Phillips LED Lights at Home Depot - Anyone used them?
Last Post 19 Jan 2011 04:31 PM by eric anderson. 20 Replies.
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rykertestUser is Offline
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30 Oct 2009 11:45 AM
I like what I see, but before I plunk down 30-60 bucks per light I want to know if anyone else has used them. I hope that LED's can make it because I think they are a much better alternative (potentially anyways) than CFL's. Feedback anyone?
jemconsulting@mac.comUser is Offline
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30 Oct 2009 09:23 PM
See if your local Walmart has the GE 10w LED Par 30 bulbs - they are $40 and have good color and brightness.
rykertestUser is Offline
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31 Oct 2009 07:10 AM
Hi, thanks for the reply. I did buy two of the walmart LEDs and they were just too dim. The philips ones are supposed to be much brighter. That's their theory anyways. They better be brighter for what they cost! Lol
designadeUser is Offline
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02 Nov 2009 08:05 AM
Would be interested in seeing what you think of them...  I haven't used them, but I have tried the "Lights of America" brand.  Stay clear!  They lasted about 2 months and then broke- all 4 of them. 

I found this informative (if slightly biased):
http://www.eternaleds.com/The_Definitive_LED_Light_Bulb_Buying_Guide_a/220.htm
jemconsulting@mac.comUser is Offline
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02 Nov 2009 09:50 AM
These bulbs from Array seem like the best ones out there from my research but I haven't had a chance to use them yet -does anyone have real world experience with them? http://www.arraylighting.com/products/array_par30_8.html
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04 Nov 2009 08:58 AM
Posted By rykertest on 10/31/2009 7:10 AM
Hi, thanks for the reply. I did buy two of the walmart LEDs and they were just too dim. The philips ones are supposed to be much brighter. That's their theory anyways. They better be brighter for what they cost! Lol

Whenever buying LEDs, look at the fine print for the light output  in lumens (not candelas, which is a center-spot brightness, not a total light output number.)  Then divide lumens by watts.  If the lm/w number is under 50, better CFLs are gonna beat it on efficiency.

If it's a tiny spot-lamp designed for accent lighting you can be OK comparing candela numbers with those on similar halogens.

Another important factor to look at is color rendering index (CRI)- under 80 is marginal to downright lousy, 80+ is pretty good, 90+ is awesome. The Array PAR30 is very efficient at ~70lm/w, but a CRI of 80 while fine for general illumination, isn't gonna win awards with art-lovers.  The Cree LR6R30 is less efficient at ~55lm/w (comparable efficiency to the best edison base CFL R30s) but has a CRI over 90.

Last but not least, color TEMPERATURE, makes a huge difference.  All MR and edison-base LED bulbs are based on blue LED technology, and are most efficient in the blue "cool white" end of the spectrum (5000K and up).  But food and skin tones can  look practically nauseating under very high color-temps (aquariums look good at high color temp, but we're not fish, eh?).  Most residential applications call for lower "warm white" color temps (3000K max), especially for kitchens & dining. High efficiency blues can be good for residential security lighting though.

Beyond mere brightness I demand efficiency out of an LED before I buy in.  They last damn-near forever (or at least the better ones should), so buying a lower efficiency
version now locks in the low efficiency for 10-15-20 years or more.  My expectation is that by the time the existing CFLs fail LED efficiencies will have improved, and the prices will have fallen.  Right now there are very few LEDs that beat CFL efficiencies (but some, particularly on the low-output R and PAR bulb end), but some of the MR16 etc. tiny halogen replacements that have no CFL equivalents are cost effective now in high-priced electricity markets, and will be even more so next year.

It'll likely be a long time before any LEDs beat linear fluorescent technology for raw lumens/watt though.  Where appropriate it's better to let T8s & T5s do the heavy lifting of setting ambient light levels.  But if the longevity & color rendering issues ever get resolved on organic LED (OLED) technology it could be a whole new ball game.
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01 Dec 2009 10:10 AM
I have several of the Earthled lights in my home. The 'Zetalux' specifically.

http://www.earthled.com/zetalux-led-light-bulb.html

It works very well in my opinion. Quick on - no delay / works in the cold / lasts forever / impact resistant / no mercury and 64 lumens per watt (450 lumens / 7 watts = 64 lm/watt.) That's better than most CFL's but not quite up to T8 lighting (yet).

Does anyone know when we can get our hands on the Phillips entry for the "L Prize" - It is supposed to be more efficient (85 lm / watt by my calc) and the price is supposed to be lower (that was a requirement for the L prize) ----> http://www.lightingprize.org/
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01 Dec 2009 02:03 PM
Posted By Todd6286 on 12/01/2009 10:10 AM
I have several of the Earthled lights in my home. The 'Zetalux' specifically.

http://www.earthled.com/zetalux-led-light-bulb.html

It works very well in my opinion. Quick on - no delay / works in the cold / lasts forever / impact resistant / no mercury and 64 lumens per watt (450 lumens / 7 watts = 64 lm/watt.) That's better than most CFL's but not quite up to T8 lighting (yet).

Does anyone know when we can get our hands on the Phillips entry for the "L Prize" - It is supposed to be more efficient (85 lm / watt by my calc) and the price is supposed to be lower (that was a requirement for the L prize) ----> http://www.lightingprize.org/

The CRI 80 of the warm-white Zetalux isn't bad, but it only puts out 350 lumens (50lm/w), which is below many $2 twisty CFLs, comparable to PAR & R CFLs. 

The 64lm/w cool-white Zetalux has a CRI of only 75- not terrible, maybe OK for some applications, but with a sky-blue 6000K color temp, probably not the best for ambient lighting in homes (great for accenting aquariums though!)

Still, not bad performance for a tiny-wattage LED.  If used where the directional nature of LED is an asset more than a drawback (downlighting & accent lighting) they can have higher efficacy than comparable or slightly better performing (in lm/w terms) self-ballasted CFLs.

The light prize specs have now been bumped to:

90lm/w+

CRI 90

initial lumens 900lm+

dimmable to 20% without flicker.

color temperature between 2700 & 3000K (warm white)

The PAR38 entry has to have about 12% of the center-beam intensity @ 40 degree off-axis (essentially PAR halogen photometrics) The A-bulb entry can't vary intensity by more than 10% from 0 to 150 degrees off axis (nearly isotropic except around it's base).

The MSRP for the 60W A-bulb replacement has to be under $22 for the initial release, under $15 for the second year of product life, and under $8 by year three.

There's more:

http://www.lightingprize.org/pdfs/LPrize-Revision1.pdf

I'm not holding my breath yet, but I expect to live to see it...




LikesLEDs User is Offline
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03 Dec 2009 08:21 AM
Lots of products coming out. Be careful. Look for lumens, warranties that back up the product. L Prize testing of Philips product will tell that story. We'll know by this time next year.
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17 Feb 2010 09:40 PM
I am building now, and don't want to wait till next year...anyone want to comment on the new Philips bulb? availability, capability, etc.?
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18 Feb 2010 09:21 AM
Not sure what your Home Depot has from Philips. LEDs will make it, once everyone knows quality from much of the junk that's out there. Look for lumens and warranties. Ask for the Lighting Facts label. It means the product has been tested and at least someone has verified the numbers on the package.
andy88User is Offline
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04 Jun 2010 02:20 AM
philips led lights are best and reliable. I am using them since 1 year and hanvt experienced any issues yet

arisyap@gmail.comUser is Offline
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23 Jul 2010 05:20 AM
we're using Philips at home. And so far, i think it's doing great . Although, haven't tried other LED lights so I can't compare it.
s.kellyUser is Offline
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12 Jan 2011 09:35 PM

Anyone got feedback on how well the LED bulbs handle switching? 

As CFL became popular and cheaper (cost) I think the quality of all declined and find many burn out way too early.  It seems to be the ones switched on and off the most.  I had a cfl from the early 90's that lasted years and years.  Newer ones might make a year and go.  Hoping the LED's with the higher price will be better made.

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12 Jan 2011 10:50 PM
I have a few LED fixtures that I've been using 2-3 years now.

Permlight recessed 4" for hallways ("halogen white" 3500K, about 40W PAR20 equivalent), use 4.5 watts, fit into 5" fixtures using old trim kits
BBE SP70 screw-in bulbs ("pure white" 4000K, about 30W PAR 20 equivalent), use 5 watts - replaced 50W PAR 20 for media area
Enlux DL6 flush mount ("cool white" 3500K, about 75W PAR30 equivalent), use 12 watts - in our kitchen

The enlux fixtures are fabulous. Expensive but totally worth it. Using magnetic dimmer, full dimming motion, no noise. Color is great. No glare.

Permlights are good but slight glare, narrow hallways are OK with the reflection (some are adjustable and bounce light off the walls). Not quite the output of the 50W halogen PAR30 bulbs they replaced but energy-wise, great investment as the hallways are dark and my wife leaves these on nearly all the time.

The BBE SP70 bulbs are slightly disappointing - just not quite enough output - but were cheap and work well in our basement / media area, which is pretty dark and we don't need bright lights. Replaced 50W PAR20 halogen bulbs, no where near the output of those but adequate for our application. Despite being told they were dimmable with a low-voltage dimmer, they only dim between slightly dim and full bright - which was disappointing.

I would love to try out the Cree sets being sold at Home Depot, but you need 6" cans and all of ours are 5", which limits my options - especially where i need that full 75W equivalent. CFL floods are still just hideous with color rendering and glare. The 8 bulbs in my living room will remain halogens for a while longer yet (plus I have an inventory of bulbs now from replacing the ones I use most often with LEDs!).
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13 Jan 2011 03:26 PM
You might try going with acceptable CFLs in the majority of your locations, then try out the different LEDs in a few different places on a trial basis. Only a few months ago, there was a very small number of adequate LED units available. Now, there are more, and given more time, I am sure they will get better, more numerous and lower priced.

In the meantime, you can get a few and try them out to find out what works for you. This is what I'm doing instead of making the same mistake 250 times.

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14 Jan 2011 10:51 AM
Posted By s.kelly on 12 Jan 2011 09:35 PM

Anyone got feedback on how well the LED bulbs handle switching? 

As CFL became popular and cheaper (cost) I think the quality of all declined and find many burn out way too early.  It seems to be the ones switched on and off the most.  I had a cfl from the early 90's that lasted years and years.  Newer ones might make a year and go.  Hoping the LED's with the higher price will be better made.


The internal ballasts of early-90s CFLs were typically low frequency (flickering) low-efficiency magnetic types, usually with flicker & hum and a delayed start.  People hated the delay, hum & flicker, and in the quest for ever higher efficiency and customer-satisfaction, instant-start no-flicker, no-hum electronic ballasts become the most-common.  Cramming the high-frequency electronics into an Edison screw base, with a serious space and manufacturing budget constraints make for some design shortcuts- some CFLs are a real design-nightmare.  I've been impressed with how GOOD a $2 instant-start twisty CFL is, (rather than how crummy they are) given the severity of the constraints.

My personal experience with post-Y2K CFLs and cold-cathodes have not matched yours. Save for 2-3 early infant-mortality (less than 2 months of service) none have failed, even in the high-switching locations such as bathrooms.  Most have been in service for more than 3 years.

With any fluorescent technology, but particularly instant-start versions, there is a degradation of the electrode with everyst artup cycle- a small amount the metal of the elecrode will vaporize as the arc initially strikes.  Cold-cathode versions are less susceptible to this becoming a failure mode than standard fluorescents, since use a more fragile heated filament for the electrode.  If a standard instant-start CFL is switching literally dozens of times per day, it won't last the 7 years or whatever, but it's not an issue of being "better made"- it's inherent in the technology.  It should last more than a year though, unless it's in a flashing sign or something.

There is no analogous inherent degradation processes with frequent switching of LEDs,  but with any electronic product there are thermal cycling issues.  The LEDs themselves (the luminous part of the electronics, as opposed to the power-supply/ballast) are more susceptible to degradation from heat than CFLs (which is why the spend some real money on the ventilation and heat-sinking of Edison-base LED bulbs or permanent LED fixtures.

Complaining about the design and manufacturing quality of a $2 twisty is a bit silly, but for higher-end-bulbs and R-bulbs it's legit.  Manufacturers will vary in both design and manufacturing quality.  (I have mostly TCP & GE, and a few Sylvania/other CFLs in my place.  I've had infant mortality issues with TCP cold cathodes, but not their standard CFLs, and one GE that didn't last a week. None were very expensive though.)
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15 Jan 2011 06:11 PM

Had not thought about the ballasts, good point.  Interesting you have not had the issues with longevity, I just had a friend ask me to check a circut out due to the same issue,  PAR shape CFL's burning out with regularity.  Everything looked OK, so I told them I thought it was probably poor quality lamps. 

With the mercury issues,CB's and all I would rather they were a little more expensive and better lasting.  But I guess that is the American way these days.

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17 Jan 2011 02:22 PM
Posted By s.kelly on 15 Jan 2011 06:11 PM

Had not thought about the ballasts, good point.  Interesting you have not had the issues with longevity, I just had a friend ask me to check a circut out due to the same issue,  PAR shape CFL's burning out with regularity.  Everything looked OK, so I told them I thought it was probably poor quality lamps. 

With the mercury issues,CB's and all I would rather they were a little more expensive and better lasting.  But I guess that is the American way these days.


PAR bulbs in recessed downlighting cans often run hot, particularly in air-tight insulation-contact rated fixtures where there's effectively zero convection currents to cool them off.  LEDs of equal wattage would have similiar (or even worse) issues, but the bulb designers employ a number of heat-shedding strategies (including integrating tiny blowers to force air movement) just to keep them cool enough to emit the rated level of light, and keep roughly the same color-temperature (problems that CFL technology simply doesn't have.)  

I have a number of 19 watt PAR38s in open-frame fixtures (both interior & exterior installations) with more than  6 years on them, doing just fine.  But for recessed cans anything over 15W in an IC-rated can could have longevity issues.  I have 9W R20 (from TCP) in IC-rated cans that have been going for 4+ years, and a number of 14 & 15W R30s (mostly GE) in similar fixtures of similar age.  A friend of mine has a whole house full of 16W R40s (TCP) in recessed downlighting that went 5 years before the first (and as-yet only) one burned out last fall.

I've read of even lower wattage R30s from Philips suffering adhesive failures after 1-2 years when mounted in recessed down lighting, but have no direct experience. (They might still work for awhile dangling from the wires, but I'm not sure you'd want to keep them at that point.)

A fundamental issue with Edison base CFLs & LEDs is that the mounting system and fixtures are designed with incandescents, in mind- designed to isolate the building materials from the high heat of the bulb rather than to cool the bulb assembly by drawing heat away from it.  Pin-base CFLs and their fixtures are inherently better-designed, since they're specific to CFL technology, and the ballast doesn't need to be crammed into a tiny, heat-isolated screw base.  Fixture-ballasted CFL downlighting has none of the heat issues of their self-ballasted cousins.

If you're looking at (19W or higher) high-luminosity CFLs, in new construction, the cost penalty for pin-base CFL is pretty low.  You pay a premium for the fixture, but the installation cost is the same as for an Edison-base fixture.  Given that you'll get higher efficiency, better bulb-life (using simpler, lower cost bulbs) with  pin-base CFLs, the 5 or 10 economics of installing fluorescent-technology fixtures look OK compared to Edison-base fixture + multiple self-ballasted CFLS. 

LED-downlighting fixtures are similiar luminosity just don't exist (yet), but for PAR type photometrics with sub-1000 lumen output with a similar look & luminosity to 40-75W incandescents in round recessed fixtures, there is starting to be at least some selection of LED-fixtures. (Cree LR4s look pretty nice compared to most CFL R20-equivalent fixtures & bulbs.  The LR6-DR1000 has made an efficiency high-mark too, meeting or beating many fixture-ballasted CFLs of comparable luminance.  There are a few that hit 1500lumens for higher color temperature versions (eg Halo 1200 series).  But price-wise it might still be hard to rationalize over a pin-base CFL fixture solution for the higher-luminance versions.
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18 Jan 2011 01:14 AM
Nice post, some interesting thoughts there. These were nonIC cans and in a drop ceiling that did not have insulation. They were most concerned with the higher CFL price for the several replacements. They have electric baseboard heating, so I recommended using cheaper incandescents for the winter figuring the electricity will be used one way or another.

Had never considered the advantages of the pin-base fixtures. It is what is more often installed commercially anymore, but I had not thought much about the better ballast life or the simpler(cheaper) lamp replacements.

Guess I am going to keep better notes myself of what type lamps and when they are installed, and hope to find better than I have been getting.
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