Help me find the right CFLs for my outdoor light?
December 17, 2010 9:36 AM Subscribe
Help me figure out if compact fluorescents are the right lights for my outdoor light fixture? Difficulty: the fixture is on an electric eye, the weather gets really cold in the winter, and the lights will be oriented vertically (with the sockets on the bottom).
posted by fremen to home & garden (17 answers total)
I have a lamp next to my driveway that has long held incandescent light bulbs (the kind with the small base). Unfortunately, the lights are controlled by an electric eye with no switch, so they are on a lot. (I'm not in a position to be able to do any rewiring, so this situation cannot be changed.)
I would like to switch to CFLs to save money and hopefully avoid replacing the lights as often, but the various warnings on the CFL packages dissuade me. Every package I see says the same thing: that you can't use them on fixtures with an electric eye and to avoid using them in the cold. Oh, and some also say that orientation matters and that the base should not be down.
So my question is this: should I use CFLs at all, or will the combination of cold, electric eye, and orientation end up killing them prematurely? Would I actually save any money or would I be replacing expensive mercury laden lights as often as I do now with cheap incandescents?
If I can use CFLs, are there any that are better suited for this purpose? Where can I find them? Are there other kinds of lights that would work better?