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Light Bulbs.


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#1 Juliebove

 
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Posted 15 December 2013 - 06:42 PM

I am hoping that someone here will be familiar with the type of exterior light fixtures that I have and can tell me what kind of bulbs to put in them.  When we bought this house, there were a variety of bulbs in them.  Regular incandscent, Halogen, even a coiled bulb.  And none of them (I think) meant for exterior use.

 

I searched and searched and can't even  find a picture of these particular lights. Sort of like a can light but perhaps not.  They are recessed and they are located in the soffit along the front of the house.  There are several.  The only ones we can turn on and off are the ones by the one bedroom.  Those are on their own switch and can be shut off but, they are on the same device I will now mention.  This device has something to do with the amount of light outside.  When it reaches a certain level of dimness (not quite fully dark), the lights will come on whether we want them to or not.  As I said, two can be shut off if we went them off, or on when it is that level of dimness.  We can not make them come on when it is light.

 

They have a round circle of metal (like a ring) that has a circle of glass or perhaps it is plastic inside of that.  All one piece.  There are two wire thingies on either side to keep them attached.  To change the bulb, you pull down on the metal ring, the wires drop down.  Then you either have to worm your hand in there to change the bulb, or you can carefully pull the wires out of a socket? on either side.  I hope that makes sense.

 

The problem?  The bulbs keep burning out.  Some last a year, some go out soon after changing, some last several years.  I can't change them.  I am disabled and have no sense of balance so it is super hard for me to do to stand on a step stool.  And it is even hard to get the step stool on a big enough flat surface for an able bodied person to do it.  Husband is too short.  Daughter just has dorky light bulb issues.  About half of the time she keeps turning the bulb the wrong way and snaps the bulb off in her hand, creating a different problem.  My old milkman once changed a bulb for me and told me that I was using the wrong thing.  Told me that I needed a coily bulb so I bought those.  But they are not for outdoor use.

 

Husband's friend could change them just standing on the ground, because he is so tall.  But he lives in Alaska now.  :(  I have paid my nephew to change them.  He just did one today for me but...  He has a good fulltime job now and doesn't need the few dollars I can give him to do petty odd jobs like this.  And I had Mr. Handyman change one while he was here once and said that for the money I was paying him, he still had a few minutes left in which he could do something for me if it needed done.  He told me that the coily bulbs were the wrong ones and I needed outdoor lightbulbs. 

 

And I was like...  Oh, but!  I spent over an hour at Lowe's, looking up and down the shelves and could not find anything that said "Outdoor" on it.  Well, I did but those were floodlight bulbs.  I then asked him what they looked like but he couldn't seem to describe them to me or give me a brand name.  And several online searches have turned up nothing.  Plus I am afraid to buy online unless I know for sure that I am getting the right thing.  I know that bulbs have different size bases.  Such as for a candelabra or nightlight.  These are not those.  And it isn't a mogul base which is larger. 

 

I did once buy some of the newer coily bulbs in pink for my dining room fixture online only to discover that they won't work with a dimmer.  I had no place else to use them so had to give them away.  This is why I want to make sure that I get the right thing.  I have been told that outdoor bulbs will last longer for me.

 

So...  Does anyone know what I should buy?  Can you provide a link to the bulb so I can see it?  Thanks!


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#2 psawyer

 
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Posted 15 December 2013 - 07:47 PM

I am not familiar with the fixtures you describe, but I am generally knowledgeable about lighting and can off some insight.

I am assuming that when you say "coily bulb" you mean a Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL). Dimmable ones do exist, as do ones for use outdoors. They are hard to find, and the ones that are widely sold are neither.

Even if you find one that is labeled for outdoor use, that only means that it is moisture resistant. It may still not work for you if the outside temperature is too cold. Light Emitting Diode (LED) lamps may work for you. They are not sensitive to the ambient temperature. It sounds like these fixtures are on/off and do not need dimming as a feature.

From your description, you are looking for a "medium base" lamp, technically described as E26 or E27 (the two are interchangeable). This is the standard screw-base for household bulbs for everyday use. It is larger than candelabra or night light, and about half the diameter of mogul. Almost all domestic lampholders in North America uses the E26 Medium standard base.
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Peter
Diagnosis by biopsy of practically non-existent villi; gluten-free since July 2000.
Type 1 (autoimmune) diabetes diagnosed in March 1986
Markham, Ontario (borders on Toronto)

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#3 Juliebove

 
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Posted 15 December 2013 - 09:37 PM

I am not familiar with the fixtures you describe, but I am generally knowledgeable about lighting and can off some insight.

I am assuming that when you say "coily bulb" you mean a Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL). Dimmable ones do exist, as do ones for use outdoors. They are hard to find, and the ones that are widely sold are neither.

Even if you find one that is labeled for outdoor use, that only means that it is moisture resistant. It may still not work for you if the outside temperature is too cold. Light Emitting Diode (LED) lamps may work for you. They are not sensitive to the ambient temperature. It sounds like these fixtures are on/off and do not need dimming as a feature.

From your description, you are looking for a "medium base" lamp, technically described as E26 or E27 (the two are interchangeable). This is the standard screw-base for household bulbs for everyday use. It is larger than candelabra or night light, and about half the diameter of mogul. Almost all domestic lampholders in North America uses the E26 Medium standard base.

Yes.  That is what I meant by coily.  And I did find the dimmable ones after I bought the others.  I just didn't realize that they couldn't be used that way.  I know have enough pink incandescent ones to last in my dining room for at least the next 3-4 years.

 

I have tried the LED.  I can't remember if they said for outdoors or not.  But it has been super cold here.  It's not now but it was.  My daughter's driving teacher said that light bulbs burn out more frequently when the weather changes.  I believe this. 

 

Thanks!


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