What are the Light Bulbs for Outdoor Use?

Outdoor light bulbs are all the rage right now..

Not only do they add elegance to your outdoor spaces but they also slow down criminals.

Plus, they bring warmth and joy to your backyard patio and make it an amazing place to relax.

In short, exterior light bulbs are a practical and stylish way to light up your yard, Christmas party, summer camp, enclosed outdoor fixtures, and more.

Below we bring you the best outdoor light bulbs to suit different lifestyles and a couple of shopping tips to help you make a smart decision when purchasing.

But first, let’s get a few things out of the way:

Types of outdoor light bulbs

Whether you’re looking for outside light bulbs to use to create mind-blowing scenery as night lights, something to introduce a festive ambiance to charm your outdoor social gatherings, or just simple outside decorative lights for your landscape, you have two major categories of outdoor light bulbs to choose from:

  • Smart outdoor light bulbs – if you’re a diehard fan of smart lighting technology, choose this type. You’ll love their advanced design including the ability to control them remotely with your voice (using Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple home kit, etc.).
  • Conventional outdoor LED light bulbs- these are upgrades on standard incandescent bulbs or fluorescent bulbs. And although the intelligent technology is missing, they come with extras such as unique colors that keep bothersome flying bugs away.

Best Outdoor Light Bulbs: Buying Guide

Here now are a few issues to keep in mind when shopping for the best outdoor lighting bulbs.

Where are you planning to use the outdoor light bulbs?

Your planned application could change your decision.

Here are a few scenarios:

  1. Lighting up your garden party– where utility electrical supply is unavailable, you could brighten up your garden with solar-powered, wall-mounted lamps. You charge them by day and they pay you back by shining your nights.
  2. Landscape lighting- the best way to bring taste and personality to the yard is by picking damp-rated outdoor light bulbs because they work even in wet weather conditions. The same applies to damp spots like garages and basements.
  3. Pool Lighting– a couple of ideas suffices here including illuminating the pool deck with lights hanging on trees or from roof gables.
  4. Security lighting- for improved security, you want outdoor bulbs with light sensors because they light up the compound even when you’re away as long as it’s dark. Check that the bulb puts out sufficient brightness to light up every corner. 
  5. Calming needs- if you desire to have a cozy atmosphere for a comfortable summer day, look out for outdoor lights that give off soothing lighting. I doubt there’s a better way to experience a refreshing picnic in a breathtaking place.


It’s so important that you consider the intended use before swiping your credit card.

Amount of lighting

With respect to lighting, check that the Lumens rating for the light bulb will produce adequate light to brighten up the outdoor spaces you have in mind.

Generally speaking, more lumens mean brighter lighting and vice versa.

Power consumption

On this, we focus on the Watts and the lower the rating, the lower the electric bills.

Of course, outdoor LED light bulbs are better energy consumers than incandescent bulbs yet they deliver equivalent light output.

Take advantage and make savings by going for the LED outdoor flood light bulbs with the minimum practical watts rating.

Other considerations

  • Light color/appearance- lower Kelvin (K) numbers equal more yellow light while higher Kelvin numbers mean whiter or bluer lighting.
  • Available technology– as mentioned above, outdoor lighting bulbs exist with voice recognition, built-in Bluetooth speakers, smartphone compatibility, and more. Choose the technology that is most convenient for you.

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Best Outdoor Light Bulbs Reviews

As always, we went out of our way and shortlisted the best 5 outdoor light bulbs for every budget.

The fact of the matter is, each light bulb on our list has something special to offer so read through and make the right choice.

Let’s go:

Dusk-to-Dawn outdoor Light Bulb (Sensor Smart) LED Lighting Bulbs, 7w

Not only does this Dusk-to-Dawn Light Bulb feature an automatic on/off function thanks to the built-in sensors (No awful-looking outdoor timers to handle any more) but they’re also bright enough.

This is one of the safest bets if you’re searching for an outdoor light bulb that’s ideal for your hallways, pavements, porch, stairways, and other places where lighting is needed when it starts to get dark.


The Dusk-to-Dawn Light Bulb has a lot of things going for it and they are worth mentioning.

First, it delivers consistent light (the light from the 600 lm is equal to what you get from a 50W incandescent bulb) and illuminates the paths brilliantly, making people feel more confident walking around at night.

Another major reason for Bulb’s success? The 2700K color appearance…..

Typically called ‘warm white’, it is warm and relaxing.

That it uses less power – cutting your electricity costs-while at it makes us even happier.

Secondly, it’s made of a unique plastic mask to create a cool environment for the LED chip.

That means you’ll have it for years!

The bulb is completely differentiated from other outdoor lights.

Indeed, the 180 – 220 degrees sensor angle is rare at this level.


  • Connection is straightforward- just screw the bulb into your designated light socket, turn it on and that’s it.
  • No need to worry about switching it on/off.
  • Perfect amount of light


  • The price looks a bit scary but for all this goodness, it could be a worthy investment.

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Philips Hue 13W Outdoor White PAR38  Smart Bulbs

Part of Philips’ acclaimed family of smart lights, these outdoor flood light bulbs comes with the latest version of the company’s smart technology: Voice control, sunset/sunrise scheduler, an exciting app (for phone control), and more.

You screw them into your installed Par38 fixtures to supply thrilling lighting to your outdoors.

The lighting is automated for easier control and comfort (Hue Bridge required and not included).


Often ranked among the leading outdoor floodlights, the Philips Hue 13W Smart Bulbs are one of our favorites overall for smart homeowners.

They again emit a warm white light (3000K) so you will feel good about using it – it’s a crisper color than the 2700K rated Dusk-to-Dawn Light Bulb.

And because they’re Hue, the lights dim well.

These are 1300 lumen bulbs so the brightness is at another level- its equivalent to 75 Incandescent Watts!

Plus, they integrate smoothly with other devices in the Hue system- lightstrips, floor lamps, pendant lights, outdoor path lights, wall lights, and more.

Likewise, integrating the bulbs with Google Home, Alexa, and Apple HomeKit is quite simple.

You get lovely features such as Geofencing too when you add them to your existing Hue bridge.

What’s more, they’re made of weatherproof material and can work for a staggering 25,000 hours (maximum) with proper handling.

What more could you want in outdoor floodlights?


  • Fully automated.
  • Extremely bright.
  • Looks cute.


  • No major issue.

LOHAS Bug Light LED Bulbs, Bulb Yellow Outdoor Porch Lights, Amber Bedroom Night-Light Bulb, A15 LED Bulbs

When enjoying your evenings outside is your main goal, you want a bulb with anti-bug technology and this outdoor bulb makes the grade thanks to the amber yellow lighting it gives off.

You might know this: having amber glow bulbs in your porch lights discourages flying insects from hanging around for magical evenings after a busy day.


This uses an innovative scientific approach to provide abundant illumination without pulling the bugs to where you’re sitting.

Let’s start with the Kelvin color temperature- this time you get 2000K which often appears yellow.

Now, experts consider this sufficient for outdoor spaces especially if you’re looking for a soft glow on your space (not a harsh glare).

Mind you, the key concept here is to deter bugs so the bulb’s 450 lumens (as bright as 40W in A15 bulbs) are sensible (excessive brightness attracts hordes of insects).

Anyway, that’s enough to light up the porch for most people.

Another thing: it’s durable and reliable.

In fact, it outlasts most competitors out there and will work for about 30000 hours.

That’s over 16 years while using it for 5 hours/day!

Overall, it’s nothing short of fantastic


  • Saves on electricity bills.
  • Safe- no lead/mercury.
  • Creates a tranquil surrounding.


  • Not dimmable.

Sunco Lighting BR30 LED Bulb-6 Pack

A super wide flood beam angle(90 degrees) lets you light up a massive area here making these bulbs perfect for garages, basements, and driveways.

But what makes these wide floods a standout choice for most people is the softer, more diffused lighting.


With impressive dimming capabilities (10-100%) these fit any mood/decor.

Mix that with the sunlight-like true color rendering, pleasant warmth (it provides 3000K color temp), and great brightness (the 11 watts equate to 65 incandescent watts) and you have a pack of high scoring outdoor light bulbs.

Note that you can adjust its brightness to taste with the dimmer controls.

These are hands down one of the best in their class and they provide instant dazzling light and won’t buzz or flicker for optimal eye comfort.

Another reason that makes them top-rated is the shatter-resistant construction along with safety-first design (they’re shock resistant so there’s reduced risk of suffering electric shock).

You can also look forward to making more energy savings- at 11 cents per kWh, you save enormous amounts of electrical energy compared to halogen bulbs.

Topping it all off is the approachable price tag.


  • Eye friendly.
  • 5-Year Warranty!
  • Affordable pricing.


  • Not suitable for wet conditions.

TP-LINK Kasa WiFi Dimmable LED, Tunable White outdoor Smart Light Bulb, A19 Base

Back to top-of-the-line smart outdoor light bulbs and this TP-LINK Kasa Wi-Fi Dimmable LED outdoor light bulb caught our attention too.

It features energetic bright whites- you can actually tune its appearance from soft white (2500k) to daylight-like light (5000K).

You don’t need to hook up a cumbersome hub for it to work, either- simply connect it to your secure Wi-Fi network (2.4 GigaHertz Wi-Fi network recommended) and you’re done.


Among the supported services are Alexa, Google Assistant as well as Microsoft Cortana.

Just command your handy voice assistant to turn this bulb on/off or set custom schedules so it will turn on/off automatically.

Also, download the user-friendly Kasa Smart app (iOS/Android) to start controlling your outdoor bulb with the phone.

Everything from smart programming options including adding/lowering the color intensity and setting custom routines is available through the application, which can be downloaded from your App Store.

The app offers more programming options including adding/lowering the color intensity and setting scenes.

You could even turn on your light bulb if you’re running late so you’ll be welcomed by a well-lit backyard.

The bulb adopts a markedly different design and conforms to California’s Title 20 requirements so you can use it if you reside in California.


  • Seamless set up.
  • Adjustable color temp.
  • Plenty of smart actions.


  • Sometimes disconnects from the Wi-Fi.

Useful tips

Best Outdoor Light Bulbs Reviews and Buying Guide 2020
  • For the best performance, clean your outdoor lights at least twice a year (or as recommended by the manufacturer).
  • For safety, don’t over-lamp your fixtures- exceeding the stated wattage (read the fine print) could make the wiring to overheat and potentially cause accidents or at best, damage your entire system.
  • Keep off halogen and incandescent bulbs and focus on LEDs only- they’re almost maintenance-free (I don’t need to remind you about the energy savings).
  • Outdoor dining areas benefit more from subtle, indirect lighting (with dimmers) because it helps establish a peaceful mood.
  • If security is your primary concern, ensure that all the points in your home are properly lit even if it means illuminating the shadowy corners with strategically-installed outdoor spotlights.


Outdoor light bulbs are an ideal companion when outdoor: We’re looking at pleasing lighting at night, enchanting colors, and terrific convenience including countdowns and auto on/off.

Before buying, look out for essential like the brightness, color temperatures, average life span, and weather resistance.

The above picks will point you in the right direction and help get the right bulb to accentuate your outdoors, create the perfect theme for a romantic dinner, or light up your Halloween party.

Choose wisely.