The other issue that I researched a great deal out of safety concerns, was using the "correct" LED bulb outdoors and inside fixtures. I had a great primer to this issue when I was originally replacing my outdoor lights with CFLs. I discovered that I needed special outdoor-rated bulbs that had a ballast in them. That's not the case with LEDs, but they do have three different wet ratings. There's 1) indoor use only, 2) damp-rated, and 3) wet-rated. If you're going to use a bulb outdoors it NEEDS to be at least damp-rated, which means it is not designed for direct exposure to weather, but is suitable for use in partially open enclosures and under eaves. Wet-rated is for when it's going to be exposed to weather.

The other thing to keep in mind about LEDs is that, while they produce far less heat than incandescent bulbs, they do include tiny control computers in them that are far more susceptible to heat. So you still want to be really careful about installing a bulb in a fully enclosed fixture if it is not designed for that... While I have been using Phillips bulbs throughout most of my home's interior, I was not able to find a damp-rated encloseable bulb from them. All of the Phillips bulbs I have seen so far say on the back something like "not intended for use in enclosed fixtures". So I was forced to go back to Cree (my very first LED experience was with Cree bulbs that dimmed horribly). But I was pleasantly surprised to find that their latest (at the time) version of their 60-Watt-equivalent bulbs looked exactly like standard incandescents, gave off great light, and were damp-rated. They even specifically said on the back, "Do not use in enclosed fixtures with other bulb technologies", meaning that, if alone or with other LED bulbs, they are safe to install in fully enclosed fixtures!... You can't mix the technologies because a warmer incandescent or CFL bulb may cause the chip in the LED bulb to over heat. And I don't know how much truth there is to it, but what I have read is that unlike CFLs and incandescents, because of their electronic components, LED bulbs actually have the potential to catch fire when they fail from overheating.

I have those Cree 60W bulbs installed in both my porch lights and they look great. I have a larger 65 or 75 watt equivalent CFL in my light post that I still need to replace with an LED, but I think that's going to be harder to find than the 60W.

An added bonus of installing LED bulbs in your porch lights is that, since they don't give off as much infra-red light (heat), they attract fewer flying insects and spiders to your door.
 
 

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