best light bulbs for outdoors

The light bulb in my garage door opener burned out again as it does just about every 3 months or so. I’m sick of replacing it and I’ve heard a bit about a phase out of incandescent bulbs.

So I am left with the quandary of what I should put in my unheated/uncooled garage in the Chicago suburbs where temps in the garage can range from 100 degrees F to -10 degrees F. The opener is made to use regular household style bulbs that will almost be touching the side of the opener. In other words, I can’t go much wider than those bulbs.

I have an “outdoor” CFL in the fixture outside my front door, but it takes forever to get up to full brightness. I’m usually in and out of my garage in about 3 minutes. Not enough time for a CFL to get up to full brightness. (I’d also like to replace the front door bulb with something that lights up faster.)

I’ve looked up info on LED bulbs, but they don’t seem to have reached maturity yet and there are a lot of bad reviews on sites that I looked at. I knew they’d be more expensive, but $30 for a bulb that may or may not last a couple months seems like a big gamble.

What are your experiences? Is there any other technologies I should be considering?

I thought about making this a poll, but (a) I didn’t want to limit any options and (b) I don’t want to take the time right now to figure out how to do polls.

I’ve got an “instant on” CFL in my motion sensitive outdoor light by the back door. It might not be that exact CFL, but it’s something similar. Works pretty well. Upstate NY, so similar temp range.

I’ve just replaced all the halogen lights outside my house with LED’s. Expensive but the fixtures are in the eaves and a pain to change so I wanted to go for longevity. They’ve been in there about 9 months now and no issues at all. Toronto, so very similiar temperatures.

I’d use a rough service bulb. This explains why. They should be available at auto parts stores (they’re standard for workshop drop lights).