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#47225 - 12/13/17 03:26 PM Light bulb advice
deniro Offline


Registered: 09/09/09
I've been putting LED bulbs in my house over the years for all the usual reasons. But what to use outdoors is more complicated.

I have one overhead bulb in my two-car garage, not in the center, closer to the back. For years I used incandescent bulbs and that worked fine. I was shocked when I tried a Philips PAR38 1200 lumen, soft white. Some flood. The light didn't spread at all. I would like to use an energy-saving bulb, but I would also like to see, and my eyes aren't getting any younger.

If you had to pick one bulb for this garage, what would it be? You pick the shape, watts, lumens, technology, whatever, but it has to be the typical screw in fixture that fits ordinary A19 bulbs. Bright enough for me to put gas in the snowblower at night, jump the car battery, and so on, but not so bright it will attract man-eating moths and junebugs.

I've researched this quite a bit. I know that beam angle makes a difference. Many people have been putting new fixtures in their garages, but I don't want to do that. That skirts the problem of the limitations of LED bulbs. Bulb to bulb comparisons over brightness usually evoke "it depends..."



Edited by deniro (12/13/17 03:26 PM)
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#47226 - 12/13/17 04:20 PM Re: Light bulb advice [Re: deniro]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Not to make light of your good intentions, but does your garage light actually spend that much time turned on that you'd feel guilty about sticking with an incandescent bulb?

I, too, like to conserve energy, but incandescents happen to work - not just better, but waaay best - in my low usage situations, and I've got no compunctions about using them.

In direct response, you might try a compact fluorescent, which would be a better lighting, albeit a less energy efficient, option than an LED in your garage.

#4 – LIGHTING

LED Lighting – ideal for directional lighting. Directional lighting is useful in lights such as flashlights and desk lamps. The light focuses on where the bulb is pointed rather than bathing the wider area in light. LEDs are also found in vehicle headlights and electronic devices for status lights.

Fluorescent Light – ideal for lighting up full rooms, with full-size tubes being ideal for large rooms such as warehouses where focused light is not needed. CFL bulbs are useful for home use and lighting up bedrooms and living areas.
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#47227 - 12/13/17 04:58 PM Re: Light bulb advice [Re: deniro]
joemikeb Offline
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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Assuming the garage "fixture" is the typical porcelain socket, instead of thinking in terms of an LED bulb think in terms of an LED fixture like this or a higher lumen bulb like this. Both are of course more expensive than the average led bulb but given they will likely last well past your lifespan IMO worth the price. I have also seen these at hardware and big box stores such as Lowes or Home Depot

If you want to keep the price down go with your Phillips PAR 38 change from soft white (2700 k) to cool white (4100 K) or daylight (5000 k). Technically even at the same number of lumens the higher color temperature ranges will look and feel a LOT brighter. (I replaced some cool white fluorescent tubes in our kitchen with Daylight LED tubes rated at the same number of Lumens and eventually had to disconnect half of them because they were too bright.)

Given the climate in your part of the worlds, CFLs are not recommended as they may not even turn on at lower temperatures and CFLs are not recommended in service where they are frequently switched on and off. (I have a due light flood on my driveway with one CFL and one LED. Even here in North Texas where freezing temperatures are rare I often notice the LED will light when the CFL will not. )
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#47228 - 12/13/17 08:08 PM Re: Light bulb advice [Re: joemikeb]
deniro Offline


Registered: 09/09/09
It must sound odd to go on and on about light bulbs. But I've noticed a lot over the years, and companies as usual haven't made it easy.

I do live in the snowy midwest. CFLs didn't do very well outside, and the ones inside took awhile to get started. Combine that with the mercury and I'm done with CFLs.

The halogen floods are supposed to be best for weather resistance. I used many over the years. They're expensive and they don't last very long. Three to six months. Closer to three. I'm not a big fan of ladders. That was one thing that led me to more efficient bulbs, that and the delusion that I'm doing my part to reduce energy. I bought one of those long poles for changing bulbs, and it worked OK for a long time, but eventually the attachments slid around when I twisted the pole, twisting the pole and fixture with it, therefore defeating the purpose. I bought another pole, but meh, too many problems. I turned it into a duct-taped contraption just to change a bulb. Nutty.

That was when I started trying outdoor LED floods, only to realize that they don't give off much light. The beam isn't wide at all. They are more like spotlights. I see others complain about this online, but these bulbs continue to be sold as floods, though sometimes they are called reflectors.

I read that yellower light keeps away more bugs, so I wanted to stick with that. I'm used to the 2700K soft white, but it's true as you said that the whiter light can give an impression of greater brightness, so I was taking into that account in the garage. Maybe a whiter bulb of whatever kind will disperse more light.

Although I did move some stuff out of the garage, it is still somewhat hard to predict how often I need light. Not often. Winters here are much milder than they used to be. I got a trickle charger if I ever worry about the car battery. Regardless of the models I've owned, Toro always says the snowblower will start after X number of times, and X is always wrong. And this is with the electric start, because I have a bad back. So, sure, I don't need light often in the garage but it's hard to predict. It would be nice to install a long-life bulb and forget about it, as I've done indoors.



Edited by deniro (12/14/17 09:18 AM)
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#47229 - 12/14/17 12:27 AM Re: Light bulb advice [Re: deniro]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Originally Posted By: deniro
So, sure, I don't need light often in the garage but it's hard to predict. It would be nice to install a long-life bulb and forget about it, as I've done indoors.

Given your description why not just stick with whatever incandescent bulb wattage that gets the job done. There are still some out there which will provide 10,000-hour life, even in cold weather and/or exposed to the elements.

Originally Posted By: deniro
... the childless delusion that I'm doing my part to reduce energy.

Perhaps the solution would be to have kids. smirk blush
(You might wish to change 'childless' to 'childish'.)

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#47231 - 12/14/17 08:49 AM Re: Light bulb advice [Re: grelber]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
My solution was a 48" LED tube (like a fluorescent) fixture wired a socket that screws into the porcelain socket that was already there. More light and better distribution than any single bulb can possibly achieve. Installation involved screwing in two hooks and an absolute minimum of ladder time, but my wife would not permit any time on the ladder at all. To my chagrin a neighbor's teenage daughter walked in, saw what was going on and had the light up in minutes. (Getting old(er) is not for sissies. crazy )
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#47232 - 12/14/17 09:11 AM Re: Light bulb advice [Re: grelber]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: grelber
Originally Posted By: deniro
... the childless delusion that I'm doing my part to reduce energy.

Perhaps the solution would be to have kids. smirk blush
(You might wish to change 'childless' to 'childish'.)

A delusion is non-fruit-bearing, so why can't one be considered "childless"?
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#47233 - 12/14/17 09:22 AM Re: Light bulb advice [Re: joemikeb]
deniro Offline


Registered: 09/09/09
That's interesting. My garage light is an old porcelain pull-chain fixture which needs to be replaced. If putting in a new fixture is that easy, I'll take a look.

There's nothing good about getting old.
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#47234 - 12/14/17 09:24 AM Re: Light bulb advice [Re: joemikeb]
deniro Offline


Registered: 09/09/09
Where did you get the fixture? Home Depot is my usual store.
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#47235 - 12/14/17 09:24 AM Re: Light bulb advice [Re: joemikeb]
deniro Offline


Registered: 09/09/09
4275 lumens!
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#47236 - 12/14/17 09:48 AM Re: Light bulb advice [Re: deniro]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: deniro
Home Depot is my usual store.

For our garage, I bought this LED lamp at our Home Depot. I don't recall the cost but it wouldn't have been much, given I was putting it into the garage and, as anyone who knows will tell you, I am "tighter than a bull's ass at fly time".


Edited by ryck (12/14/17 09:49 AM)
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#47237 - 12/14/17 10:46 AM Re: Light bulb advice [Re: ryck]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Having replaced a lot of fluorescents with LEDs over the past ten years or so I have found Home Depot and Lowes both catalog LED fixtures online but with a minuscule number of exceptions anything in stock is a florescent that has to be converted to LED. Conversion in this case involves removing and discarding the florescent ballast, replacing and rewiring the tombstones. This is not "rocket science" level effort or skill. I get bulbs and tombstones from Batteries & Bulbs Plus and they showed me how to perform the first conversion. (NOTE: there are LED bulbs that will work with the fluorescent ballast but they are harder to find and are often more expensive, use more electricity, and do not last as long as the no-ballast bulbs.)

For complete fixtures prewired for LED tubes you can reliably find complete LED fixtures in stock at woodworking specialty stores stores such as Rockler and Woodcraft — woodworkers and woodturners are exceptionally demanding of GOOD lighting.

Caution — if your significant other is into knitting, sewing, other fabric arts, painting, etc. and sees what good lighting and true color you can get from LED fixtures plan on installing similar lighting in their room as well. (I will give you three guesses how I know this and the first two don't count shocked )
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#47238 - 12/14/17 04:03 PM Re: Light bulb advice [Re: joemikeb]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Having replaced a lot of fluorescents with LEDs over the past ten years or so I have found Home Depot and Lowes both catalog LED fixtures online but with a minuscule number of exceptions anything in stock is a florescent that has to be converted to LED.

But deniro just needs a bulb with an A19 socket to screw in where he's removing an incandescent. This one will do it for him at roughly 10 or 12 bucks for a package of two bulbs.

So far as Home Depot stock is concerned, I guess it depends of the store/city. Ours is quite large and I recently replaced almost everything in the house with LED, including 4" and 6" pot lights....all bought at the store.
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#47240 - 12/15/17 02:15 PM Re: Light bulb advice [Re: ryck]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: ryck
But deniro just needs a bulb with an A19 socket to screw in where he's removing an incandescent. This one will do it for him at roughly 10 or 12 bucks for a package of two bulbs.

I was responding to dinero's question "where did you get the fixture"
Originally Posted By: ryck
So far as Home Depot stock is concerned, I guess it depends of the store/city. and I recently replaced almost everything in the house with LED, including 4" and 6" pot lights….all bought at the store.

The local Home Depots are quite large and at the end of October 2017 they were well stocked with LED bulbspot lights and under counter lights. But as to 48" tubular fluorescent like LED fixtures there were none in stock. I ended up converting an old florescent shop light I found on the curb awaiting bulk trash pickup.
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#47347 - 01/02/18 09:31 AM Re: Light bulb advice [Re: joemikeb]
deniro Offline


Registered: 09/09/09
I decided to use an old 100 watt incandescent that I had replaced with an LED, which I still think people ought to do. Nevertheless, what a difference it makes versus an LED flood.

Then the chain broke. So I have to get a new porcelain fixture. Grrr.
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#47353 - 01/02/18 11:38 AM Re: Light bulb advice [Re: deniro]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Told ya.

And good luck trying to find a porcelain fixture. I've only ever been able to locate hard plastic ones at Lowe's, Home Depot, etc.

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#47355 - 01/02/18 12:11 PM Re: Light bulb advice [Re: deniro]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Try Amazon. They have twenty pages of them.
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#47358 - 01/02/18 03:54 PM Re: Light bulb advice [Re: joemikeb]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Try Amazon. They have twenty pages of them.

When you need a fixture right away, that's not really an option. Plus the fact shipping charges would likely be more costly than the fixture.

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#47360 - 01/02/18 11:07 PM Re: Light bulb advice [Re: deniro]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
I highly recommend eBay.

You can buy only the socket if your fixture is still good, and you can probably get it pretty quickly. (Amazon's standard shipping is awfully expensive, and it seems like unless you pay for Prime or expedited shipping you get your delivery on the latest possible "from-to" date, whereas eBay sellers tend to charge reasonably for shipping, and they ship pretty quickly, so you get your purchases based on proximity, not greed.)

And in a different vein, if you've still got your old dog-tags laying around, replacing the chain is pretty easy. cool (Actually, all you need is about 3" of chain and some string [if they still make it tongue ].)
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#47362 - 01/03/18 07:19 AM Re: Light bulb advice [Re: grelber]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: grelber
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Try Amazon. They have twenty pages of them.

When you need a fixture right away, that's not really an option. Plus the fact shipping charges would likely be more costly than the fixture.

I get free overnight or often same day delivery with Amazon Prime and their prices for the product are very competitive. The drive to Ace, Home Depot, or Lowes makes all of them more expensive (not to mention my penchant for impulse purchases tongue
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#47364 - 01/03/18 07:51 AM Re: Light bulb advice [Re: joemikeb]
deniro Offline


Registered: 09/09/09
I bought a porcelain fixture a couple years ago. Had no trouble finding one.
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#47369 - 01/03/18 11:30 AM Re: Light bulb advice [Re: deniro]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
if you've got one like this

https://www.amazon.com/Leviton-9874-Porcelain-Incandescent-Lampholder/dp/B00134U13I

you see the bottom part UNSCREWS and you can just change the socket within. You still have to rewire though. Would be nice if the socket was a plug-in module to save from needing a rewire. I have TWO of those in my basement right now that both need to be replaced. One won't turn on and the other won't turn off tongue
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