Just got back from Home Despot. I wanted PAR38 90 watt halogen bulbs
for the recessed lighting in my basement (following advice received
right here in this very forum), and I got them alright, but I see now
that these are marked "exterior." What is the difference between an
interior and an exterior lamp? If I put them in my basement cans, will
my house explode?
Also saw for sale full spectrum floodlights. I am moving to halogen
because my incandescents are too yellow, so I was intrigued. But I see
that they are only available up to about 65 watt. Is there a reason
Yes the "exterior" bulbs are fine.
The exterior ones have to be a little tougher to take the rain on hot
Without a long lesson on color, perception and the scientific method...
Avoid anything that says its "full spectrum" as it is a snake-oil sales
term without a real meaning. There are many real and important issues
regarding lighting color but very few folks actually understand much of
it. Once you know what you really want then you can find the products
I'm sure you like them because they fit what you know you want, "like
daylight" is only one measurement. You probably paid a premium and they
are likely less efficient.
Cool & Warm white are color names that vary little from one maker to
another. Also virtually all makers have most of their lamps available
in these colors. BTW most fluorescent colors are now referenced by two
numbers, a "temperature" like 3500K or 5000K and a quality like RE70 or
RE80. Often they are abbreviated so look carefully.
"Full Spectrum" means only what that particular marketer wants it to
mean, at that time.
If you want a "daylight" color look for a high "temperature" 4100, 5000
& 6500K are commonly used (the high the bluer.) The CRI number is a
quality of color, the higher the less distortion of colors. 70 is
commercial/industrial, 80 is residential, and 90 is specialty quality.
FYI- warm white is 55, very poor.
As for Heybub's idea of colored glasses, GE makes blue tinted bulbs for
just that reason. They are called "Reveal". GE sales pitch is:
"Reveal's unique neodymium glass filters out dull, yellow rays, unlike
regular soft white bulbs, leaving you with enhanced, vivid
Are you confused yet??
I dunno about less efficient, they make the room brighter to
my perception, at the price of a little more glare. They are
more expensive, but not as much so as an aquarium/grow light.
(If you've got a 3-rod fixture, you can get a nice
pink-yellow-blue rainbow by putting one of each in.)
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