My 25 yr old mercury vapor(?) outside security light has bit the dust.
Does anyone have a recommendation for a new photo cell operated security
Does not have be "decorative" or cheap, I want functional and long lasting.
Don't get the $19.95 one like I did. It has a motion range of only 10 feet
at maximum sensitivity. However, close up it is so sensitive, the bugs turn
it on when they fly near it. Shoulda bought the one for $79.95. Get one that
will accept at least 100 watt bulbs.
Get a high pressure sodium light, preferably with a "cutoff" shade
because there's enough glare in the world already. The amount of area
you're trying to light determines the wattage you need; 35W, 50W, and
70W are common, but they go up to 400W. The lamps are very efficient
and last for many years without replacing.
After buying the cheapie and having it not work so good, I called the
electric company and they installed a good one on the pole out front, one
year contract at $7 a month includes power. It's up high so there is good
coverage and they maintain it.
It's a standard sodium vapor street light. This is rural Tennessee where
things tend to be cheaper than in the big city. The Tennessee Valley
Authority pays this stuff. We can also get central heat / ac installed and
financed through TVA. Being a hillbilly isn't all bad. They'll even run
power to the outhouse.
Why pay to illuminate darkness? Set it for motion, and the 15 minute
setting. If you need light that stays on ALL the time, make it some smaller
Just MHO, YMMV.
I had bought a motion sensor lamp that used two 100-watt halogen light
bulbs (the tubular shaped bulbs. Not the cone or satellite-dish
shaped ones like the MR16 or GU10s). This was the type of motion
sensor lamp that is always on at 25% power, but kicked it up to 100%
power when it detected motion. It also looked quite stylish in design
since it used small halogen light bulbs (didn't really look like the
typical motion sensor security light)
I liked the lamp and the performance of the motion sensor, but those
100-watt halogen light bulbs were a pain in the ass. They would burn
out every 3-4 months, and are expensive and difficult to find. After
a year I had spent close to $35 on light bulb replacements alone, and
I was growing tired of having to get the ladder and screw driver every
time to change the light bulbs. So I decided to simply buy a new
motion sensor lamp (for roughly $40) that used two regular 150-watt
incandescent flood lights (same style of motion sensor... always on at
25% power but kicks it up to 100% power when it detects motion). I
haven't had to replace a light bulb since I bought it (2 years now)
and am quite happy with the light. Although not as stylish as the
halogen one, at least it doesn't require me changing the light bulbs
every 3-4 months.
Sounds like my situation. I had a 175W mercury light that became VERY
noisy. I replaced it with a 70W sodium fixture (small wall-mount
extension black aluminum casing). I used a piece of 1x4 redwood to make
an extension out from a corner on our house, and mounted it just a bit
lower than the old corner mounted fixture.
It is much more efficient, still working great after about two or
three years, and the color does not bother us at all. The range of
light and brightness are very similar to the old 175W light.
I got it at either Lowes or Home Depot, don't remember where, but it
is a common fixture.
That would be my recommendation. Of course by "bit the dust", what
do you mean? The 175W bulbs are available at good prices usually.
On the other hand, the 70W fixture is a better replacement, I think.
Phil Munro Dept of Electrical & Computer Engin
mailto: email@example.com Youngstown State University
Do you want security or light? You will get best security with NO light
except maybe a motion sensitive light. Burglars love lighted areas,
they cannot see in the dark. Crime is higher in areas with 'security'
Free men own guns, slaves don't
Actually, most burglaries (contrary to popular belief) happen during the
daytime, not at night. Most homes, after all, are unoccupied during the
day, but not at night.
As to the comment about burglars not being able to see in the dark, I
suppose you think that burglars are just too dumb to think of buying a
In any event, the number one factor in whether a home will be burglarized
is perceived occupancy. The vast majority (90-95%, depending on the
survey) of burglaries occur when the home is unoccupied. If the home
appears occupied (and lights can accomplish this), it's less likely to
become a target. Sure, the burglar can always ring the doorbell to find
out if someone is home, but that's less likely to happen with a home that
has lights on at night.
Can you provide a reference to any sort of crime survey that came to this
result, or are you just making it up?
George Wenzel, B.A. (Criminology)
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