If you are preparing for winter, your checklist probably includes getting the best outdoor light bulbs for cold weather that will endure the peak winter season. The frigid weather may not be enough to keep intruders away so keeping your outdoors illuminated is important for security.
Besides, trudging through heaps of snow in subzero temperature to change burnt out light bulbs is not any fun.
When it comes to extremely cold climates, not all bulbs are made equal. Some will burn out, some will not even come on, and some will work just right. Finding the right bulb for very cold weather is rather difficult. This is primarily because there are no bulbs created specifically for cold weather. However, some are more adaptable than others.
This article contains a list of the best outdoor light bulbs for cold weather. The article also delves into the three main types of bulbs and why some thrive in cold weather while others fail.
Finally, there is a buyer’s guide to help you shop for the best outdoor light bulbs for cold weather. Let us get started.
10 Best Outdoor Light Bulbs for Cold Weather
- Philips Hue White Outdoor Smart Bulb (PAR38)
The PAR38 outdoor smart light bulb is part of the Philips hue line. Philips Hue bulbs are distinct because they allow the user to change light color and brightness using a hue bridge controlled by an app.
The hue bridge is the central controller of the Philips Hue bulb. First plug it to a power source, screw in the PAR38 bulb, then launch the Hue app on your device to link the hue bridge with the light bulb.
Note, however, that the hue bulb is sold separately.
Using the hue app, you can control the PAR38 light bulbs either individually or as a set. The bulb also has a color temperature of 3000K which means it emits warm white light.
One of the reasons the hue bulb features among the best outdoor light bulbs for cold weather is its color function, the bulb can change color and blend seamlessly into the surrounding environment. The PAR38 is also dimmable making it ideal for creating different ambiances.
The different warm color options make this light bulb ideal for illuminating either a porch or a deck. But if ambiance is not a priority, then the 1300lm emitted by this bulb should be bright enough to light your entryways even in misty cold weather.
Automation is another superb feature of the PAR38 Philips Hue light outdoor light bulb. It is compatible with Alexa, Apple Homekit, and Google Assistant apps.
You can use voice activation to control the brightness of this light bulb once you install a hue bridge. You can also control the PAR38 bulb remotely to come on and go off at a specific time.
The PAR38 Philips Hue Outdoor light bulb is built to last. It is made of high-quality weatherproof material to withstand those cold windy winters.
The PAR38 light bulb can withstand temperatures of between -4° to -104°. Some user reviews suggest that this bulb performed specifically well during -20° winters.
- Can withstand -20 degree temperatures
- Voice Control
- Remote control
- Ability to change the bulb’s color and brightness
- Compatible with Alexa, HomeKit, and Google Assistant
- 3000K warm white light
- 1300 lumen flax for bright light
- 3-year warranty.
- Hue bridge sold separately.
- Quite pricy.
- The bulb has to be within 30ft of the Hue Bridge or another Hue bulb for color change and adjustable brightness to work.
2. Aukora Motion Sensor 12W LED Light Bulb
The Aukora 12W couldn’t miss in our list of the best outdoor light bulbs for cold weather – it’s the ultimate security light. It features super bright light, an inbuilt photocell sensor, and a PIR motion sensor.
The Aukora LED outdoor light bulb is a 12W bulb with the same working capacity as a 100W halogen bulb. It has a color temperature of 6000K which is cool white leaning closer to daylight.
The 6000K coupled with 1000lumens means this bulb is incredibly bright. The bright light makes it ideal for lighting up a yard, garage, or driveway.
The bulb hosts a photocell sensor that enables it to automatically turn on at dusk and off at twilight. The tip of the bulb is also fitted with a PIR motion sensor that can detect movement within a 10ft range.
On detecting movement in the dark, the light bulb goes on and off for about 60 seconds to alert you. The motion sensor, however, does not function during the day.
Note that the angle and height at which the bulb is placed also influence the motion sensor’s range. Glass house light fixtures can also interfere with the motion sensor.
It is a good thing that the Aukora 12W light bulb has an elegant lamp-style design. The bulb is easy on the eyes with or without light fixtures.
The bulb has a recommended outdoor working temperature of -10°C. So yes, this light bulb will keep your property well list through the harshest of winters.
If for some reason your bulb is defective, take advantage of the manufacturer’s 30-day money-back guarantee. The manufacturer also offers free replacement within 12 months.
According to user reviews, Aukora’s customer service team is very helpful.
- Super bright light: 6000K and 1000lm.
- Automatic dusk to dawn feature.
- PIR motion sensor with an 8ft-10ft range.
- Easy to install.
- -10°C outdoor working temperature ideal for cold climate.
- 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Free replacement within 12 months for defective products.
- Helpful customer service by the manufacturer.
- The motion detector does not work during the day.
- Not ideal for use in glasshouse light fixtures.
- Not dimmable.
- Some users find the cold white light rather harsh.
3. Govee Dusk to Dawn LED Outdoor Light Bulbs, 2Pack
The Govee LED light bulb may be only 9W but it produces just as much light as a 70W halogen bulb. Given that this bulb is LED it can conserve up to 90% energy guaranteeing you a significant dip in your electricity bill – the reason it features amongst the best outdoor light bulbs for cold weather.
The Govee Bulb has a color temperature of 2700K meaning warm white light with no glare or flickering. The warm white light makes it ideal for accent lighting or on porches, decks, or courtyards.
Although 2700K is nowhere near daylight, the 800lm produced by this bulb is bright enough. There will be plenty of light to keep your entryways illuminated even in misty foggy weather.
Another cool security feature with this bulb is the automatic dusk to dawn sensor. The bulb has an inbuilt photocell sensor that enables it to turn on when darkness sets in and vice versa when its dawn.
The dusk to dawn feature is great especially if you are away from home but want to keep your property illuminated. The inbuilt photocell will also save you money on a photocell adapter.
The Govee LED outdoor light bulb is also easy to install because it is compatible with E26/E27 light sockets.
Note, however, that when parallel mounting, it is recommended that bulbs be at least 1.5m/4.9ft apart to avoid mutual effect. When mounted in a multi-angle, the angle between bulbs should be greater than 120° for the same reason.
The Govee LED bulb has a 30000h lifespan. It is made of sturdy material to keep it functioning even in frigid weather.
If for some reason it doesn’t work you can take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee or 365-day warranty offered by the manufacturer.
- Automatic dusk-dawn feature
- Energy-saving up to 90%
- Easy install compatible with E26/E27 sockets
- 800lm and 2700k warm white light
- 30-day money-back guarantee.
- 365-day warranty.
- Mutual effect can pause a challenge
4. Vgogfly Dusk to Dawn 7W LED Outdoor Light Bulb, 2 Pack
The Vgogfly LED outdoor light bulb is only 7W but has the capacity of a 60W halogen bulb. One big difference, however, is that this bulb uses only 20% of the energy consumed by its halogen equivalent saving you 80% energy.
The Vgogfly bulb has an illumination of 600lm and a color temperature of 2700 hence produces warm white light. If you have reservations about using LED bulbs for ambiance, the nice flattering light from this bulb will change that.
The bulb is easy to install as it is compatible with the commonly used E26/27 light sockets. The bulb also has a plastic mask case that supports the LED chip’s unique cooling requirements.
Heat is the primary enemy of LED bulbs so additional cooling mechanisms mean longevity for the bulb.
Another cool feature with the Vgogfly is the dusk to dawn application. The bulb has built-in sensors that turn on when it gets dark and off at first light.
You can also rest assured that your home is well illuminated even when you are not there. You also don’t have to wreak your brains trying to remember if you turned the lights off before leaving.
If you want to make your home approachable yet secure, then this bulb is just what you need. The warm white light will not only create a warm atmosphere on your porch, but it will also shine bright through hazy winters.
- Automated dusk to dawn function.
- Ambient 2700K warm white light.
- Plastic case for extra cooling.
- 80% energy saving.
- Easy to install, compatible with E26/27 sockets.
- Free replacement within 12 months for defective products.
5. LOHAS LED Light Sensor Outdoor Light Bulb, 4 Pack
The LOHUS LED light bulb is ideal for security purposes because of its light sensor technology and 5000K light temperature.
Although this bulb is only 6W, it is the LED equivalent of a 40W incandescent bulb. Being LED, this bulb can save up to 85% of energy.
Although the bulb’s light is ranked as cool white, it only produces 500lm which is not all that bright.
The light sensor technology in this bulb enables it to detect changes in light intensity. This explains why the lights come on at dusk and goes off at dawn.
The LOHUS LED’s inbuilt sensor will save you some cash on a sensor adapter. The light sensor feature is also convenient for homes where outdoor light switches are located in awkward places.
LOHUS smart sensor bulb is compatible with the E26 light socket which is commonly used in many light fixtures. It is also easy to install and presents no interaction issues between the light sensors of bulbs placed close together.
Another cool factor about this bulb is that it is environment friendly with no lead or mercury.
User reviews suggest that these bulbs work efficiently even at -30°. This makes them ideal for lighting gardens, yards, a front door, or a deck in the thick of winter.
The LOHUS LED 4pack will give you value for your money. But just in case the bulbs fail, you can take advantage of the one-year warranty offered by the manufacturer.
- Light sensor technology with inbuilt sensor.
- Dusk to dawn feature.
- Compatible with E26 light socket.
- Easy to install.
- 5000K color temperature.
- Affordable 4pack.
- Environment friendly.
- Longevity works efficiently at -30 degrees.
- One-year warranty.
- Light color not warm.
- Light not as bright as daylight bulbs.
6. Great Eagle 9W A19 LED Outdoor Light Bulb
Great Eagle is a master LED lighting brand that makes superb light bulbs and the best outdoor light bulbs for cold weather is part of their collection. Great Eagle A19 outdoor bulbs are made to last.
The bulbs are UL certified meaning that they have undergone rigorous testing and found to meet the national safety standard. The bulbs are also shatterproof, shockproof, and vibration resistant.
The working temperature for this set of bulbs is -4° meaning they will function properly even in subzero temperatures. According to the manufacturer, these bulbs have a 25000h lifespan which translates to 22 years if used for 3h per day.
The 9W bulbs are equivalent to 60W incandescent and halogen bulbs hence ideal for replacing the latter. Great Eagle A19 bulbs are also energy-saving and can produce 830lm of light while saving up to 85% of energy.
The bulbs also have a 5000K color temperature which means it produces cool white light. Unlike with other bulbs where cool white light has blue hues, with this Great Eagle set, you will get pure white light.
Another factor that makes this set of bulbs the ideal purchase is that it is environment friendly. The bulbs are free of mercury and lead as well as UV and IR radiation.
Just in case you buy this pack of bulbs and they fail to work, you can take advantage of the manufacturer’s three-year warranty.
- 5000K cool white color with no blue hues.
- UL-certified for safety standard.
- -4 degrees working temperature.
- Energy-saving LED up to 85%.
- 25000h lifespan.
- Environment friendly.
- Three-year warranty.
7. Bioluz BR40 4Pack Dimmable LED Outdoor Light Bulb
The Bioluz BR40 dimmable light bulb offers both brightness and ambiance. It has a color temperature of 3000K and produces 1050lm of light.
The 13W bulb is the equivalent of a 100W incandescent bulb yet this bulb saves more than 80% energy. The Bioluz BR40 is also ideal for replacing incandescent and halogen bulbs because of its warm white light.
The bulb is also dimmable allowing you to adjust brightness and set it anywhere between 10% -100%. The dimmable feature allows you to create any atmosphere from warm and cozy to security floodlight to your home’s exterior.
Bioluz BR40 LED light bulb was made to last. The bulb is fitted with an aluminum heat sink to dissipate heat which means a longer lifespan.
It is also UL listed for safety quality and is ranked as shatterproof. According to the manufacturer, The BR40 has a projected lifespan of 22000hours.
- Dimmable adjustable brightness between 10%-100%.
- 110-degree beam angle.
- 13W LED.
- 3000K warm white light and 1050 lumens.
- Easy to install, compatible with E/26 sockets.
- UL listed for safety standards.
- A cooling mechanism for a longer lifespan.
- 80% energy saving.
- Some users suggest that they heat up a bit.
8. Torchstar LED Dusk to Dawn Outdoor Bulbs, 4Pack
Torchstar A19 LED bulbs feature a photosensor and very bright light. The bulbs are ideal for security lighting around your garage, garden, yard, and even in lamp posts.
Each bulb has a color temperature of 5000K and yields 800lm of cool white light. That is enough light to illuminate every inch of space within the bulb’s beam angle.
The bulb is fitted with a photosensor that enables it to come one at dusk and off at dawn. While other dusk-to-dawn bulbs may be affected by surrounding artificial lights, the photosensor in this bulb only responds to sunlight.
The dusk to dawn feature offers great convenience for users. Still, on convenience, this bulb also has an E/26 base hence is compatible with E/26 and E27 light sockets.
The Torchstar LED dusk to dawn bulb is UL-listed for meeting certified safety standards. It is also Energy Star certified for high quality.
Just in case you experience any mishaps with this set of Torchstar bulbs, you can utilize the three-year warranty offered by the manufacturer.
- Dusk to dawn feature
- 5000K cool white light
- 800lm bright illumination
- UL Certified
- Star Energy certification
- 3-year warranty.
- Some users complain that they come on too early at night staying on longer than necessary and raising the power bill.
9. Philips A19 Dusk to Dawn LED Frosted Light Bulb, 6Pack
Philips Dusk-to-Dawn light bulbs are made with the health and comfort of your eyes in mind. With a brand that has been in the lighting business for 125 years, you should expect some of the best outdoor light bulbs for cold weather from this manufacturer.
The bulbs undergo strict tests to ensure no flickering or glaring as well as the right color rendition. With a color temperature of 2700K, these bulbs offer comfortable lighting and exceptional color clarity.
The 8W bulbs offer the same light as a 60W incandescent bulb plus the benefit of saving up to 75% of energy. 800lm of light yielded by this bulb is sufficient for security lighting.
The perfect blend of color hue and comfort make this set of bulbs ideal for both security and ambiance. The bulbs are also compatible with light fixtures allowing you to transform your porch, deck, or patio with sleek fixtures without interfering with the inbuilt photosensor.
The inbuilt photosensor enables these bulbs to automatically turn on at night and off in the morning. Note, however, that this particular bulb model should not be used alongside Philips Hue bulbs so as to avoid interference.
The bulb has been proven to perform reliably even in cold weather. But just in case you buy a dud, you can take advantage of the 10-year warranty offered by the manufacturer.
However, for the warranty claim to hold, you will need to be registered for the warranty beforehand.
- Inbuilt sensor for dusk to dawn feature.
- Tested for eye comfort requirements.
- Compatible with light fixtures.
- Dusk to dawn feature not hampered when the bulb is used in light fixtures.
- Performs reliably in frigid weather.
- 10-year warranty.
- Does not work alongside Philips Hue bulbs.
10. TCP LA927KND6 LED 6-Pack Outdoor Light Bulb
TCP LA927KND6 is a great bargain if you are looking for the best outdoor light bulb for cold weather at a budget. With this brand, you get 6 bulbs at an incredible price. Six bulbs should be enough to light up most of your entryways and outdoor spaces.
Still, on savings, these bulbs are LEDs and will slash your energy bill by up to 85%. Although they are only 9W, they can efficiently replace a 60W incandescent light bulb.
The TCP 927KND6 has a brightness of 800 lumens and a color temperature of 2700K. Its color temperature means that it produces a warm white light to make your house look cozy and approachable even in the dead of winter.
TCP 927KND6 bulbs are a breeze to install. They are compatible with the E26 socket which is common among light fixtures in many homes.
The Bulbs are UL listed and also certified to be frustration-free. They are made of polypropylene which unlike glass cannot break under cold temperature.
Note, however, that protected outdoor use is recommended for these bulbs.
If the above certifications don’t convince you to buy these outdoor light bulbs perhaps a three-year warranty will. The bulbs have a 20000h lifespan if used for three hours per day.
- Made using durable material.
- 2700K warm white light.
- 800 lumens brightness.
- Save up 85% of energy.
- Pocket friendly.
- UL listed.
- Instances of duds among the bulbs are rather common.
- Some users complain that the lifespan is way shorter than the specified 20000 hours.
You have probably noticed that all the bulbs we have recommended above are LED. It is not a personal bias: LED bulbs actually perform better than their counterparts in cold weather.
How Different Types of Bulbs Perform in Cold Weather
There are three main different types of bulbs:
- Light Emitting Diodes (LED) Bulbs
- Incandescent Bulbs
- Compact Fluorescent (CFL) Bulbs
As stated earlier, when it comes to cold weather some bulbs thrive while others die. Let us examine why.
- Light Emitting Diodes (LED) Bulbs
LED is the latest in lighting technology and LED bulbs are popular for being energy efficient.
All bulbs emit a certain amount of heat to produce light. When temperatures drop, a bulb that produces too much heat will take too long to light or may not light at all.
On the other hand, LEDs not only emit minimum heat, but they also have a cooling mechanism to keep temperatures from rising beyond the recommended 185°.
LED bulbs are fitted with heat sinks that pull in hot air from the bulb and dissipate it to the surrounding environment. The cool air in cold weather further helps with the cooling mechanism hence extending bulb life.
Since LEDs do not need heat to turn on, they light up instantly even in winter. Research has even shown that LED bulbs light a bit brighter in cold weather than in hot weather.
LED bulbs are also made of plastic and other polymers instead of glass. Polymers adjust better to changes in temperature than glass.
With other types of bulbs, too much heat emitted vs cold air outside the bulb may cause the bulb’s glass casing to break.
2. Incandescent Bulbs
Incandescent bulbs are slowly being phased out of the lighting space by its LED and CFL counterparts. Despite the warm glow they emit, incandescent bulbs emit too much heat.
Being heat-emitting bulbs makes incandescent bulbs impractical for cold weather. For starters, they would burn out quickly because of the need to produce enough heat to keep up with surrounding low temperatures.
They will ultimately burst because of the extreme contrast in temperature inside and outside the bulb.
3. Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFL)
In cold weather CFL bulbs will swing either way; they might work or they might not work.
CFLs produce less heat than incandescent bulbs so they might stand a chance in cold weather. However, the instant-on function will not work for most of them.
Some CFL bulbs are low-temperature rated and can still turn on at 0° while others will not turn on in temperatures of 32° and below.
If CFLs are the only options available to you, ensure that you do some research on low-temperature rating for a product before purchasing. The product packaging label should have a temperature rating if available.
How to Shop for the Best Outdoor Light Bulbs for Cold Weather
Apart from bulb type, there are several other factors to consider when shopping for the best outdoor light bulbs for cold weather. Here are a few you could review:-
- Outdoor Rating.
Ensure that the bulb you purchase can withstand other elements too like water and radiation with or without protective fixtures. Glass fixtures may at times impede some bulb functions such as motion detection.
Not all LED bulbs are rated for outdoor use. Check the specifications to be certain.
- Temperature Color
Temperature color ranges from warm white at 2700K to daylight at 6500K. Color temperature influences the atmosphere created by light.
If you want to use the bulb for ambiance, select one with lower color temperature and vice versa if your primary goal is security.
- Dusk to Dawn Feature.
Why run around switching lights on and off when you don’t have to? The dusk and dawn feature is very convenient especially if the switches for your outdoor lights are in awkward places like the garage or outside.
Automated dusk to dawn feature also ensures that your home is well lit even when you are away.
- Warranty, Money-back Guarantee, Free Replacement
Manufacturers who have the confidence to put a warranty or money-back guarantee (or both) to their products seem more trustworthy. It is comforting to know that just in case the bulb does not work, you will have some recourse of sorts.
Ensure you understand the terms and conditions of the warranty, money-back guarantee, and free replacement policy before purchasing anything.
- Customer Service:
Buy from brands that are reputed for having helpful customer service. Some brands may offer a warranty but are dodgy when you try to reach out to them.
Lighting is important especially during cold weather when you want to be cozy and safe. However, not every light bulb will weather cold weather-pun intended.
The light bulbs we have shortlisted above are some of the best outdoor light bulbs for cold weather in the market. While we stand by our recommendations, we also emphasize that your needs should take priority.
From the list of shortlisted products as well as our shopping guide for outdoor light bulbs for cold weather, you should be able to make an informed decision.