Outdoor bulbs are used to illuminate outdoor fixtures of porches, gardens, backyards, pathways, patios, streets, entrances, balconies, and repel bugs. They have particular designs, which are built to withstand harsher climates when compared to standard bulbs. For example, most outdoor bulbs can withstand heavy rain, cold or warm temperatures, strong winds, etc. These bulbs are also more durable.
But before you buy an outdoor bulb for your outdoor fixture, you should decide where you want to install these bulbs, what purpose these bulbs will serve, and how many bulbs you need. Once you have determined those factors, you must then identify the correct light bulb base of the outdoor fixture.
It is important to know what kind of bulb you’re buying. Not all bulb bases are the same. There are in fact many bulb base types that have specific codes such as E27, E26, T5, etc to inform you of what fixture size they are compatible with. These markings denote the type of fixture of which a bulb can be screwed into properly. Therefore, you need to make sure that your bulb and the base of the outdoor fixture are compatible via their specific code.
Once you know where you want to install the outdoor bulb(s), have identified the right bulb base type of the outdoor fixture, and how many bulbs you need, you can then use factors such as illumination, light temperatures, IP rating, and power consumption to further decided from this list of the best outdoor smart bulbs.
Hykolity Led Flood Light
Verdict: Best Outdoor Flood Light Bulb
Hykolity’s LED floodlight offers durability and weather protection in a high-quality plastic design. This floodlight is dimmable and quite energy efficient. You won’t get smart home connectivity, though.
SpecificationsCompatible with: None | Bulb Type: Dimmable Par38 | Hub Required: No | Lifetime: 25,000 hours | Brightness: 1600 lumens | Color temperature: 2700-5000K | Power consumption: 15 watts | IPS Rating: IP65 (wet location rated)
- Good brightness for a 15W bulb
- Wet location rated
- No smart connectivity
Hykolity’s LED Floodlight is an excellent product based on its quality and durability. Floodlights are usually a lot more difficult to replace, and they are prone to occasional power problems. So to get a floodlight that offers a decent illumination profile while providing durability is quite impressive. Apart from the 1600 lumens of brightness, you get a 5000K temperature that perfectly mimics daylight. Hykolity’s floodlight is also wet rated, so you can install it directly outside a window or a door without worrying about water getting into the base or bulb.
Unfortunately, Hykolity’s floodlight is not smart, so you can connect it to a smart home assistant/hub. You can control it through a dimmer switch, moving between 5% and 100% brightness. Additionally, you get a 3 years warranty with this light, which is more than what other floodlight manufacturers offer.
LOHAS Dusk to Dawn Light Bulb
Verdict: Best Dusk Till Dawn Bulb
Lohas’s Dusk to Dawn LED bulb offers durability, energy efficiency, and decent illumination on an E26 base. It has a large photosensor installed on its body that can detect sunlight and only turn on if sunlight isn’t falling on it. This means you can avoid manual switching and ensure that your home stays lit during the entire night.
SpecificationsCompatible with: None | Bulb Type: A19 | Hub Required: No | Lifetime: 30,000 hours | Brightness: 900 lumens | Color temperature: 5000K (Daylight) | Power consumption: 9 watts | IPS Rating: N/A
- Photocell sensor removes the need for manual switching
- It cannot be used in heavy rain
Lohas’s Dusk to Dawn LED bulb is perfect for areas of your home where manual switching can be avoided. This bulb has a photoelectric sensor built right into it. It’s the red spot you see on the body. The sensor can detect sunlight and turn off automatically if light falls on it. The sensor is larger than on most streetlights, which helps Lohas’s bulb capture more light and be sensitive to smaller changes. This means you can use it inside a casing, like in street lights, garden lights, garages, or simply light up a dark pathway.
This LED bulb offers 900 lumens at 5000K temperature, which appears as daylight. It is also more durable than most bulbs, with Lohas claiming 30000 hours of lifetime. You’ll need to install them on an E26 base and will need to keep these bulbs away from heavy rainfall.
Cree Lighting Connected Max Smart LED Bulb
Verdict: Best Outdoor Smart Bulb
Cree’s Smart Bulb offers an excellent color and temperature range in a durable and weatherproof bulb. It can be connected via WiFi or Bluetooth to multiple Smart home assistants and be used through voice commands. In addition, you can download the mobile app for additional features such as timers, routines, and grouping more than one bulbs.
SpecificationsCompatible with:Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri | Bulb Type: PAR38 | Hub Required: No | Lifetime: 25,000 hours | Brightness: 1200 lumens | Color temperature: 2200K-6500K | Power consumption: 14 watts | IPS Rating:UL Wet Rated
- Can be controlled through voice control using Alexa, Siri, or Hey Google
- Wide color and temperature range
- No hub required
- No manual dimming
Cree is one of the leading brands in smart home lighting, and its PAR38 bulb is a great option for use outdoors. It is wet-rated, which means you won’t have to worry about heavy rain. In addition, this LED bulb offers a decent illumination of 1200 lumens using 14W of energy. The temperature and color of lighting are adjustable. You’ll get an RGB range of colors and 2200-6500K white light temperatures which helps set any mood you want outside or inside.
The defining feature of Cree’s Smart LED bulb is its smart home connectivity. You can connect this bulb with multiple voice assistants such as Alexa and Siri and use it through voice commands. In addition, the mobile app offers complete control over the bulb. You can turn it on/off, set color/temperature, create timers, group multiple bulbs, or set routines to complement the natural light.
BrightownOutdoor Patio String Lights
Verdict: Best Outdoor String Lights
Brightown’s string lights offer an excellent experience for outdoor gatherings. Each string has 25 bulbs on it, with each bulb providing 23 lumens of warm 2700K light. These lights also have an IP44 rating, which means they are resistant to most weather extremities.
SpecificationsCompatible with: None | Bulb Type: G40 | Hub Required: No | Lifetime: 1000 hours | Brightness: 23 lumens/bulb | Color temperature: 2700K Warm White | Power consumption: 5 watts/bulb | IPS Rating: IP44
- Weatherproof with an IP44 rating
- Easy to install
- Not energy efficient
Brightown’s Patio String lights are a great addition to your free-flowing outdoor décor. A 25 feet string holds 25 bulbs, and multiple strings can be interconnected. Since the string is also used to deliver power, you can simply plug in these bulbs without worrying about additional wiring. They give a warm 2700K light at 23 lumens each. Each bulb consumes about 5W, so they’re not very energy efficient, but if you only need them for outdoor gatherings, wattage might not be a problem.
These bulbs are also IP44 rated, which is resistant to most extreme weather conditions. These string lights can withstand high/low temperatures, heavy rainfall, and the strings are sturdy enough to withstand wind and storms. You can use an additional dimmer to manually dim the bulbs. Brightown uses C7/E12 base for its patio lights.
Diximus Low Voltage Landscape Bulb
Verdict: Best Landscape Garden Bulb
Dixomus’s Low Voltage Landscape bulbs offer a low energy, high illumination, and an easy-to-install design. You can use these bulbs to light up pathways, gardens, patio, and similar landscapes. You will need to use them inside a weatherproof casing, though.
SpecificationsCompatible with: None | Bulb Type: T5 | Hub Required: No | Lifetime: N/A | Brightness: 81.7 lumens | Color temperature: Bright White | Power consumption: 7 watts | IPS Rating: N/A
- Powerful illumination for 7W
- Low voltage bulbs usually last longer
- Easy to install
- Not wet-rated so can only be used
Diximus Low voltage bulbs are designed to be used in your garden, pathways, fencing, or similar landscapes. These bulbs have a T5 base, which makes them compatible with most modern outdoor lighting holders. The low voltage coupled with a powerful illumination of 81.7lumens makes these bulbs excellent for low energy-high illumination applications.
Diximus’ Landscape bulbs give out a bright white light and are easy to replace with a simple push-in installation. However, considering the T5 base and the tender design, these bulbs should be used only in casings and not direct rain.
FanNicooLED Corn Light Bulb
Verdict: Best LED Corn Bulb
FanNicoo’s LED Corn bulb is powerful, durable, and energy-efficient. Its high illumination of 5500 lumens, coupled with optimal heat dissipation and long lifetime, make it a perfect choice for Large Outdoor Areas, Street Lamps, Porches, Barns, Backyards, etc.
SpecificationsCompatible with: None | Bulb Type: E26/27 | Hub Required: No | Lifetime: 36,000 hours | Brightness: 5500 lumens | Color temperature: 6500K (Daylight) | Power consumption: 60 watts | IPS Rating: N/A
- Very powerful at 5500 lumens
- Long lifespan
- Easy to install
- Not wet-rated, needs a casing
FanNicoo’s LED Corn bulb offers a powerful lighting profile and is a perfect replacement for traditional large bulbs, which take up more space and energy. This bulb uses 300 pieces of SMD’s controlled by about 2835 LED chips to provide a powerful 5500 lumens of light with a bright white temperature of 6500K. This makes FanNicoo’s Corn Light bulb ideal for large outdoor areas, street lamps, porches, barns, backyards, etc.
In addition to the powerful lighting profile, this bulb has a smart distributed heat dissipation mechanism, which ensures that the bulb operates at the optimal temperature. FanNicoo’s LED corn bulb can last for up to 36000 hours. Its superior thermal profile also ensures it works on a wide temperature range of -4 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sunco Vintage Edison Filament Bulb
Verdict: Best Outdoor Edison Bulbs
Sunco’s Edison Filament bulb has a nice vintage look, decent power consumption, and a vibrant color rendering index, which makes it perfect for outdoor use. In addition, the IP65 rating ensures that rainfall or temperature variations won’t affect its bulb’s performance.
SpecificationsCompatible with: None | Bulb Type: ST64 | Hub Required: No | Lifetime: 15,000 hours | Brightness: 800 lumens | Color temperature: 2700K-6000K Cool White | Power consumption: 8.5 watts | IPS Rating: IP65
- Wet Rated
- Elegant vintage design
- Not very bright compared to other products on our list
Edison filament bulbs had been around for centuries, and with the advent of electronic circuits, everyone thought their time was up. But it seems that elegant filament designs are hard to let go of. If you’re looking for a nice outdoor filament bulb, you can’t go wrong with Sunco’s product. You can buy one at five temperature variations, and at 8.5 W of power consumption, you can line up multiple bulbs together without spending too much energy.
The 800 lumens might be a bit low if you’re going for a single light, but when you line up multiple bulbs or attach them with ceiling cords, they give out a nice blend of warmth and illumination. Sunco also claims that the 90+ color rendering index provides you with a more color-vibrant experience, especially for outdoors. This bulb is also wet rated, which means rain won’t be a problem.
FEIT Non-Dimmable Led Bug Light
Verdict: Best Bug repellent Light Bulb
Light is a low-power durable option for outdoor lighting. It emits a shade of yellow light invisible to insects, so you can place multiple bulbs and not have any unwanted guests. With 25000 hours of a lifetime and a damp rating, this bulb is ideal for moist environments but might fail during heavy rain.
SpecificationsCompatible with: None | Bulb Type: A19 | Hub Required: No | Lifetime: 25,000 hours | Brightness: 400 lumens | Color temperature: Yellow | Power consumption: 5 watts | IPS Rating: Damp location rated
- Insects can not see the light
- Uses less power
- Low illumination
- Susceptible to heavy rain
If you’re using a bulb outdoors, insects and other creepy crawlies can be a major problem. Bug repellent bulbs emit certain colors of light that insects do not recognize and humans can still use for illumination. Feit’s LED Bug light is one of the best products in this department. It’s not power-hungry, and its damp rating means it can be used outdoors in moist settings. However, heavy rain can damage it.
This bulb is also quite durable at 25000 hours of lifetime. While the 400 lumens might be a problem for outdoor lighting, the low power consumption means it’s better to line up multiple bulbs for a better lighting experience. It is not dimmable, though, but at only 400 lumens, you can adjust your lighting preference by reducing the number of bulbs.
LIFX Color BR30WiFi Smart LED Light Bulb
Verdict: The Best Color Changing Outdoor Bulb
LIFX’s Color BR30 offers a wide range of colors and temperatures, which help set up any mood outdoors. The 1100 lumens of brightness ensure that you don’t need many to achieve the perfect lighting experience. This bulb is also IP65 rated, so it can withstand heavy rain and harsh temperatures. The free mobile app offers a range of functionality, including voice commands through Siri, Alexa, or Hey Google.
SpecificationsCompatible with: Google Home,Alexa, HomeKit and Siri | Bulb Type: BR30 | Hub Required: No | Lifetime: 20,000 hours| Brightness: 1100 lumens | Color temperature: 1500K – 9000K | Power consumption: 11.5 watts | IPS Rating: IP65
- RGBW LEDs provide a broader color palette than other colored bulbs
- Wide temperature range for white light
- Intuitive app and smart home/assistant compatibility
- Only available in Edison Screw
LIFX’S Color BR30 Smart Bulb is the perfect addition to an outdoor environment. It has an RGBW color range that contains billions of colors, much better than the 16M colors provided in the RGB spectrum. Moreover, this bulb has a wide temperature range for white light, integrating perfectly and providing a much more comfortable environment. You can use it to create warm dining experiences in addition to vibrant party themes. It connects directly through the 2.4GHz WiFi and can be controlled via the LIFX app.
The LIFX app allows you to remotely control the bulb’s status and lighting and set up different routines and timers to complement the natural light. It is also IPS65 certified and can be used outdoors in extreme weather conditions. 1100 lumens for only 11.5W of power is quite an energy-efficient profile. In addition, the phone app can be used to set up routines, timers or group the product with other smart home devices.
Sunco LED Candelabra Bulb
Verdict: Best Outdoor Candelabra Bulb
Sunco’s LED candelabra bulb offers decent illumination, low power, and 15000 hours of operation, making it a great choice for outdoor decorative uses. It is especially suited to be used in sconces, and the built-in photosensor ensures that this bulb operates from dusk till dawn without needing you to turn it on.
SpecificationsCompatible with: None | Bulb Type: B11 | Hub Required: No | Lifetime: 25,000 hours | Brightness: 500 lumens | Color temperature: 2700K,300K, 4000K, 5000K | Power consumption: 5 watts | IPS Rating: N/A
- Photosensor removes the need for manual switching
- Decent illumination for a candelabra bulb
- Not dimmable
- Fixed temperature
Sunco’s Candelabra bulb is a great option for decorative lighting, and at 500 lumens, it can be used as more than just a decorative light. In addition to the elegant filament design, this bulb has a photoelectric sensor that can detect light and automatically turn on at dusk and keep illuminating through to dawn. So once you’ve installed the bulb, you can leave it to operate on its own.
This candelabra bulb is available in four light temperatures but can not be dimmed. It is ideal for Sconces. In addition, using up only 5W of power for its 15000hours of a lifetime, Sunco’s candelabra bulb will save you quite a lot of energy. You will need to use a casing for it since this item is not wet-rated.
What to look for in an Outdoor Smart bulb
LED lights use electrical diodes, which emit light when current passes through them. These bulbs are much more efficient than conventional lighting, with a 5W LED bulb giving out the same light roughly as a 60W conventional bulb. They are also more durable and are less prone to fading and flickering.
Brightness and Color Temperature
The brightness of a bulb is measured in lumens and is displayed on the packaging. The higher the number of lumens, the higher the brightness. Many bulbs can also be dimmed using electrical switches or mobile apps. Outdoor bulbs used as a singular unit are usually quite powerful with brightness ranging from 1000-5000 lumens, while bulbs used in groups are usually less bright. Another specification you’ll see on the box is color temperature, which is measure in Kelvins. Simply put, color temperature refers to the shade of light. The higher the temperature, the more crisp and bright the light, while lower temperatures give out a warm glowing feeling.
Motion Sensor and Security Features
Lights with motion sensors are usually used in pathways or rooms tucked away from the daily use areas, such as garages or attics. Motion sensors detect any movement across their face and turn the lights on automatically. These sensors are also used in security lights, which are installed next to possible security breaches. These security lights are usually quite powerful and turn on immediately when they sense movement while also sending alarm notifications to your security system. These lights were susceptible to false alarms or going off due to small animals in the past. However, modern image processing techniques can differentiate animals and inanimate objects from humans, making these lights more accurate.
Weather-Resistance and lifespan
Weather resistance is usually marked as an IPS rating on the package. You can check out what these ratings mean here. However, in general, weather-resistant lights can withstand heavy rainfall and windstorms due to better designs. These lights are less susceptible to extreme temperatures and can operate in both humid and dry conditions.
The lifespan of the light is usually written in the form of hours. They usually range from 15000-3500 hours. Sometimes, manufacturers might write the number of years instead of hours. It is important to know that the number of years is dependant on how many hours the manufacturer allotted to a day. If you use it for more hours, the light will last for less time.
Modern Smart bulbs are interconnective with smart home assistants and hubs. These bulbs usually use Bluetooth or WiFi to connect with each other and other smart home devices such as hubs and voice assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Hey Google. Once connected, you can use apps on your phone or voice assistants to control your lights without manual switches. You can also use extended features like setting up timers, creating lighting routines and schedules, and integrating lights with other sensors such as locks and motion detection. Smart lights give you extended control and functionality and can be integrated into a personalized smart home network.
There is a huge variety of outdoor lights available, and the product you buy will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Some lights are used to illuminate landscapes and pathways, while others light up dining settings or parties. Before you buy an outdoor light, make sure you’ve taken a look at all the specifications and have a good understanding of your landscape.