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Published on February 13th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan


Top 10 LED Reflector Bulbs on the Market

February 13th, 2012 by  

best led reflector bulbThe Institute for Energy Efficiency (IEE) recently partnered with Ecova, a sustainability management firm, to determine the 10 best LED bulbs on the market today.

A news release I was emailed briefly explains what the ranking was based on:

“By ‘best,’ the study sought to measure not only an LED reflector bulb’s energy-related qualities—its energy efficiency, payback period, and lifetime cost savings—but also how it compared with a halogen incandescent reflector bulb in both its light quality (warmth) and its dimming capability.  In other words, the study focused on ‘consumer friendly’ and efficient LEDs.” More info on how the bulbs were evaluated is here.

The top bulb, overall, was Technical Consumer Products’ 17-watt LED PAR (parabolic aluminized reflector) 38 bulb, pictured above.

“In comparison with an equivalent 90-watt PAR38 halogen incandescent bulb, this LED bulb offers a lifetime cost savings of $200, produces a soft, warm light similar to a halogen incandescent and dims smoothly.  At a cost of $42, the LED bulb has a payback period of 4.1 years and an estimated useful life of 23 years.  All ten recommended bulbs will save the consumer money and energy, with lifetime cost savings ranging from $72 to $200.”

“LED reflector bulbs are becoming more common,” said Lisa Wood, IEE Executive Director, “and given their higher cost and long life—some LEDs now last up to 30,000 hours—consumers need guidance as to which offers not only great energy savings, but also can give them the light quality that they’ve come to expect from halogen incandescent light bulbs.  Our top ten list is a quick, convenient way to identify consumer friendly, efficient LEDs.  This helps both consumers buying bulbs and utility companies providing rebates for efficient purchases.”

Top 10 LED reflector bulbs

Bulbs of three sizes or categories, the most common three, were evaluated. Those sizes/categories are PAR38, PAR30, and PAR20.

“The number of winning bulbs in each category is approximately proportionate to that category’s share of ENERGY STAR-qualified LED reflector lamps.  As a result, the IEE top ten list contains five (5) PAR38, four (4) PAR30 and one (1) PAR20 bulbs.”


  1. Osram Sylvania LED8PAR20/DIM/827/FL36—“This is an 8W PAR20 LED medium floodlight. It replaces a 35W halogen flood.”


  1. TCP LED14E26P3030KFL—“This is a 14W PAR30 LED floodlight. It replaces a 75W halogen flood.”
  2. The Home Depot, EcoSmart ECS 30 WW FL—“This is a 15W PAR30 LED floodlight. It replaces a 65W halogen flood.”
  3. Duracell, CMG Energy Solutions DL-P30F-38-30K-BL—“This is a 12W PAR30 LED narrow flood light. It replaces a 50W halogen flood.”
  4. Samsung SI-P8V151BB0US—“This is a 15W LED narrow floodlight. It replaces a 75W halogen flood.”


  1. TCP LED17E26P3830KFL—“This is a 17W PAR38 LED floodlight. It replaces a 90W halogen flood.”
  2. Osram Sylvania LED18PAR38/DIM/830/FL40—“This is an 18W PAR38 LED floodlight. It replaces a 75W halogen flood.”
  3. Philips EnduraLED 17E26PAR38—“This is a 17W PAR38 LED narrow floodlight. It replaces a 75W halogen flood.”
  4. The Home Depot, EcoSmart ECS 38 WW FL—“This is an 18W PAR38 LED floodlight. It replaces a 75W halogen flood.”
  5. Samsung LED Company SI-P8V181DB0US—“This is an 18W PAR38 LED narrow flood light. It replaces a 75W halogen flood.”

What’s a reflector bulb?

From Top Ten USA, a non-profit energy-efficiency ranker, here’s a brief definition and bit of info on reflectro bulbs or lamps:

“Reflector lamps shine in a particular direction, providing either a narrow cone of concentrated light (spotlighting) or a broader cone of more diffuse light (floodlighting). Until recently, people have primarily used those familiar cone-shaped conventional incandescent lights for that purpose. However, those lights waste a lot of energy in the form of heat, and literally burn out relatively quickly. After the passage of federal energy efficiency standards, many of these incandescent lamps have begun using a halogen fill gas to reduce energy use, increase lamp lifetime, and make the light appear slightly whiter or cooler in color.” 

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA] — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in this company and feels like it is a good cleantech company to invest in. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort on Tesla or any other company.

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