World’s Most Efficient LED Light Bulb – Philips Award Winning LED Bulb

10 Mar

The Philips “Award Winning LED Bulb” is finally in stores and ready for purchase. The award that the name refers to is the Department of Energy’s L-Prize which laid out standards for a “next generation” light bulb. Philips Lighting ultimately won the competition after meeting or exceeding all criteria and claimed a $10 million prize. At 94 lumens/Watt, this bulb is currently the world’s most efficient A19 form factor bulb. The total power consumption is 10 Watts for a total output of 940 lumens. The estimated lifespan of the bulb is 30,000 hours which comes out to over 27 years when used 3 hours per day. Along with its very high efficiency, this bulb also boasts a color rendering index of 92 which helps to ensure that colors are accurately rendered. The color temperature is rated at 2700K which is standard for incandescent bulbs and warmer than most LED and compact fluorescent bulbs.

Like Philips’ first generation LED bulb, this uses remote phosphor technology to convert non-white light to white light. The first generation bulb used three blue LEDs behind each yellow plastic lens. This new bulb uses three blue and three red LEDs. This combination helps improve the color rendering index from 80 with the previous bulb, to 92 with the new bulb. After some prying, I was able to get the plastic lenses off to see what it looked like underneath.

Each bulb contains three groupings of three blue and three red LEDS. The yellow plastic lens that covers them contains a phosphor that re-emits white light.

The smooth heatsink doesn’t get very hot even after several hours of operation. It becomes too hot to hold onto for more than 2-3 seconds, but it is definitely cooler than many other LED bulbs that I have tested.

The blub is dimmable using leading-edge dimmers according to the box. I tested it out with a dimmer and found that it gives off a quiet buzz when on a dimmer even when at full brightness. The buzzing is probably loud enough to be distracting if you are using this as a reading light. On the subject of dimmability, I found that the bulb’s light output becomes a very ugly color when dimmed. As you begin to dim, the light turns bluish and then it becomes pink. Overall, the dimming characteristics of this bulb are quite poor. My favorite dimmable bulb is still the Utilitech 60W equivalent.

The light output of the bulb is very good. The design allows light to be cast in all directions in a fashion similar to a standard incandescent bulb. Also, at 940 lumens, this bulb is one of the brightest available with the exception of Philips’ own 75 Watt equivalent bulb that puts out 1100 lumens. The light quality at full brightness is good enough that nobody would likely suspect that it isn’t an incandescent bulb if it is hidden by a lamp shade.

As for the design of the bulb, some will love it and some will hate it. The yellow plastic lenses on this new bulb are an ugly yellow in contrast to the nice golden yellow lenses on the first generation bulb. Personally, I think that is is cool looking bulb, but the first generation is much more visually appealing to me (the ugly yellow lenses are really quite hideous).

The initial retail price of the Philips L-Prize inspired bulb will be $50. Yes, FIFTY DOLLARS! The first generation 60 Watt equivalent bulb can be had for less than $25 now and I honestly would recommend it over this new “Award winning LED bulb”. The old bulb puts out 800 lumens with 12.5 Watts of electricity. So, yes, it is significantly less efficient than the new bulb and the color rendering index isn’t as good. Even as an LED bulb enthusiast I wouldn’t spend $50 for this new bulb given what I know now about it. I hope that this review helps other LED enthusiasts decide to skip it. With luck, Philips will be forced to bring the price down when they realize that even the early adopters don’t want it at this price.

So in conclusion, this is an excellent bulb if you need extreme efficiency such as in a hotel lobby or other places that have the lights on 24 hours per day. It will not only save on electricity, but also on maintenance costs to replace bulbs since at 30,000 hours of life it will take nearly 4 years of continuous use before they start to fail. For home use though, I would recommend the first generation Philips LED bulb since it is cheaper and still puts out plenty of high quality light.

Be sure to check out the video below for a hands on review!


One Response to “World’s Most Efficient LED Light Bulb – Philips Award Winning LED Bulb”

  1. SavinLight May 16, 2013 at 8:07 am #

    Fantastic creation and congratulation to Philips on getting this award. It looks dashing, just hope it provides sufficient brightness as well.

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