Here I’ll review LEDs as I find them. The last two at the bottom are new for today. (Prices include 20% VAT and may vary between countries.)
1.2 W Anslut ‘warm-white’ GU10 20-point reflector lamp
Info: 20-diode spotlight. Price was decent for an LED, just over 6€.
Impression: Don’t quite know what to make of this one. On the one hand it’s impressive to get so much light – at least in one direction – out of what is only 1.2 watts!
I picked this particular lamp because the light looked more white than the markedly green-white or blue-white I’d seen previously. It seems to have decent colour rendering too, both to the naked eye and in my DVD-test where I could see the full spectrum reflected without any large visible gaps.
Colour: Still slightly green-white (which is not surprising as ‘warm-white’ LEDs usually consist of blue diodes with yellow filters). Some may like this slightly cooler light (around 3000K, but gets a little warmer over time) but for my personal taste it still looks too much like FL light and gives my kitchen an industrial feel which does not complement the warm colours and traditional design in a good way. It did however, throw the light down onto my freezer in a very distinct way.
I have to say I was disappointed as I prefer mercury-free LED before CFL and would love to find a good enough LED to recommend instead. For commercial purposes fine, but not for home lighting unless that industrial feel is what you prefer. I’ll keep looking.
1.8 W Kjell & Co ‘warm-white’ frosted E27 mini globe
Info: Price around 12€.
Impression: This lamp is a joke. It’s not even remotely warm-white, it’s cool-white like a moon-beam, and about as dim. It gives only 65 lumen, less than a 10W incandescent, which is good for absolutely nothing. You certainly can’t read in it and it’s not warm enough to be used as mood-lighting (except at a Halloween party perahps). And this was the brightest LED globe light I could find in Stockholm retail stores!
Looking at the small print on the back of the package it says this lamp type is recommended “for decoration” or “for dark spaces like the cellar stairs, the attic passage-way, the garage or storage area”. But it is not decorative, just dim and generally gloomy, now why would anyone want to put such a light in their cellar stairs and risk breaking their neck, or in spaces that are usually already creepy enough without adding a dim ghost light to it?
The only reasonable application would be as night light, but as this bulb requires a real luminaire with a full E27-socket, which makes it useless as night light too. (Instead, see my Coloured LED Reviews for a really great LED plug-in nightlight that costs only slightly more.)
4 W clear ‘warm-white’ SMD E27 mini globe
Info: Price around 19€. Rated life 50 000 hours. 350 lumen or “about as much light as a 40W incandescent but using 1/10th the energy”. Will not get warm, light up 100% in half a second.
Impression: Yes, like all LEDs it lights up instantly and is luke-warm enough to touch even after being on for a while.
Colour: Warm-pink-white that looks similar to ‘warm-white’ fluorescent light rather than to golden-white incandescent light.
Brightness: Nowhere near that of a 40W incandescent. The 350 lm may be correct but a 40W incandescent gives 410-505 lumen and visual comparison between an incandescent 40W lamp seems to confirm it, so this seems to be another case of consumer fraud.
At the same time it is too glaring to the naked eye and must be used in a lamp with a thick shade so that the glaring little dots don’t shine through. Which reduces its brightness even more as it is designed to throw light to the sides rather than downwards. Tried it in different luminaires. In modern table- & floor luminaires it doesn’t work very well: what little light that finds its way out of the shade is very dim and gloomy indeed, and of no use whatsoever. A classic architect luminaire seems to be the only one it works with. The wide shade spreads the light much better than the very directional GU10 spotlight. In this luminaire it works for reading if you can ignore the faint light dots reflected on the page.
Light quality: Like the other LEDs, the spectrum of this one is continuous in the warm end of the spectrum but spiky in the blue end. Colour in the room look sort of dampend, as if seen through a grey filter. Whatever room I try it in, it turns all gloomy and depressing. No life.
3 W Cree ‘warm-white’ frosted E14 mini globe
Info: Price around 24€. 120 lumen or equivalent of a 25W incandescent. 50 000 hr life. Ceramic foot and chromed aluminium house.
Impression: The frosted glass makes this one easier on the eyes and works well enough to read in. The socket limits its usefulness as its long heat sink makes it stick out too far in all the various E14 reflector luminaires I have. Putting it in a luminaire with a shade will reduce light output too much. The best fit would probably be in a vanity light for those who want a non-glaring white.
Colour: Cool-pink-white. More like fluorescent light and even less incandescent-like than the Osram CFL tested above.
Brightness: Again erroneous equivalence info. An 25W incandescent lamp gives 215-235 lm so a 120 lm should not be enough to replace it. However, this one actually seems even brighter than a 25W incandescent, though the light itself has a duller quality.
Light quality: Continuous spectrum but with green, violet and magenta missing. Colours in the room tend to look a bit grey and faded and white surfaces look distinctly cool-pink, even though the bulb itself looks more neutral-white.
2 W Osram Parathom ‘warm-white’ clear E27 Classic A
No picture but it looks like a normal size version of the mini globe above (= diodes on a stick stuck in a clear bulb).
Info: Price around 16€. For in- and outdoor use. 25 years claimed life.
Impression: Another useless LED. Very dim light, good for nothing. What Osram calls ‘warm-white’ is green-white. Even putting a peach shade on it does not remove the green tint. Not pleasant or attractive! Complete waste of money if you ask me.
I hope we don’t have to wait another two decades before Osram gets their WLED phosphor mix right.
3 W Cree ‘warm-white’ GU10 1-point spotlight
Info: Price around 23€. 1-point spotlight with 60 degree beam angle.
Impression: Fairly bright for only 3 watts. This one had a dull-white light somewhere inbetween warm and cool. Not nearly good enough to replace my top quality GU10 halogen spot.