How Do You Choose Bulbs for Outdoor Lighting?


Quick Answer

To choose a light bulb for an outdoor fixture, find a bulb that is compatible with the wattage requirements of the fixture. Determine how bright the light needs to be to choose its lumen characteristic, and make sure that the bulb is compatible with the socket type and the size of the lighting fixture. If the fixture is exposed to the elements, obtain a special outdoor bulb that is protected from this exposure.

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Full Answer

Outdoor lighting fixtures are often photosensitive, which means that they adjust the brightness of the light they produce based on how lit the area already is. Some fixtures have timers. These two types of appliances need special bulbs, which you can obtain from a lighting store. If there are no special requirements set by the type of the lighting fixture, obtain a spiral or tubed bulb that creates a bright white light. People typically use LED, incandescent or halogen bulbs.

Each lighting fixture has a wattage value indicated on it. The wattage of the light bulb should be equal to or less than that value so that the fixture does not cause a fire. The lumens value indicated on a light bulb indicates how much light the bulb is going to produce. If the bulb has to light a small space, use a bulb with a low-lumen characteristic.

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