Choosing a garage door opener light bulb in the past was as straightforward as it gets. The buyer just needed to know the Wattage of the bulb and the type of the neck. Okay, there were some other considerations to be made, but it wasn’t nearly as complex as the buying decision you need to make today.
These days there are three different light bulb technologies that you might want to consider for your garage door. Incandescent bulbs are still very much in use, despite their shortcomings in energy consumption. Compact fluorescent or CFL bulbs are also here for over a decade now and seem like a slightly better option due to their lower energy consumption. Last, but certainly not the least are garage door opener led bulbs, which are the most modern option with the longest list of advantages.
But with all the options available on the market, which garage door opener light bulb is the best for you? We will discuss that in detail in this buying guide, where you can learn everything there is to know about garage door opener light bulbs, and hopefully, that will help you in your buying decision.
Incandescent Bulbs for Garage Doors
These bulbs have been the staple for garage door openers and also for household use for over a century now. Today, there’re bettered in almost every way from CFL bulbs or LED bulbs, but people still seem to navigate towards them due to the dirt-cheap price points and ease of use. To better understand why incandescent bulbs are still a viable option, here is a list of some advantages and disadvantages:
- Very cheap to buy – incandescent bulbs are much cheaper than both compact fluorescent bulbs and LED bulbs.
- Incandescent bulbs don’t interfere with the wireless signal of garage door openers. Some older garage door openers may have issues with CFL or LED bulbs, but not with incandescent bulbs.
- Specialty designed models for garage doors are readily available. These bulbs are designed to withstand the vibrations a garage door creates with thicker filaments and shatter-resistant glass.
- Work in very cold weather – these bulbs don’t have a problem with sub-zero temperatures.
- High energy consumption – incandescent bulbs consume much more energy than CFL or LED bulbs. When compared to the latest LED bulbs, for example, an incandescent one can consume up to 8 times more electricity.
- Short life – incandescent lights don’t last nearly as long as LED lights and are rated at around 1,000 hours, compared to 10,000 hours for compact fluorescents and up to 30,000 hours for LEDs.
Compact Fluorescent Bulbs for Garage Doors
CFL bulbs, also known as compact fluorescent bulbs are a derivative of fluorescent bulbs. They produce much less energy for the same amount of illumination when compared to incandescent bulbs, but they are also a bit more expensive to buy. These bulbs might not be the best option for garage door openers due to some glaring disadvantages. Let’s see what CFL’s have to offer.
- Low energy consumption – for the same amount of light, CLF’s consume much less electricity than incandescent bulbs – 4-5 times to be exact. However, they also consume more electricity than LED bulbs.
- Long-lasting – CFL’s last longer than incandescent bulbs. The highest-quality compact fluorescent bulbs have a life of around 10,000 hours.
- Interference with the radio signal of wireless garage door openers. Due to the nature of CFL bulbs, they might interfere with the remote control of your garage door opener. That’s why most garage door opener manufacturers don’t recommend using these bulbs.
- They don’t work in cold weather, lower than 40 °F (4 °C). This is a big disadvantage for garage door openers because the bulb is always exposed to the temperature outside. That said, there are cold cathode light bulbs that mitigate this, but they are more expensive and not readily available. Alternatively, you could install a garage heater, which will increase temperatures to above 40 °F (4 °C), as long as you do not leave the garage door open for too long a period of time.
Garage Door Opener LED Bulbs
LED bulbs seem to be the best option on paper, but they still have some disadvantages that make them a worse option than incandescent bulbs for older garage door openers. Here’s the full list:
- Lowest energy consumption of all bulb types. LED bulbs to consume up to eight times less energy than incandescent bulbs and up to two times less energy than CFL bulbs. This is good for your electricity bill, but also for the environment.
- Long-lasting – LED bulbs also beat every other type out of the water when it comes to longevity. The best-LED bulbs last up to 30,000 hours!
- LEDs are vibration resistant, which makes them a great choice for garage door openers.
- They work in very hot and very cold weather – great for outdoor use.
- Higher price than both incandescent and CFL bulbs. However, lower energy consumption and longer life might make them the cheapest choice in the long run.
- May interfere with the remote control, but LED manufacturers already offer models that are interference-free. Please ask your garage door manufacturer for a list of LED bulbs that won’t interfere with the wireless signal.
Do garage door openers need special light bulbs?
While normal light bulbs will work just fine with your garage opener, they might have issues as the time goes by. Special garage door opener bulbs have better vibration resistance, and they don’t interfere with the wireless signal, which is why we recommend then for garage door use.
What watt bulb goes in garage door opener?
It depends on the type of bulb you’re using, but most garage door openers use 60W bulbs.
How do I change the lightbulb in my garage door opener?
Replacing the bulb on your garage door may be different depending on the manufacturer. However, the next step-by-step guide should work on most of the models:
- Put a ladder under the light housing so you can easily reach it.
- Pull the power cord from the outlet, so no electricity runs through the bulb.
- Disengage the lens that sits over the bulb by pressing the tabs on the side.
- Unscrew the light bulb like you would unscrew any other household light bulb. Turn the new light bulb into the socket.
- Put the lens back on by pressing it until it locks into place and plug the cable back into the outlet.