My porchlight burned out and I went to Home Depot to get a replacement
bulb. The previous one was a sort of torpedo-shaped fluorescent
arrangement branded "Lights of America" and, as I recall (it's been
several years), rated for outdoor use. The Home Depot fella told me I
was imagining a light specifically rated for outdoor use -- that any
fluorescent was fine, and pointed to a shelf. I bought a small
twirly-tube thing that cites a "minimum starting temperature" of -20F.
The front panel says "Usages: suitable for totally enclosed fixtures"
with 2 little pictures of a lamp and a ceiling fan with lights.The
porch lamp is not "totally enclosed" enough to prevent a rain of dead
moths from falling on my face as I removed the plastic panel bottom
enclosure. It's outdoors on the porch ceiling, not "enclosed" in the
What does "totally enclosed" mean?
Totally enclosed light fixtures build up more heat that open ones do. So
you need a bulb that will withstand the higher temps. If your fixture is on
the porch ceiling with a plastic enclosure, then you really don't have to
have a buld rated for exterior use since it won't be getting wet.
I see I haven't made myself clear. The package for the new fluorescent
'bulb' says "Usages: Suitable for totally enclosed fixtures" with one
small drawing of a table lamp and another of a ceiling fan with light
cluster. The product is made in China, which may contribute to the
terminology confusion. Actually, the "...totally enclosed" is *under*
the little drawings, so perhaps it means that as well as using in
'open' fixtures (like lamp and light cluster), it is *additionally*
suitable for totally enclosed situations. Hmmm.
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