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What Light Bulbs Are Best for Outside [Our Top Picks]

Exterior lights provide many benefits for the home. Aside from aesthetics and curb appeal, lights are an essential outdoor fixture for safety purposes. Lights ward off potential intruders. They also illuminate your way when you come home at night. But did you know that installing exterior lighting needs to be well-planned out? How do you pick out the brightest light bulb? Can you tell me what light bulbs are best for outside? What kinds of bulbs can withstand the extreme heat or the cold?

Light bulbs vary greatly. There are different levels of brightness and different qualities and temperatures of light bulbs. You need to pick up the right light bulb for the outside because they are prone to weather changes. Not all of them can withstand extreme heat or frigid temperatures. You have to consider this carefully, especially if you live in areas with drastic weather conditions.  

Today, more people trust the convenience brought about by built-in photo sensor lights. These light bulbs power themselves on during the night and sensibly turn off again at dawn. This can prove to be helpful if you are leaving your home early or coming in late because you don’t have to switch the lights on yourself.  

What Light Bulbs Are Best For Outside?

Choosing the right light bulb for outside involves more than just picking up the first bulb you see that will fit. You need to consider their uses so they can serve their ultimate purpose.

Incandescent lights were a common choice in the past.  Today, more energy-efficient alternatives take their place. For instance, Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) and Light Emitting Diodes (LED), with the latter gaining more approval among users.

CFL has harsh lights, and these bulbs need to warm themselves before starting up. On the other hand, LED lights are more efficient, and they also last longer. So, what light bulbs are best for outside? Here are our top picks:

AmazonBasics 60 Watt Dusk to Dawn Sensor

AmazonBasics 60 Watt LED light bulb

Light bulbs with photosensors are excellent outdoor lights if you are a busy or rather forgetful person. Sensor lights turn themselves on automatically when it gets dark, and they shut off when it gets lighter outside. This allows you to save energy.

This sensor bulb has a 5000 Kelvin (K) temperature that produces light quality similar to daylight. When using a photosensor light, you need to place it carefully. The sensors of these light bulbs need to be adjusted towards the open space where the light is so that bulbs work as they should and are more reliable. If you install the bulbs, so the sensors aren’t facing out and instead are facing only shadows, then it will not turn and off as it should.   

Special Features:

  • 60 watt LED
  • 5000 Kelvin 
  • 10,000 life hours
  • With photosensor
  • Energy-saving
  • Economical to use

Great Eagle R30 or BR30 LED Bulb

Great Eagle R30 BR30 LED Bulb

Lumens measure the brightness of a light bulb. If you want brighter light, then choose the light bulb with the highest lumens. Higher lumens, however, may also mean you are getting a harsher kind of light. For your patio, you should aim for 100-1300, with 1300 good enough for the floodlight. This Great Eagle R30 has 870 lumens of brightness to illuminate your outdoor space. It is a great light bulb choice for outside since the light that it emits doesn’t draw too much attention to your property. 

If you’re asking what light bulbs are best for outside, even during harsh temperatures, then this light bulb will be the best answer. It can even operate when the temperature hits -4 degrees. It will also help you save money. It has an 11-watt consumption that cuts off 88% from your electric bill. Those 11 watts equate to a 65-watt incandescent bulb! Great Eagle is also UL Listed for product safety. Underwriter Laboratories is the governing authority that declares a product is safe for use. 

Special Features:

  • 11 watts
  • 870 lumens
  • 2700 K Warm White Color
  • Dimmable
  • UL Listed



What light bulbs are best for outside when you are looking for more of a floodlight option? Jullison’s PAR38 LED light bulb works best under different weather conditions. Whether it is dry, damp, wet, or a 20-degree drop in temperature, these light bulbs can handle the situation. It consumes 13 watts of power and provides 980 lumens.

It has a floodlight angle of 40 degrees. This dimmable bulb will fit most Lutron and Leviton dimmer switches. The 5000 K temperature emits a daylight white quality that will look good on your front yard. 

Special Features:

  • 13 watts
  • 980 lumens
  • 5000 K daylight
  • 40-degrees angle beam
  • 25,000-hour life
  • UL listed, Energy Star, FCC Listed

GE Lighting LED Outdoor Light Bulb, A19 Post Light Bulb, Dimmable

GE Lighting LED Outdoor Light Bulb

Dimmable light bulbs are great energy-saving lamps for outdoors. Most of these light bulbs work on a dimmable switch, where you can adjust its brightness accordingly. Dimmable bulbs are quite versatile. They can operate on a dimmable or non-dimmable switch as long as there are no compatibility issues. But remember that you should never use a non-dimmable light bulb in a dimmer switch. They don’t work that way.

GE Lighting’s innovative inventions in lighting technology have this line of dimmable light bulbs available on the market. The GE A19 Post Light’s Dimmable bulbs are flicker-free lights that work on all types of switches. These are the trusted light bulbs for outdoor post lights because they can withstand the changing seasons. 

Special Features:

  • 5 watts
  • 800 lumens
  • 2700 K Soft White 
  • Dimmable 
  • Energy-efficient

Philips LED Dusk-to-Dawn A19 Frosted Light Bulb

Philips LED Dusk-to-Dawn A19 Frosted Light Bulb

What light bulbs are best for outside for not-too-technical people? Pick up a non-dimmable light bulb. Philip’s non-dimmable light produces a standard glow with its durable frosted glass enclosure. Non-dimmable lights are the standard type of light bulbs that produce a reliable and steady glow.

On a completely different note, glass materials for light bulbs tend to shatter; therefore, they may not be safe and durable. When exposed to changing temperatures, light bulbs can burst. Bulbs like this Philips’ A19 Frosted Light Bulb are made from shockproof, vibration-proof, and shatter-resistant material.The materials used in the production of these light bulbs give them their long-lasting, high-quality performance and are known to last up to 22,000 hours. It is also a dusk to dawn light with a photosensor to automatically turn itself on and off.

Special Features:

  • 8 watts
  • 800 lumens
  • 2700 K Soft White
  • 22,000 lifespan
  • Non-dimmable

Corn Light Bulb Corn Lamp 40W LED

40W LED Corn Light Bulb Corn Lamp

Larger yards need the brightest lights to effectively illuminate a larger area. This 40-watt Corn Lamp provides you with up to 4000 lumens of brightness. It is a great choice for the outer exterior of buildings like your barn, driveway, or garage. They are resilient to different weather conditions too, which is why you can make use of them for a longer time.

Furthermore, these bulbs have 50,000 hours of estimated life that is five times higher than standard bulbs. They also glow at 360-degrees to get everything covered. This energy-efficient lamp can help you save about 90% of your energy consumption when compared to its 280-watt incandescent equivalent.

Special Features:

  • 40 watts
  • 4000 lumens
  • 6000-6500 K Daylight Cool
  • 50,000 hours estimated life
  • Non-dimmable

Aukora Motion Sensor Light Bulbs

Motion Sensor Light Bulbs Aukora 12W

For added security aside from just a photosensor, you need this motion sensor light bulb. Aukora has a PIR infrared sensor located at the tip of the bulb. When it detects motion at about 8 to 10 feet, it will automatically light up. A minute after the motion stops, it will turn itself off.

You need to install this strategically so that it will cover the span of space you have. Otherwise, it will fail to operate properly. You want to make sure that you adjust the angle and height of the bulb accordingly.Because of its photosensor technology, it will not turn on when it detects motion as long as there is plenty of light. This light bulb is essentially useful during the night to alert you of intruders – even tiny critters – that may be on the property.

These bulbs would make a great addition to your patio. Just make sure not to install these bulbs in an enclosed glass fixture as it will affect the motion detection. 

Special Features:

  • 12 watts
  • 1000 lumens
  • 2700-3000 K cold white light
  • With photo sensor
  • With motion-sensor
  • Energy-efficient

Sunco Lighting A19 LED Bulb, Yellow Bug Light

Sunco Lighting A19 LED Bulb

Summer nights are nice when spent outdoors. Unfortunately, we are not the only ones that think so. Bugs also find comfort on a summer night as well.  For instance, stink bugs, moths, and other phototactic insects can quickly become annoying company on the patio. They get attracted to the kind of “white” light that LED lamps typically emit. Lamps with higher Kelvin quality can ward off these insects better than the cooler light bulbs.

You can choose warm white LEDs or this yellow bug light from Sunco. This photosensor dusk to dawn light bulb effectively repels insects with their A19 D2D yellow color. You can use these light bulbs in areas where you want to keep flying insects away, like your doorways and patio.

Special Features:

  • 9 watts
  • 480 lumens
  • 2000 K yellow glow
  • Photo-sensor, dusk to dawn

Omicoo LED Flame Effect Light Bulb

Omicoo LED Flame Effect Light Bulb

If you want to keep pesky mosquitoes away while having a head-turning light post, get this bestseller Omicoo light bulb. It gives out a holographic fire effect that lights your dreary front porch. But take note that this is not for illuminating a wide expanse of your yard. Just in case you need something unique for your yard, we’re giving you a hint. You can count on this light bulb on your Halloween night with its harmless and realistic fiery glow.

Omicoo light bulbs have four modes: the flame emulation, gravity-induced mode, breathing mode, and the general light mode. The general light mode gives out a yellow glow to dissipate bugs and insects. This light bulb can operate at a temperature of between -20 to +48-degrees.

You should be careful in putting it wherever it may get wet, as this is not waterproof. We suggest you put it in a frosted glass to keep it safe, which will also enhance its aesthetic effect. 

Special Features:

  • 6 watts
  • 320 lumens
  • 1400 K orange flame
  • Eco-friendly 
  • Best for decorative purposes

Banord 48 Foot LED Outdoor String Lights

Banord 48 Foot LED Outdoor String Lights

Of course, you might also be wondering what the best light bulbs for outdoors are during festivities. Banord has its selection of string lights that work best in all weather conditions. For this reason, they are the ideal choice in practicality for any outdoor events.  

These 48 foot string lights feature 15 LED lights with a relaxing 2700 K of warm white light. These fully sealed waterproof lights allow you to achieve the right mood for the outdoors at any time of the year. 

Special Features:

  • 2 watts x 15 bulbs
  • 2700 K 
  • Weather-resistant
  • Shockproof and waterproof
  • Dimmable 

Final Thoughts

When it comes to light bulbs that are best for outside, you have plenty to choose from. However, your choice really depends on where or how you are going to use the bulbs.

When making your decision, start by narrowing down the choices. The wattage is not the only consideration when buying light bulbs. You should also understand how bright you want the light bulbs to be, and for this, you need to consider the lumens.  

You may also base your choice on the Kelvin measure for the quality of light that you want. Next, you may consider other features like a motion sensor or photosensor. This is excellent if you are looking for extra security and convenience around your home.

Most importantly, pick the light bulb that is sturdy and durable and can withstand extreme weather changes. This way, your light bulbs will last longer, and you won’t have to spend money on replacements year after year for your outdoor lighting.