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Install & Replace

Outdoor Lighting Gone Crazy

When I bought this home, almost 20 years ago, I had professional electricians install the exterior lighting, including a 2-lamp photo & motion sensitive unit at the apex of the roof along the long driveway at the north side of the property.

Never once was there a problem: Thank You Home Depot appliance & bulbs!:smileyhappy:

Then, a couple of months ago, one lamp went out and we let time pass before getting way up there on the it-slides-from-one-to-two-times-as-long-ladder (Thank you for THAT, too, Home Depot! ):smileyhappy:

Well, the last bulb died before we climbed up there to change them.

So, we went to Home Depot and asked for the very best "green/Eco-Friendly" and long-lasting bulbs.

We were kindly told the ones in our hands were (1) red + (1) green LOL ~ and, we were given (1) "blister pack" of (2) "flood light bulbs" with the "curly bulbs" inside them ~ (Sorry, didn't keep the package!)...

Well, that was LAST SUNDAY and here I am, up at 1:35 a.m., going INSANE because our lights are now certifiably CRAZY!:smileysad:

They go off - wait a while, then, come on!

Or, they stay off while we walk under them, waving our arms like we're ready to take flight!  Nothing.

No sooner do we turn the corner "to hide from the crazy lights and see what happens" then they TURN ON - then OFF!

On & On this craziness has gone - ALL WEEK!

Oh!  And the day after we replaced the (2) bulbs without touching ANYTHING, they STAYED ON ALL DAY - a FIRST! (And they haven't done that again since then, thankfully!)

Now, they have me up because they won't STOP FLASHING ON & OFF LIKE MAD, NON-STOP!

There is no "switch"; they were "hard-wired" by a licensed, bonded, insured locally "famous" electrical company about 20 years ago....



Thank You.


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Posted 2010-11-09T09:40:16+0000  by SusanaTheConque SusanaTheConque

Greetings Susana and welcome to our community,


Sorry to hear about your dilemma, but unfortunately there are some fixtures that CFL (Compact Fluorescent) bulbs do not work, or act crazy. Fixtures like yours are likely candidates.


It has to do with how the bulbs work, CFL's do not have traditional filaments like regular incandescent bulbs. When used in a fixture that is dimmable, or that has one or 2 sensors for light and or motion, they either will not work, not work properly, and will possibly burn out much sooner than a traditional bulb if working at all. Further, many reviews suggest that CFL's do not last as long with large temperature changes such as could occur with an exterior application such as yours.  


There are two things to consider; 1) To try a dimmable CFL flood designed for an exterior application, or 2) go back to a tradtional flood light with energy savings such as the one pictured below;


Philips 70 Watt PAR38 Halogena Energy Saver Flood Light Bulb, Dimmable 221200 Image1

A dimmable CFL for indoor/outdoor applications is also shown here;


EcoSmart 15-Watt (65W) R30 Dimmable Soft White CFL Light Bulb (E)* ES5R315DIM Image1

Hope this helps you, and thanks again for being a valued member of our community.


Posted 2010-11-09T13:56:19+0000  by HD116

HD116 is absolutely right. Many motion sensing or light sensing fixtures use resistive elements to turn on, off, and dim the bulbs. Often even if the fixture is in the fully 'on' mode it is only delivering about 95V to the bulbs. This is fine for incandescent bulbs, but not enough to reliably run the ballast in a CFL. 


There is, however, a great new technology which is perfect for this application! LED light bulbs are changing the way that we think about lighting. THIS  EcoSmart LED bulb is just as efficient as a CFL, but unlike the CFL it is full range dimmable, which makes it compatible with your outdoor fixture. But the best thing about the LED Is its service life. The EcoSmart bulb is rated at a whopping 50,000 hours average bulb life! That is 25 times the life of a halogen bulb and 6 times the life of the CFL, which means that you might not need to climb up that extension ladder for another 20 years!




Posted 2010-11-09T19:26:51+0000  by BlakeTheDiyGuy
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