Seattle Home Inspector's Blog


A light bulb moment!

I know that fancy terrariums and fish tanks often have lights in them, but I don’t think I have ever, until now, seen a light fixture with a terrarium inside of it.

Light bulb not rated for outdoors

I could see where plants might find it a bit confusing trying to sort out whether they were supposed to be tropical plants or cold weather plants---depending on whether the bulb is on or off---I guess algae don’t care.

Some bulbs are rated for outdoor use and some are not. This one clearly is not.


Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle

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Seattle Home Inspector


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Comment balloon 14 commentsCharles Buell • February 06 2016 01:25PM


Huh, that's very odd. I don't know if I would have realized that some are not to be used outside. Now I know. 

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) almost 3 years ago

That's pretty interesting Charles Buell , I would have expected them to be better sealed myself.

Posted by Bob "RealMan" Timm, Bob Timm, Project Coordinator for Tivoli Homes (Tivoli Custom Homes) almost 3 years ago

Did it actually work???  With all that moisture inside, I'd think it not too safe ...


Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) almost 3 years ago

Hi Charles Buell ,

I have never seen that before..I can't imagine these bulbs can work! All that mositure inside is incredible!! I think I've seen everything now.

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799) almost 3 years ago

Good afternoon Charles.  Well now sir that is one interesting bulb.  Like Gene Mundt, Chicago-area Mortgage Lender - said do they work?

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) almost 3 years ago

Charles Buell I have seen that issue in the past. Kind of gives you the idea that this fixture is not energized too often.

Posted by Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI, Presence, Persistence & Perseverance (Realty National) almost 3 years ago

From the debris just below the base it might have been a warming lamp for a nest as well.

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) almost 3 years ago

Well that can't be good. LOL

Seems someone should replace those bulbs.

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) almost 3 years ago

Hi Charles - That's amazing! I wonder what wonders or horrors of nature are growing in there.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) almost 3 years ago

Charles- thank goodness Larry buys the bulbs!  I too have to wonder what's inside. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) almost 3 years ago

I see this a lot with the fluorescent bulbs from China Charles Buell 

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS,, Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority! (RE/MAX Northwest.) almost 3 years ago

Charles - It actually looks like there is moisture/water inside the light bulbs, which can't be good.

Posted by Troy Erickson, Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor (Diverse Solutions Realty almost 3 years ago

Charles Buell you need to start marketing those.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) almost 3 years ago

That likely only happens in your neck of the woods!

But the siding is in good shape!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 3 years ago