Compact flo's in a garage door opener?


Senior Member
Can you use compact flo's in a garage door opener? Do they last in such a harsh environment? I would think that these would work out good since there is no filament to rattle or break.
Rupp said:
Can you use compact flo's in a garage door opener? Do they last in such a harsh environment? I would think that these would work out good since there is no filament to rattle or break.
Rupp, I don't know what a "compact flo" is. Do you have a linky? ;)
flo = flourescent : )

I would agree w/ you Rupp . . . but size may be an issue, most of the CF replacement bulbs are a bit larger than standard . . .

Pete C

I love my country, but fear my government.
I have a sears opener and I would think there would be enough room (at least in the one I have). I should try that.

Speaking of those, can you use them for outside 'porch type' lights? I have regular bulbs in there now and it occurred to me that I could save a bit of electricity by swapping them. I wasn't sure if they generate enough light though.

Anyone have any experience with this? I don't use them much now so I'm not sure if the temperature alone is an issue there.
The simple answer is "YES", but there are some caveats. Compact fluorescents require a fifteen minute warm up. Most garage door openers keep the light on only 5+- minutes. If you do not keep the lights on for fifteen minutes you will supposedly decrease the life of the lights. Another problem is heat. You must use the encolsure rated bulbs.

All that being said, I have two standard CFL's in my garage door opener that have not had a problem for the past 6 months.

I purchased all of my lights on ebay (GREAT PRICE), so a loss of a light would not be that costly.

Absolutely you can use them.

I don't use any incandescent bulbs at all now - everything in my place is CF inside and outside now

Just be aware they might flicker a little when they first turn on (should be OK by the time the door goes full up or down).

They don't brighten up too quickly when it gets cold but that shouldn't be a problem for you down there.

I turned mine on last October and it still hasn't turned on ! (just kidding).

For all the time they are on in an opener you not going to save a lot of electricity but for outside lights they will make a difference.

I have seen them at Home Depot in bug light yellow too !

Hope this helps,

I got tired of chasing the bulbs in the opener. I just put an automated switch that controls the main garage flo lights. No more GDO bulbs at all to mess with. I can have it as simple as the GDO where doors opens and light on for 5 min or can get as complex as I want.
Although it seems I have to change bulbs in my house about every two days, the garage door opener has the original bulb. .. probably 20 years old. I never thought about it before... I can hear the filament breaking now.

I think the opener may not apply full voltage to the bulb... or maybe it's a 230v bulb or something. It doesn't seem to be as bright as other bulbs.
Two problems with using CFLs outside. Heat and cold.

When it's cold out (sub freezing), the bulbs take a while to warm up. They are very dim until they get warmed up. No good if you need instant light, but okay otherwise.

The other problem is heat, in this case from the CFLs themselves. While CFLs generate less heat than an incandescent, they do generate some. If the fixture is very airtight, the ballast on the CFL overheats and the light burns out prematurely.
I was thinking it might make sense since I have the lighting automated, dusk till 11pm on weeknights and dusk till 1am on the weekend. Since this happens I virtually never turn them on myself, so I'm not worried about it being dim initially.

I'll have to pick up a few and see what my results are to your second point.

It would save a bit of electricity since those are on 5-7 hours a day, and they use something like 15-25% of incandescents, right?.
Just another note....

I recently installed CFL's in all of my lamps, closets ect... I purchased them at the local Dollar store. If you have a dollar store in your area, check them out. It's a lot better then 3-5 bucks a pop at larger retail stores.