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Image Credit: Kyle Field

Energy Efficiency

Philips’ New LED Bulbs Glow The Competition Away

Break out the eggnog, Christmas is here! At least it felt that way when the folks over at Philips sent us a goodie box filled with their latest and greatest LED bulbs, and boy, am I excited to tell you all about them! Before I do, let me give you the low down on the products they sent me to play with.

Tech Specs

Philips sent me 4 bulbs to run through the paces:

  • 1x Philips LED warm glow, dimmable A19 frosted dome 60 watt equivalent, putting out 800 lumens while using 9 watts.
  • 1x Philips ClearClassic LED warm glow, dimmable A19 clear dome 60 watt equivalent, putting out 800 lumens while using 7 watts.
  • 1x Philips LED warm glow, dimmable BR30 frosted dome 65 watt equivalent, putting out 650 lumens while using 9 watts.
  • 1x Philips LED warm glow, dimmable B12 decorative candle style 40 watt equivalent bulb, putting out 330 lumens while using 4.5 watts.
IMG_20151205_160416

Image Credit: Kyle Field

Philips was a foundational name in the residential LED lighting game early on, and its leadership in R&D and quality continue to shine in this latest expansion of its product line. These new bulbs have a warm light to them and not the off-color “warm” that many lower quality LED bulbs throw off, but true, warm light that feels and looks a lot more like sunlight. The BR30 flood bulb specifically threw off noticeably warmer and brighter light than the older LED bulbs I had installed, so much so that my family noticed.

Quality of Light

After installing the first bulb, my family quickly jumped at the opportunity for a brighter light (seriously).  My wife mandated that I “try one out” in the bathroom fixture and my kids begged for me to put one in their transforming light fixture that we have struggled to get enough light from since installing it. It’s worth noting that my family doesn’t geek out on LEDs, just me, so it really caught me off guard that a) they noticed the difference and b) wanted them to the point where they were all over me at the chance to get the warmer, brighter light in their respective areas. That spoke loudly to me as to just how noticeable the light quality and brightness is vs every other LED bulb in our home.

About that… all of our Edison / E26 / screw-base bulbs have been cutover to LED over the last 4 years so we have a nice mix of old vs new bulbs to compare these new bulbs to. Having said that, I have to say that the Philips bulbs are brighter and warmer than all of them, hands down – especially when compared to the wattage required, as the Philips bulbs sip power. It is worth mentioning that I’m not being paid to say that, I don’t have to give favorable reviews and I’m very critical of LED bulbs.

bathroom_dim

Bathroom – Philips on the left, older bulb on the right (with bezel) | Image Credit: Kyle Field

Power Usage

One of the first things that struck me about these bulbs was the low power consumption relative to the Cree 60W equivalent bulbs at 13.5W, and even the newer GE 60W equivalent bulbs at 10.5W. Philips’ normal 60W equivalent frosted bulb sips just 9 watts at full power and allowed dimming for further optimization. I’m personally not a huge fan of dimming so the reductions at peak draw are of primary concern in my case but we do have some dimmers as required to satisfy the needs of others in the house.

When dimmers are used, these bulbs mellow down to create a warm, relaxing atmosphere in the home. The color temperature stays fairly constant as they dim, allowing you to take the light from all-purpose functional warm lighting down to an intimate low light. Color temperature on these bulbs range from color temperatures of 2700K to 2200K.

Applications

Philips LED BR12 Lifestyle

Image Credit: Philips

The four bulb types I sampled cover the bulk of Edison bulb use cases in modern homes, ranging from typical frosted bulbs for fixtures to flood lights for exterior lighting or recessed lighting. The BR30 flood lights specifically were well designed and put out a significantly higher amount of light than our current bulbs.

The two clear bulbs are very creatively designed to mimic the allure of filament style bulbs and do truly offer their own take on this, with the secondary lighting assembly inside the clear dome for both the chandelier and clear Edison bulbs.  They do a fantastic job of maintaining the lighting look and feel of fancier applications where folks want to maintain the look and feel of fixtures where frosted bulbs would feel out of place. I would even say that the clear bulbs offer a unique appeal of their own, allowing for new, creative applications to show off the fact that they are LED bulbs .

What to Do

Now, I know what you’re saying. These DO sound fantastic! Where can I get them and how much are they going to set me back? The pricing of these bulbs is on par with the competition. I regularly see GE and Cree LED bulbs around town for around $9 or $10 bucks on the low end up towards $20 depending on the form factor, brightness, manufacturer, etc. Having said that, I also regularly see LEDs in this range on sale down towards $3 -$5 so keep your eyes peeled for in-store promotions or even local utility or government incentive programs aimed at improving energy efficiency.

Here’s the breakdown of the price of each of the bulbs in the new line:

  • Frosty A19 60W eq – $8.97 US
  • Clear A19 60W eq – $9.97 US
  • Frosty A19 100W eq – $15.97 US
  • Frosty BR30 65W eq – $9.97 US
  • Clear B12 40W eq – $8.97 US

Just for Fun

I put up a fun fixture in my kids room a few months back and I love playing with different types of light in it. Here are a few shots that don’t necessarily show off the quality of light but do let it play on a few different surfaces and angles.

Image Credit: Kyle Field

Image Credit: Kyle Field

Image Credit: Kyle Field

Image Credit: Kyle Field


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Written By

I'm a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need. As an activist investor, Kyle owns long term holdings in BYD, SolarEdge, and Tesla.

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