Porch Light aka Please Don't Burgle Me

There must be a way to integrate the ST into an outdoor enclosure I.E. one of those old timey light enclosures on the front porch. I’m a long haul trucker. I had thought GE Link but that would probably cause a fire. If I leave the porch light on 24/7 it’s a sign saying this guy ain’t home. If I leave it off I feel that’s even worse. Would love to be able to click a button on my phone and have the light go on and turn it off in the AM when I stop for Gas.

I could use a photosensitive light, however it’s under an long eave so it would always be on. Also if it matters I am a renter so no rewiring the outlet.


Also the fixture is attached to the wall and only a light socket is available. I had thought of an adapter to go (socket -> socket to plug adapter -> ST smart outlet -> new socket -> bulb) but not only is that rube goldberging it, but also would not fit in fixture.

Can you replace the switch with this:


You could then use a lumen and/or motion sensor such as AEON multisensor or use an away from home app that turns it on and off periodically.

But I guess as a renter this isn’t an option?

I would think the heat issue with the GE Link is more likely a reliability issue than safety. In other words, the light might not be able to handle the heat and the electronics fail. An incandescent light is much much hotter.

i have a Link outside in an enclosure and it’s been fine so far through some heavy rain and snow. I have it set to come on at sundown and turn off at sunrise. They may get warm but incandescent lights get warm too, so it’s at least worth a shot.

There’s no way a GE Link bulb is more likely to cause a fire than an incandescent light of the same lumen output. As long as the fixture you’re installing it in is rated for the wattage of the Link bulb (13W at the most), you’re fine.

I have two links in out door enclosures, It seems to me while the bulb does get a bit warm, the sockets them selves are not any warmer then when using an incandescent bulb. on the small wall light, the glass gets warm, however its not too hot to touch

my fixtures


I think the confusion is caused by the fact that there’s a warning on the Link bulb packaging against installing the bulbs in fixtures. First of all, that’s ridiculous, and second of all the only “danger” there is in installing a Link bulb in a fixture is that the lifespan of LEDs goes down as heat increases. There’s a small chance you’ll lose a few hours off the rated lifespan of your bulb, but I wouldn’t worry about that at all. The difference is likely to be negligible in any normal fixture.

You may be correct, however, early generation LEDs had heat dissipation failures. I have gone through dozens in less than a year and it was a pain arguing over warranty replacement.

Prices are much lower now so smart control may be worth the risk of a heat failure. However, until we get more experience with the GE Links, people need to be aware of the of the potential.

If you’re concerned about the diodes failing, running the LEDs at some level less than 100% will increase their lifespan exponentially. I bought 6 of the Link A19 bulbs a few months ago, put them all in enclosed fixtures, run them all at 100% for at least 4 hours a day, and I haven’t experienced any problems. You’re right that only time will tell, but in the meantime I’m not gonna worry about it.

It’s a 3 up unit. With no ground. This might be a little more complicated than just changing out switch/


I actually use a GE Link at my porch. However, I also replaced the switch with a GE Z-Wave unit but did not connect the porch to the load. Luckily it had a neutral wire. I then made the porch light always hot and added an Aeon multisensor. I used the Big Switch app to virtually turn on and off the GE Link from the switch, plus motion triggers the bulb to go on.

Why? It’s UL certified.

People like compaining about them getting hot… Its a light source. Light sources are hot. Touch your old incadencent bulb and then your Link base… problem solved.

I also read the box that states don’t use in enclosure. Just because a car speedo goes to 160 doesn’t mean I should speed on an icy road. Bad analogy, but that’s why I am asking for experienced users here.

GE Links haven’t been available long enough for us to know for sure why GE says not to enclose them. Since incandescents are much hotter, we assume it is because the heat affects its functionality and not safety. Maybe GE is over cautious because they have not tested them in high heat situations? Or maybe they have found they fail after a certain temperature. Your guess is as good as anyone elses.

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I bet its longevity and not safety

Thanks for all the info.

I have Links in outside fixtures on my covered porch and outside by the pool.

It’s 26 degrees right now and they work fine.

Where I live it gets over 100* at night in summer. I wonder how that would effect it

I tend to think it will just die once it gets too hot. Your climate makes it more likely during summer but then it probably depends how long it is on. What may be more annoying is intermittent functionality when hot.

If you decide to try it, let us know your results.

Most definitely will update. If it isn’t going to start a fire. I can sacrifice a 15 dollar bulb to test longevity in extreme heat.