Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Lux LED Energy-Efficient at Amazon
“They’re energy efficient, have a long life span and unlike CFLs, don’t contain mercury.”
Best 360-Degree: SkyGenius 25W LED Corn Light at Amazon
“Provides 360 degrees of stable lighting ... thanks to rows of tiny lights.”
Best Smart Bulb: TP-Link Smart LED w/Wi-Fi at Amazon
“A high tech upgrade ... that you can control through a personal device.”
Best Bug-Repelling: TCP LED Yellow Bug Light at Amazon
“The bulb emits a pretty yellow glow that won’t attract pesky insects.”
Best Flood Light: Sunco 11W Flood at Amazon
“The bulb, which you can dim, is a top performer that can reduce energy use compared to a halogen bulb by 90 percent.”
Best Weatherproof: Feit Electric PAR38 LED at Amazon
“Weatherproof, dimmable, and best of all mercury-free.”
Best Dusk-to-Dawn: Philips LED Dusk to Dawn at Amazon
“Equipped with sensors that turn the light on at night when triggered by movement.”
01 of 07
Best Overall: Lux LED Energy Efficient Light Bulbs, 6-Pack
We love LEDs because they’re energy efficient, have a long life span and unlike CFLs, don’t contain mercury. These indoor/outdoor LEDs by Lux are premium bulbs that provide 750 lumens (equivalent to a 60-watt incandescent bulb) of beautiful soft light.
You can expect each bulb sold in packs of six to last up to 10 years or 10,000 hours. Even better, your out of pocket cost to operate one is around 84 cents per year — compared to an outdated incandescent, this bulb can provide you with a huge lifetime savings of $840.
FYI, it works on dimmers and fits standard (E26) light sockets. We suggest using in an outdoor space with an overhead cover. And for your peace of mind, the light bulb comes with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.
02 of 07
Best 360 Degree: SkyGenius 25W LED Corn Light Bulb
This outdoor LED bulb, which resembles an ear of corn, provides 360 degrees of stable lighting (no more dead corners!) thanks to rows of tiny lights. It's available in a range of lumens, but our favorite is the 2,500 lumen bulb. Its brightness is equal to a 200W incandescent bulb, and the good news is it consumes only 1/10 of the energy.
Don't let its newfangledness confuse you because it's designed to fit any standard (E26) light socket. We think it's an excellent choice for outdoor post fixtures where 360 degrees of bright light will illuminate both walkways and yards at night. So that you know, it doesn't dim.
The estimated yearly cost to operate this bulb is around $3. You can expect it to last up to 10 years based on three hours of operation per day.
03 of 07
Best Smart Bulb: TP-Link Smart LED Light Bulb with Wi-Fi
Give your porch light a high tech upgrade with this smart bulb by TP-Link that you can control through a personal device.
The dimmable three pack offers the best bang for your buck. Each bulb is 50W equivalent. Individual bulbs are also available with your choice of features including energy monitoring, multicolor settings, and tunable white. Whichever one you choose all can be controlled using a free app on your smartphone or using your voice via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. For your convenience, you can even set lighting schedules for this bulb, including timers and countdowns.
Before buying, here are two essential things to know: First, don't use smart bulbs like this one with your existing dimmer switches. Also, the bulb works best outdoors in areas with an overhead cover in temperatures ranging between 5-degrees to 102-degrees.
04 of 07
Best Bug Repelling: TCP 5W Equivalent LED Yellow Bug Light Bulbs
You can replace your old 40W incandescent bulbs with this LED one by TCP that only uses five watts. Unlike sources of white light, the bulb emits a pretty yellow glow that won’t attract pesky insects.
These bug light bulbs will stand the test of time, as their life span is nearly 23 years (based on three hours of daily use). You won't have to worry about fit either—this bulb will fit any of your existing sockets because it uses a standard E26 screw base. Another important note: this bulb works best outdoors in an area that protects it from the weather.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Best Flood Light Bulb: Sunco 11W Flood Light Bulbs, 6-Pack
Brighten up your outdoor space with this Energy Star listed LED flood light bulb by Sunco. It emits 850 Lumens (equal to a 60-watt incandescent bulb), and it’s available in three different color temperatures: Soft white (2700k), cool white (4000k) and daylight (5000).
The bulb, which you can dim, is a top performer that can reduce energy use compared to a halogen bulb by 90 percent. Its average life is 25,000 hours.
06 of 07
Best Weatherproof: Feit Electric PAR38 Dimmable LED Light Bulb
Weatherproof, dimmable, and best of all mercury-free this bulb is the perfect replacement for your 90W incandescent. The spot light uses only 18 Watts, roughly 75 percent less than an old standard bulb and you can pop it into either a recessed fixture or security fixture with a standard (E26) socket. You can expect our pick to last up to 25,000 hours.
07 of 07
Best Dusk to Dawn: Philips LED Dusk to Dawn Bulb, 3-Pack
Dusk to dawn light bulbs like this one come equipped with sensors that turn the light on at night when triggered by movement. While this Energy Star certified bulb isn’t dimmable, it does emit a pleasing soft white light (equal to a 60 Watt incandescent). When it comes to energy use, it uses only 8 watts of power, so you can expect to save up to $143 over its 25,000-hour lifetime. Folks who own Phillips Hue System may be disappointed to learn that this bulb is not compatible.
What to Look for in an Outdoor Light Bulb
Brightness Deciding how bright you'd like an outdoor light to be will make a big difference in the bulb you choose. The brightness of an LED bulb is measured in lumens, with 750 lumens being equivalent to a 60-watt bulb. If you want mood lighting, opt for a softer light bulb with less lumens. But if you’re looking to light up the night after the sun goes down, a higher-powered bulb will be a better fit.
Motion and security Some outdoor bulbs are great for security purposes, thanks to built-in motion sensors that will turn the light on if an object passes by. Others will illuminate the night with 360-degree light distribution, which makes it easier to see shadowy corners or the edge of your yard. There are also models that can be programmed to turn on automatically at dusk, or you can use an app to turn them on and off from your smartphone. These options for automation can give you more peace of mind and increase the comfort and security of your yard.
Weather-resistance If you’re looking for an outdoor light bulb, you may need to give some thought as to what type of weather the bulb will be exposed to. While some bulbs are considered to be weatherproof and can stand up to rain and snow, others need to be protected from the elements. Many floodlight-style bulbs are more tolerant of weather conditions, while a lot of residential-style bulbs will need to be under a porch or canopy for the best results.