Cool, neutral color
Awkward shape for traditional housings
We purchased the SkyGenius Corn Light so our writer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.
SkyGenius is a Colorado-based company founded in 2013, selling mostly budget binoculars and corn lights. We tested their corn light in the garage at our Colorado home. See if this light bulb delivered on its promise to replace powerful high-intensity discharge (HID) and high-pressure sodium (HPS) lightbulbs.
Performance: Intense bright light best for large spaces and outdoors
Corn lights are a relatively new lighting technology that promises a long-lasting, energy-efficient alternative to HID and HPS for serious overhead illumination. The lights vaguely resemble an ear of corn due to their elongated shape with dozens of small LED chips up and down the exterior.
The 35-watt bulb we tested is rated at 3,500 lumens, and it is nothing if not bright. We tested it in our garage, replacing a 600-lumen compact fluorescent bulb, and the change was incredible. The dim light of our old regular 60-watt equivalent bulb sent out a diffuse glow in the immediate area around and below it. The corn light lit the entire garage except for its darkest corners.
The light was almost too bright for the standard 8-foot high rafters, so we used it mostly in the exterior light above our garage door, illuminating the driveway. Here, the light was more constrained by the darkness outside and worked well. I also tried the bulb in my father’s 30-foot by 60-foot pole barn, where the rafters are much higher. The light was noticeably brighter than his existing CFL bulbs.
This bulb is a powerful light designed for illuminating large spaces such as barns, warehouses, parking lots, and other locations you’d traditionally employ a 300-watt or higher HID or HPS light. While those lights often require a ballast, the corn lights' lower power requirements mean you can get the same output but from a regular E26 socket.
...if you use this lightbulb on average about 3 hours a day, that bulb should last about 31 years.
Historically, LEDs weren’t capable of producing the same power as HPS or metal halide lights, but that has changed. LED corn lights are a popular option, offering longer lifespans and greater energy efficiency.
In commercial applications, the adoption of these lights can drive down costs, especially over the long-term. The corn lights give you a great opportunity to use commercial-grade lighting without the high cost or the need for special hardware for home use.
Design: Natural color temperature and attractive build
While many modern LED bulbs do their best to mimic the lightbulbs of a century ago, these lights have a unique, futuristic design that prompts lots of questions from people who’ve never seen them before. One issue we discovered is that most existing bulb housings were not made with these bulbs in mind.
The bulb's elongated shape makes it hangs lower or sticks out in housings such as the one above our garage door. These bulbs are generally hung high overhead, and aesthetics are rarely the main concern, but it’s worth noting if you're considering to use them around your home.
We found this light very cool and blue, and the manufacturer’s listed color temperature of 6,500K, in fact, places it squarely in the “cool white” part of the spectrum. We did not care for that since most of our bulbs are on the spectrum's warmer end. However, when used as an exterior light above our driveway, even though we would’ve preferred a warmer color, the light temperature wasn't as important as durability or efficiency.
Durability and Warranty: LED lifespan but short warranty
One of the main reasons people get LEDs is for their longer lifespans, compared to incandescents and fluorescents. LEDs are regularly rated for more than 20,000 hours of use and this bulb claims an incredible 35,000 hours expected lifetime. If you do some math, you can use this lightbulb on average about 3 hours a day, and that bulb should last about 31 years. While that life span seems awe-inspiring, the one-year manufacturer warranty isn’t exactly confidence-boosting. While LEDs are generally last long, I'm concerned that the relatively new design of the LED corn lights may not have all the bugs worked out yet.
Price: Affordable power for less
At about $30 per bulb, these lightbulbs aren’t cheap, compared to their equivalents in HID or metal halide bulbs, but they’re a steal if they last as long as they say they do. A 300-watt HPS light with ballast costs well over $100 and replacement bulbs aren’t cheap, either. They’re also cheap compared to other corn lights from more recognizable brands.
SkyGenius Corn Light vs. ETi 27W Daylight Corn Light
If SkyGenius’ short, 1-year warranty gives you pause, you can buy some security with the ETi lights. These corn lights offer roughly the same power draw, output, and features and give you a 5-year warranty. You’ll pay double the price, but if peace of mind is a priority, the premium might be worth it.
Yes, buy it
At about $30 per bulb, these aren’t cheap lights, but they're a steal compared to their equivalents in high-intensity discharge or metal halide bulbs. A 300-watt HPS light with ballast costs well over $100, and replacement bulbs are pricey. These lights are a modest revolution in this sector of lighting. The expected durability combined with the bulb's energy-efficiency and simplicity makes these a no-brainer for lighting large spaces.
- Product Name Corn Light
- Product Brand SkyGenius
- MPN LD-CO.4-35
- Price $29.99
- Power 35-watt
- Bulb Type A19
- Brightness 3500 lumens
- Color Temperature 6,500K
- Warranty 1-year, limited