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Discussion Starter #1
I'm trying to find some outdoor spike floodlight fixtures to hold my new PAR30 LED bulbs. The inexpensive spike fixtures Home Depot sells (that I've seen) are for PAR38 bulbs.

Does anyone know of anything made to hold a PAR30 bulb?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hmmmm... I'm not having the same results here.

Attached is a picture of a PAR30 and PAR38 bulb for comparison:
http://www.techav.com/pics/par30par38.jpg

I find I can get the PAR30 bulb into one of those Home Depot $5 spike fixtures, but I have to press down very tightly for the bulb to grab in the socket. But, most importantly, I'm finding that over time (and maybe repeated removal of the bulbs), that the metal socket in the fixture itself is breaking off from the pressure of the tightened bulb. Basically, I'll try to unscrew the bulb and part of the socket comes with it.

So, I'm hoping to find something designed for the PAR30 bulbs...

I think they do fit in OK if I remove the rubber gasket on the fixture, but I was hoping to avoid that.... is that what you are doing?
 

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This is a very easy fix since a lot of people use LED floods on the Christmas side this is what you do. The bases are both medium bases so it will work. The problem as you are finding out is the LEDs are shorted then the par 38s. So to work around this you just need a socket extender. So go to Home Depot and tell them what the deal is and if they can show you where the socket extenders are and you will be in business.

They are probably going to ask you what kind. It will be a medium base to medium base.
 

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Just checked with the wife and the fixtures I have are from a local place called Dixieline and not Home Depot. My PAR30 bulbs work great and fit well with the gasket but the Home Depot fixtures may be different.

I'm going to Home Depot tonight and I'll take a look at the fixtures and see how they compare.

I'll also make a point of posting the brand of fixture that I have now since they seem to work well and other places may sell them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I played with it a bit more, and I found if I slid the gasket all the way down before screwing the bulb in, it fits OK - still a bit tight, but I don't think I will damage the socket.

I will check out those socket extenders as well. Will they still be weather resistant?
 

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I will check out those socket extenders as well. Will they still be weather resistant?
Yes, but since they are LED it really doesn't matter as much as if you were using incandescent floods.

You would basically remove that gasket washer that goes between the socket and the bulb now. Then screw in the extender. Put that gasket back on then screw the light in. They are fairly cheap too. Like a buck and a half at the most.
 

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Psychomaniac
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Okay, went to Home Depot tonight and I see what you mean. I bought two to mess with but I may just take them back.

This is what I'm using for my other lights...

Untitled Document

They work perfectly with the PAR30 LED bulbs and the gasket seals tight. They also come with a wall mount base which has been handy for me. The only downside is that they run more than twice as much as the Home Depot holder.

Still, after it's all said and done the difference may be worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the reply!

I think I'm OK with these Home Depot $5 ones... Basically, if I take the black gasket and slide it as far down onto the fixture as possible, the PAR30 bulbs seem to go in without too much pressure. I've done this a few times, and I'm not seeing any damage to the socket.

Thanks for the link! I will keep these in mind if I have any further issues.
 

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Psychomaniac
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I did the same thing but it still seemed very tight. I took one apart this morning and it looks like they can be easily modified. All you have to do is remove the socket (by taking out the screw and pushing the cord into the fixture) and add some washers underneath. This brings the socket higher into the fixture and makes for a perfect fit.

I still haven't decided if I'm going to bother however... the short cord means I need a specific extension cord for each lamp and that ends up being more than the other holders I purchased. I couldn't resist messing with it however.
 

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The socket extenders work but they increase the price and defeat the point of having an outdoor weatherproof fixture. If you want to just use a plastic bag you can take off the gasket and the PAR30 bulbs fit fine.

Adding a few washers under the socket takes no time at all and preserves all the features of the fixture.
 

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Socket extenders only cost .80 cents at Home Depot. I looked at them last night when looking for a new compressor.

The extenders will still keep the fixture weatherproof. You just remove the gasket screw in the extender and put the gasket back on then screw in the bulb. All it does is raise the socket up enough so the bulb can clear the base of the fixture. It keeps it just as weather tight as if you were not using it. The one concern I would be worried about if you are concerned about it being waterproof is condensation building up inside the bag. Since you are using LEDs the need for them to be weatherproof are not as great as if you were using incandescent floods.

Here is what one looks like....

 

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Psychomaniac
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We must be looking at different socket extenders. I was at Home Depot last night and the only ones they had were $2.89 and extended past the gasket. A local home improvement chain had the same ones (for more money).

Since both the LED bulbs and incandescent bulbs use a complete glass envelope, the bulb itself isn't much of a worry with regard to weatherproofing. It's the bulbs base to envelope interface and the lamp socket itself that must be protected. The gasket on the fixture protects both.

Condensation could be an issue with plastic bags. It depends on the weather conditions.
 

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Usually the ones that are about $3 a pop are higher wattage extenders. The ones we sale for that price are up to 660 watts. Did you happen to see what the wattage was for that extender. Also if it is a ceramic base it will cost a little more as well because ceramic acts as a heat sink.

If you remove the gasket before you put it on then you can put the gasket back between the extender and the bulb with no problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Adding a few washers under the socket takes no time at all and preserves all the features of the fixture.
Earlier today I took that screw out. The socket was loose, but the wire did not want to push up - I'm wondering if we have the same spike fixture.

How did you push the wire up once you took that screw out?

I also found you can take your finger and pop up the center contact a bit inside the socket so the bulbs don't have to be quite so tight to make a good connection. With the fixture unplugged, of course!
 

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I bought green "Floodlight holders" at Home Depot. They are green plastic spike lights with 18/2 6' cords.

I simply removed 3 screws and took the entire gasket off. The bulb fits entirely inside the plastic of the holder. Top with saran wrap and a rubber band.

The rang up as "Spike light" at $3.43. There are 5 in a case and were located with all the Xmas stuff.

Tim
 

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This is what it looks like..

I took a picture (attached) that shows one of Corey's 18-LED spots installed in the stake light. Laying next to it is the rubber gasket that was held on by the 3 silver screws.

Tim
 

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Psychomaniac
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Kremlar, it sounds like you have the same fixture. There is a rubber gasket where the cord enters the fixture so you have to push pretty hard and twist a little to force it up.

Tim, I looked all over Home Depot with those! They didn't have them anywhere. They are similar to the Prime lights bit with a different gasket design. I like the price and the six foot cord.
 
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