I recently had two light bulbs burn out on me within a few days of each other, and one of my replacement bulbs turn out to be DOA. And that got me wondering: had LED bulbs matured to the point where it was worth the investment? I had trusted Edison for so long now, but he had pissed me off one too many times. I wanted to end our relationship once and for all.
For weeks I’ve been on the lookout for a cheap LED bulb in places like Newegg’s weekly newsletters or Amazon, but the products there were often no-name imports with 40w-equivalent, low-lumen ratings. I wanted something I could swap in with 60w bulb without compromises. Then I spotted a model online at Home Depot, something from Philips with a recent price-cut. Traditionally, LED bulbs have been in the $20-30 range but this particular model (12E26A60-1) could be had for $13.
I suspect the price is this low because they’re phasing this design out with a new one. I saw different Philips bulb with a single, continuous diffuser and more conventional shape when I went shopping. It used 1 watt less and was 30 lumens brighter. The price difference turned me off though… but back to the blogging.
With my oddly yellow product in hand, I returned home for the unboxing. I probably should have picked up a small chainsaw at Home Depot, as Philips uses plastic that’s just thick enough to make scissors ineffective.
The LED bulb feels solid. You can see they use higher quality materials in the base, instead of cheap stamped metal like you can see in the incandescent. The heatsink is hefty and solid, although in lamps with flimsy arms it may cause a problem.
The color of the bulb is pretty nice, it doesn’t have a weird tint like a CFL. It’s pretty close to an incandescent.
The gaps in the heat-sink/bulb are noticeable from the side but don’t pose a problem for reading or desk work.
With a 6 year warranty and supposed 20+ year lifespan, the bulb will almost certainly pay for itself. I keep my desk light on more than 3 hours per day, which is what their annual running costs are based on. Overall, I’m happy with this investment, but I won’t be buying several at a time. I’ll just be replacing bulbs as they burn out.