Energy Efficient Lighting Options for Outdoor Use

lights on house over pool

About 8 to 15% of the electricity budget of an average household is consumed by lighting. The different types of lighting technologies that are installed, the design, and the user behavior are significant determinants to the total amount consumers can spend just on lighting. With a well-designed and efficient lighting system, you can save big on household energy expenses.

You need to carefully select light bulbs when improving your outdoor lights for improved energy efficiency, and this is significant mainly in cold-winter climates. Even though compact fluorescent bulbs offer higher efficiency than that of the standard incandescent bulbs in outdoor pole and wall mount fixtures.

However, some CFLs do not perform well in cold temperatures, failing to turn on quickly. When the weather is cold out, you may flip a light switch and end up with a dim and slow-starting bulb. If you are not lucky enough, the bulb won’t even start at all. This is caused by the problem of ballast. The way around this is to purchase CFL bulbs with basic ballasts that are cold temperature rated. Search for bulbs whose minimum start temperature is below 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-17.7778 degrees Celsius).

Besides improving on halogen’s efficiency, LED also avoids fluorescent bulbs’ limitations for outside security floodlights. As a matter of fact, this lighting technology works better during cold temperatures. Off-the-shelf LED light bulbs start instantly (even faster than incandescent bulbs) and perform better in low temperatures.

The only possible negative aspect occurs when the LED flood bulbs are substituted in fixtures possessing motion sensor controls. The LED bulbs’ wattage may not be high enough to meet the required minimum load for some sensors. Your fixture should be tested with cheap incandescent bulbs of low wattage. You may also acquire the latest “No Load” motion sensor fixtures for outdoor use.

Both the LEDs (Light Emitting Diode) and CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) are first-rate outdoor light sources throughout the year when used for the right applications. Take some time and explore the expanding line of our LEDs, which is growing by the day. If you like the CFL solution better, know that you can also get CFLs whose start temperatures go as low as negative 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Dave Burtner

Dave has been active in the lighting industry since 1994. Formerly a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America and certified by the National Council On Qualifications for Lighting Professionals, Dave now writes blog posts, lighting tips and provides lighting product assistance for the Topbulb website.