Outdoor Fluorescent security light question

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by dcf1999, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. dcf1999

    dcf1999 Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Illinois
    On the back of my house, the previous owners installed a 65w outdoor fixture (looks like picture shown). The bulb went out last year so I went to ******* and bought a 65w Fluorescent bulb that had the mogul base and installed it. It never turned on. Maybe a bad bulb... so today, I go and buy another bulb... same one. I installed it, turned on the light and heard a "pop" and it never came on. I noticed on the fixture it says to use an L-765 bulb only. This is the manufacture’s part number for the bulb I assume or is this an actual bulb number? Designer's Edge is the only one that sells the L-765 bulb (thus I’m assuming this is just “their” part number for a, what looks like, the same bulb I bought at *******). The one I bought from ******* is identical. Both are 65w, mogul base, and need external ballast. Is my fixture bad? Maybe I'm not using the correct bulb?

    I hate to order a $15 bulb to have it fail because some internal part is broken in the fixture.

    Last question. I'm also looking into just replacing it with a Cooper Lighting GT100MH 100-Watt Metal Halide light. It has great reviews, better energy consumption and nice white light. I can get one for $85 at *******. Would you guys recommend just staying with the fluorescent or going to metal halide? I've seen a lot of bad reviews about outdoor fluorescent lights like that one I have. Plus I figure if the metal halide is too bright or don't like it; I can use it to replace another HPS light I have on a pole in my front yard. Not a fan of the orange color and was going to replace it in the near future anyways.

    One last note and I mention this because it may make a difference in the responses I get. The florescent light on the back of my house (the one I’m having issues with and thinking of replacing with MH) isn’t used as a dusk to dawn light. It’s a switched unit that I can turn on and off from the garage. I like it set up that way because I can turn it on or off whenever (grilling at night, parties, etc..) but sometimes it’s nice to have it off to look at the starts, etc… On that note though, it’s not cycled on and off multiple times in one night. It either stays on till I go inside for the night, or it’s off.

    Thanks for all your help.

    light.jpg bulb.jpg
    Last edited by a moderator: May 25, 2014
  2. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,129
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Wrong Bulb is my guess.

    Wrong operating voltage.

    The base of the fixture should list the type of bulb needed.

    Some are a direct 120V replacement and do not require a ballast in the fixture.

    Metal Halide wins over sodium, for night time color. Mercury is good, but may be outlawed.

    Fluorescent is not all that great for use outdoors. LED may be better.


    Good Luck.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014
  3. dcf1999

    dcf1999 Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Illinois
    Yea thats what I was thinking... wrong bulb... The fixture has a ballast built in. Both bulbs (the L-765 and the one I bought) require the fixture to have a built in ballast.

    Yea I looked at the label inside the fixture and all it says is use L-765 bulb. They don't sell that at any big box stores around me so I have to order it online for $15.

    Heck... I'll probably just buy the MH fixture. It's a 100w MH bulb and if it's too bright, I could probably put in a 70w MH bulb. Plus, where I live, the fluorescent doesn't work in the winter... especially since it gets below zero a lot here.
  4. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,129
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Does that have a Night Sensor ?

    If so, it could be bad. Or the connections are dirty.

    The old school lights were 250 watt MV.


    How can a outdoor light be to bright ?
  5. dcf1999

    dcf1999 Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Illinois
    lol true... can never be too bright.

    My current light (the fluorescent) does not have a sensor... I alreay thought of that as it would be an easy fix... When I look online... all the outdoor fluorescent lights like mine have bad reviews... plus they don't work well in winter...

    Like I mentioned... when I turned it on... after about 2 seconds I heard a pop... so I'm betting something with the bulb... maybe like what you said about operating voltage... I don't know... The one thing that does turn me off is (if it has to do with the bulb) the fact that I have to order one online every time I need a new one. And their almost twice as expensive as the ones I can get at all the big box stores around me. You would think it would kind of be a universal type bulb (65w, mogul base) that would fit all those fixtures and work and not some bulb I have to buy specifically from "Designer's Edge."
  6. dcf1999

    dcf1999 Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Illinois
    damn... I wish I had the origional bulb (the one that worked) so I could look at all the numbers on the base (voltage, watts, etc...) and compare it to this new one so I could see if there was a difference.

    Honestly... I'm good at electrical and all but I don't know anything about fluorensent bulbs... I mean can you have two identical bulbs (same watt and base type) and they opperate on different voltages? Where you can install them in the same fixture and one works while the other doesn't because the voltage setting of the bulb?

    I'm sorry... these seem like really stupid questions I guess but I guess I just don't understand... I mean the pop I heard sounded like something you would hear if you put too much voltage into it.... like it couldn't handle it and "blew." Kind of putting too small of a fuse in a car and it pops...
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,006
    Location:
    New England
    All I can say is call CCI Consumer product hotline at 1-800-561-4321 or email questions to: consumer.service@colemancable.com. Describe your problem, and see what they have to say. The reviews are mixed, some had really bad luck, and buying replacement bulbs seemed pretty chancy, too, as many of them didn't seem to work out of the box or were broken in shipment.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 25, 2014
  8. ankhseeker

    ankhseeker Member

    Messages:
    78
    Location:
    California
    That looks like a Lithonia lighting that one of the big box stores. I remember reading about them on either the HD site or another forum of reviews. People were complaining that you had to use their light bulb because it had the electronics in the lamp or the bulb. Sorry, I forget which. I personally would get something else. I like MH. At least the bulbs are readily available. I prefer the slight blue tint that they give off too.
  9. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,129
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    I believe there is a switching supply in the Fixture. They are bad about generating RFI.

    People buy a new bulb, when the problem is in the power supply. Maybe a bad Capacitor or switching transistor.

    I agree MH is much better.

    LEDs can be bought in many light temperatures to mimic MH and MV.

    If you have a video security system, That may need to be taken into account if you want more Red.


    Have Fun.
  10. dcf1999

    dcf1999 Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Illinois
    The fluorensent is in the trash and replaced with a 100w MH. I cannot believe how bright the MH is.. It blows my mind. I have a HPS in my front yard that i will probably replace with a MH in the very near future.
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