Alternatives to my Current Lamp/Bulb/Globe
January 12, 2017 7:35 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for alternatives to this lamp/bulb/globe. Price isn't the most important thing—longevity is actually more important: I'm sick of going up and down the ladder to replace them...

So I use the lamp/bulb/globe shown in the link [a 90W PAR38, for those unable to see the image] as security lighting on my house, as there is almost zero street lighting on my block, and we don't like our house sitting in the inky blackness at night. They cost me about five bucks a throw, which wouldn't be so bad if they lasted longer. It has to be rated for exterior applications, as they live in unprotected fixtures accessible only by the aforesaid ladder, and we have a wide range of weather conditions: it was 70 degrees F yesterday, and we're expecting an ice storm in the next 48 hours, for example. Is there a light that will last longer and give similar light at a price the Ivanov household can afford?

We're considering new, more attractive fixtures in the not-so-far-off future, when we're ready to sell the house. But for now, it would be very nice if I could avoid climbing the ladder so often, and Mrs. Ivan is terribly afraid I'll fall off the ladder.
posted by ivanthenotsoterrible to Home & Garden (6 answers total)

I too would recommend an appropriate PAR38 LED. Your current PAR38 bulb is 1350 lumens and 2900K. Since you mention that it is your intention to use the bulb in outdoor security lighting, you probably intend to use it with a motion sensor. Not all LED bulbs are compatible with all motion sensors, but the LED models that are "dimmable" are much more likely to be compatible. I would recommend the Cree PAR38 LED flood light ($20 at Home Depot or $20 at Amazon). It is 1500 lumens (10% brighter), 3000K (a tiny bit bluer), and a 45° flood light. It has a rated lifespan of about 20x your current incandescent PAR38 flood light. According to Cree it is suitable for wet locations where exposed directly to weather and in environments ranging between -35°C and +45°C (-31°F and +113°F).

The Philips model linked by BillMcMurdo (1100 lumens, 3000K, 35°) can be had for cheaper than the Cree ($80 for 8 at Home Depot or 2 for $22 at Amazon) if you are OK with a not quite as bright bulb. I haven't used that particular model myself.
posted by RichardP at 9:05 PM on January 12, 2017

As a bonus, the LED bulb will use only a small fraction of the energy you are currently using.
posted by Nerd of the North at 9:36 PM on January 12, 2017

The LED bulbs are a good choice, make sure they're outdoor rated.

You might want to pick up one of these light bulb changing poles. Home centers all carry them. I changed the bulbs at my sisters house without a problem, they were about fifteen feet high, I had to stand on the back of her pick-up to reach them. Beats falling off a ladder.

Remember to put a little lube on the threads. It makes it easier to put in, and take out.
posted by Marky at 10:29 PM on January 12, 2017

Re: Marky's suggestion of lubricant

An alternative to bona fide light bulb lubricant if you're a backyard mechanic is dielectric grease found in car parts stores. It's weatherproof and something that you might already have if you change your spark plugs. They come in small packets instead of a 50 year supply.
posted by dlwr300 at 8:54 AM on January 13, 2017

Response by poster: All of these are great answers, and very helpful. Thank you all, very much, for your help!
posted by ivanthenotsoterrible at 10:54 AM on January 13, 2017

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