Corn Lamps: What Are They & Where Can I Use Them?

Upgrade your post tops and bollards with corn lamps for a cost-saving solution.

Are you in need of a quick and easy solution to convert your outdoor lighting to energy-efficient LEDs? Look no further than LED Corn Lamps. These bulb-shaped lamps are packed with hundreds of individual light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that are all fixed to a metal heat-dissipation element. 

At up to 75% more efficient than metal halide, high-pressure sodium, or incandescent bulbs, corn lamps are quickly becoming an obvious solution for those looking to retrofit their lighting with efficient LEDs, saving money on your energy bill while also getting the high-quality outdoor lighting that you need for your home or business.

LED corn lamps are a great solution for highway lighting, street lights, and bollard pathway lighting, among a host of other applications. To help you gather information on the corn lamps, we’ve provided an explanation of what they are and what you should look for in a quality LED corn lamp product. Please read on for more information.

So what are corn lamps?

A corn lamp is an assembly of light-emitting diodes(LEDs) on a metal structure. They are called corn lamps because the manner in which the yellow LEDs are assembled on the fixture resemble corn kernels on a corn cob. Corn cob lamps are meant to provide a high output of light using LEDs, which requires a large amount of diodes. The diodes (which sometimes can number in the hundreds) are mounted to a metal "cob" that has as much surface area as possible to keep the diodes cool.

Since the fixture is cylindrical, it’s appearance is similar to a cob of corn, thus earning it the name of a “corn lamp” or “corn cob lamp.” Regardless of the name, though, these fixtures are well known in the lighting industry for their high light output and low energy usage, a combination that can work wonders for both the lighting quality and money saved in your home or business.

What kind of fixture will accept corn lamps?

Many screw-in sockets will accept a corn lamp, but you will have to make sure you have the right one. There are corn lamps for E40, E27(Edison), mogul (E39) and medium(E26) base, and more are being developed at the moment to fit a wider variety of socket applications. 

If you have any concerns about whether your fixture will be able to be installed with a corn lamp, please refer to the manufacturer, who should list the specific applications of their corn lamp products. If you have any additional questions about where to install corn lamps, our customer service team at Shine Retrofits would love to assist you at 1-877-958-9171.

How do I install corn lamps?

It's as easy as screwing in a light bulb! Just make sure the corn lamp's dimensions will fit into the luminaire that you are trying to install it in. Since corn lamps are so easy to install, once you have the right product for your fixture you won’t have to worry about complicated installation instructions or wiring, which is another reason corn lamps are such an easy way to utilize LED lighting in your home or business.

What should I look for in good corn lamps?

Cooling

A good corn lamp should cool itself with its aluminum structure, which possesses a lot of surface area that allows the heat to escape. If you’re operating your corn lamps in a high-temperature environment, you will need to especially cognizant of how hot your LED corn bulbs are running, and adjust accordingly. Make sure beforehand that you buy corn cob lamps that are specifically made for the temperature conditions you will be operating them in and you shouldn’t run into this problem.

Some corn lamps are manufactured with built-in fans and, while this does sound useful at first, these fans have proven to be problematic. Essentially, installing a fan is a cheap way to make a corn lamp. The fan's motor will die out long before the LEDs fade out and fail, and that’s only if the fan is not stopped by insects or dust before its full lifespan can play out. The image to the left shows a corn lamp from the manufacturer 3BL. The complex structure of 6063 aluminum will dissipate the heat better than a fan would and help your LED corn bulb run efficiently for a long time. This is a high-quality corn lamp!

LED Quality

There is a range of quality LED chips. The cheaper ones will have low Color Rendering Index(CRI). Look for LEDs made by a reputable brand, one that uses high-quality chips to produce high-quality light. That way, you can buy corn lamps and other LED bulbs that mimic whatever light temperature and color you are looking for, from cool white to warm yellow. 3BL uses chips made by Samsung, which are some of the best in the industry.

Protective Covering

In order to provide proper performance of the LEDs over time, a transparent plastic covering should cover the diodes to protect them from dust and insects. This will keep the light quality from diminishing as you operate the LED corn bulb. 

If you find a manufacturer that isn’t using transparent plastic covering over their LEDs, then you shouldn’t purchase that product. This is a good indicator that the corn lamp product isn’t high quality and won’t last very long in whatever application you install it in.

Certifications

Design Lights Consortium(DLC) - An independent testing agency that offers DLC certification for those products that pass their stringent guidelines for energy efficiency. They are one of the most respected certification agencies in the lighting industry. You can search for products that have passed their certification process by part number on their website.

Underwriter Laboratories(UL) - This global safety science company tests all consumer products for safety and awards their UL logo to products that meet their high standards. This certification is particularly important in lighting since one of the most common hazards of a low-quality lamp is a fire risk. Learn more about UL here.

Lighting Facts - A program started by the U.S. Department of Energy produces a standardized label for lighting products that resemble the Nutrition Facts that are seen on food products. This makes it easier for consumers to compare and evaluate two lighting products side-by-side. This is why you can easily compare such important factors as lumens output, watts, and the light color of products you’re considering.

Where can I use corn lamps?

Corn lamps are great replacements for any high lumen-output lights, including these applications.

  • Post Top Lamps
  • Bollard Pathway Lighting
  • Exterior Wall Packs
  • Highway Lighting
  • Interior High Bay Lamps
  • Street Lights

What kinds of bulbs can I replace with corn lamps?

Just about any bulb with a matching base. The most important thing to check is that your corn lamp will fit in your luminaire with the cover on it. You can check product dimensions on every product page of the Shine Retrofits website. If you have any additional questions please reach out to our customer service team.

Can I mount high wattage corn lamps horizontally?

These lamps do get heavier as they go up in wattage, and sometimes will be too heavy for the screw socket that they fit in. If you mount the bulb vertically (up or down), corn lamps will work just fine. However, if you have a horizontal socket, you may need to install a thin wire to support the bulb and reduce stress on the socket. Please consult the manufacturer for more information on this.

What types of corn lamps does Shine Retrofits recommend?

The quality of the products from 3BL LED consistently impress us. They manufacture a full range of corn lamps between 18 and 100 watts (capable of replacing HIDs between 50 and 400 watts). Click the link below to see all 3BL corn lamps.

If you have any additional questions or concerns about corn lamps or LED corn bulbs, please reach out to our team of lighting experts at your convenience. Our dedicated customer service team is available by phone at 1-877-958-9171 anytime Monday through Friday, from 6am to 6pm, Mountain Standard Time. We look forward to helping with your project!