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Floodlight for residential back yard

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by [email protected], Apr 4, 2011.

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  1. Guest

    Hello all!

    I am looking for an outdoor floodlight for a residential back yard.

    The quick version is that the customer now has a cheap 300W linear
    halogen floodlight and loves the brightness and distance, but I hate the
    maintenance. I am thinking of installing a slightly less cheap linear
    halogen floodlight and am wondering if any of the "name brands" stand
    out; skip down to the end for the ones I've found so far.

    For the long version, read on...

    Customer requirements:

    Instant on. It is turned on as needed by a switch (not on a photocell,
    timer, or motion sensor) so they don't want to wait for it to strike or
    warm up.

    Has to light up all the way to the back fence (about 40' or 13 m away)
    and as wide as reasonably possible. The width requirement is not as
    strict as the distance requirement, but I get the feeling that something
    like a single PAR38 might not be wide enough. The fixture is mounted to
    the wall about 7 feet above grade.

    Has to be "bright". See under "History" for what this means.

    My requirements:

    Shouldn't be a hassle. I have to provide free service and support for
    this installation for the next 30 years or so, so I am willing to spend
    money up front to reduce maintenance time later.

    Has to mount on the existing standard rectangular electrical box. Right
    now there is a cover on the box with standard 1/2" female thread for the
    fixture. The house is brick so it is not easy to mount a fixture other
    than to the box.

    Should run on US-standard 120 V 60 Hz.

    It is a bonus if the lamp replacement can easily be done by the customer,
    but not strictly required.


    The original fixture, many years ago, was your basic standard jelly jar
    with 100 W A-line incandescent lamp. This wasn't bright enough.

    The previous solution was a fixture with two T4 bi-pin halogen lamps in
    reflectors. I don't remember for sure but they were probably 100 W
    each. This worked OK until the glass discs over the reflectors got

    The current solution is a $10 fixture with a 300W linear halogen. The
    customer is very happy with the amount of light this provides, when it
    works. I am not happy with everything else about it. The fixture has
    been in service for about 2 or 3 months, and the original lamp just
    failed. The contacts that hold the lamp in have lost enough "spring"
    that after I removed the failed lamp, I had to dissasemble the fixture
    and re-bend the contacts to get the new lamp to even think about staying
    in. While in there I noted that the fiberglass sleeving over the wires
    has now turned black over the last 1.5" (40 mm) or so closest to the
    sockets. The replacement lamp worked for about 5 minutes before
    something failed again; I haven't diagnosed it further. (Yes, I know
    you can't touch these lamps, or if you do, you have to clean them off
    with alcohol first.)

    What I think so far:

    If it was my house, I'd probably try one of those floodlights that has
    a couple of CFLs in it. But it's not my house, I don't know if the
    light output will be enough, I don't know how well those will work in
    the winter, and the readily available brand (Lights of America) I am
    not so sure about.

    I am thinking of buying another 300W linear halogen fixture, but a "name
    brand", even if I have to go to a distributor and pay list for it. So
    far I have found the Cooper QZ3L
    and Lithonia F500QL
    - are there others I should look at, or any suggestions as to which one
    of them is better?

    Or should I just eat rice for the next month or two and buy them a nice
    LED or induction fixture with equivalent output? :)

    Standard disclaimers apply; I don't work for or get money from any
    companies mentioned.

    Thanks for your help!

    Matt Roberds
  2. Guest

    It's at my parents' house. :)

    Matt Roberds
  3. TKM

    TKM Guest

    Give a look at the GlareBuster. See:
    There's a model without the photocell (The GB 1000). See the "Buy/Info"

    Unless you want glare and wasted light into the sky, an outdoor luminaire
    can only light an area out to about 2 times the luminaire mounting height.
    Mount the GB at 20 feet and it will light out about 40 feet with a 120
    degree spread.

    The GB 1000 can use any screw-in CFL. The 26/27 Watt lamp is fine for most
    back yard applications.

    Use Energy Star CFLs to ensure rated life (typically 9000 hours).

    I've not found starting/warm up to be a problem -- at least in northern

    Halogen lamps are relatively inefficient and the poor quality products that
    I've seen in most retail stores -- both fixtures and lamps -- means lots
    more maintenance.

    Terry McGowan
  4. TKM

    TKM Guest

    The Energy Star requirements for CFLs say the lamp package must state the
    minimum starting temperature as you say, Vic. But the information can also
    be stated as geographical zone of use. Maybe manufacturers prefer that.

    The lamp cartons on my shelf, which are more than a year old, use minimum
    temperatures - one says -5 and the other says -20 (F). It's an interesting
    point and I'll take a look at some new retail products shortly to see what's
    on the boxes. I prefer to see the temperature stated as you do.

    Terry McGowan
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