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on 28 February 2013
I have been trying for weeks to find a suitable replacement for my 35 watt halogen bulbs... and this *is* it!

I just did a review for the Edison 6W bulb, so if you've arrived here by follwoing the link I placed in that review... well, a lot of this is going to sound very familiar!

I work from home and because my living room doesn't get much natural light I do tend to have the lights on an awful lot, even in the daytime. And from late autumn through to early spring when it is overcast outside, I can often have the lights on all day long, which costs a lot more in electricity than you might think (!) not to mention the carbon cost. So I wanted to replace the six 35w halogen lights in my living room for something a little more energy efficient. I tried a couple of years ago but the technology was no where near as mature then as it is now and bulb prices were prohibitively high.

I've tried a number of different bulbs recently and LEDs certainly have their failings. Because I spend so much time working under artificial light, the light quality is important to me and I'm not prepared to put up with something which isn't good enough.

I've tried some 6W bulbs and generally found them to be too powerful to replace a 35W halogen... they are nearer to a 50W equivalent, in my view. I've also tried some 1.4 and 1.7 watt bulbs, which weren't nearly bright enough and only really suitable for under-cupboard lighting or feature lighting. A rough rule of thumb for LEDs seems to be to look at about a 10:1 power ratio... so 3 or 4 watts to replace 35W and 5 or 6 watts to replace 50W. These 4 watt bulbs have a very comparable level of brightness to the bulbs they are replacing.

Because it is a living room I am working with and the colour scheme is very warm and furnishing style "cosy", I was keen to avoid the usual problem which has dogged LEDs - that of the light being rather "cold" and having a somewhat blueish hue. Warmth of light was, in fact, the big problem for me, having tried quite a few different lamps now. I'm pretty convinced that to emulate the warmth of a domestic halogen lamp, you need to look for bulbs which have a colour temperature of not more than 2700K. It is quite surprising, actually.... an Edison bulb I tried was the best of all the rest and was rated as just 2800K, but that tiny difference in colour temperature actually made a big difference to the feel of the light and the way the colours of furnishings were reflected. This Philips light, on the other hand was really very warm... still not quite as warm as a halogen, but really very very close and streets ahead of all the others I tried, including the Edison.

The other problem I found with a number of LEDs was the beam angle. My ceilings are fairly low (I'm 5'7 and if I stand on tippy-toe then with an up-stretched arm I can *almost* reach the ceiling!) so I need a really wide beam to spread the light across the room or else everything would appear a bit spot lit. Many LEDs only offer 35° or 30° beams, some even as low as 25°, any of which would be perfect if you actually wanted to spot light something, but not much good for general lighting. In fact, you can get this same light in a 25° variant for spotlighting if that is what you are looking for. A couple of the low wattage ones claim up to 115° and for sure I think they really do offer that, but the light is so dim that it's really of no use for general lighting. This one claims to be 40° which I thought was a little on the narrow side having been dissatisfied with another bulb which claimed 45° but which actually threw quite strong "spots" onto the floor with the light fading rapidly toward the outer extremities of the individual beams meaning that there were quite obvious light and dark areas on the floor meaning that some parts of the room which had been perfectly light before seemed quite dark and dull. The Philips lights do not "spot" in this way, even with my low ceilings they offer a remarkably even spread of light.

And there is yet another issue with a number of LED halogen replacements. Size. Yes, it turns out that size really does matter! Because of my low ceilings I have recessed lighting and many bulbs are a tiny bit longer or wider than a standard halogen bulb meaning that they stuck out of the fittings, or even didn't fit into them at all. Some other types of fitting are more of a concern for bulb size as some bulbs I have tried which were exactly the same length and width as standard GU10s were not the same *shape* and so would not fit in, for example, my kitchen light fitting, even though they did fit in the recessed fittings. The Philips bulbs are a very good size and shape match for a halogen GU10, in fact I would say that they might even be identical (?) so they should sit nicely in all existing fittings.

I probably sound, by now, like like a terribly fussy cow and nothing will ever be good enough for me... well, I'm not, honest! But because I work from home I spend as much as 12 or 15 hours a day in my living room with insufficient natural light, so good lighting is important to me. I have probably spent close to a £150 buying different individual LED bulbs in my search for a suitably "warm" replacement for the humble 35W halogen GU10, and I am pleased to say that I think I have now found one which is good enough for my purposes.

From my own experience, I can strongly recommend the Philips Master 4W 2700K 40D as being an excellent replacement for a 35W halogen, providing a good spread of strong but not glaring light at a level of warmth very similar to halogen light. The beam angle is very acceptable and I can confirm that I do not get bright spots and dark patches on the floor, but a nice even spread of light. The light is still not quite as warm and lovely as a halogen bulb, if I'm honest, but it is by far the nearest I have found and is certainly warm enough for me. The size of the bulb is pretty well exactly as per a standard halogen GU10 so it should sit snugly in all existing fittings. Also (and this was not a feature I was looking for, but it is worth mentioning none the less) these Philips bulbs are dimable.

Due to the whim of some crazy developer bloke, my property has recessed GU10 lighting throughout, except the kitchen which has GU10 spots. I am now going to replace *all* of my recessed GU10 lighting with these Philips 4W bulbs, except the kitchen where I need something a bit stronger.

A quick calculation of the cost of running these bulbs compared to the cost of running the halogen bulbs they are replacing tells me that because I am at home all day and so use the lights a lot, they will pay for themselves in the first year. If I rotate the ones in the living room with ones from other areas of the house where the lights are used far less, I reckon I can probably get at least ten years out of their quoted 25,000 hour life, save stacks of cash (about £100 per bulb in it's lifetime, which in my case is nearly couple of grand off the lighting bill of my home over then next 10 years or so, probably more if you consider that the price of energy just keeps going up and up) plus I also get a lovely feeling of smug self satisfaction from knowing that the carbon cost of running all these lights is almost 90% lower than it was using halogen bulbs! Cue, warm glowy feeling inside! :o)

These bulbs are not cheap and it will cost you a lot of money to replace all the bulbs in your home, but maybe just look at doing one room at a time, starting with the ones where the lights are on the most, and despite what i have written, I would strongly recommend that it is worth ordering just ONE bulb at first just to make sure you are happy with the light quality - it could be an expensive mistake if you are not entirely satisfied and just because these ones are right for my situation, it doesn't necessarily mean that they will work in yours!

Anyway... hope you found this useful, and best of luck in finding the right bulbs for you!

33 Comments| 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Colour: Neutral White|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This variant of the Philips LED GU10 bulb range comes in three different tones of white which you can choose from depending on the type of lighting that you want - cool (4000k), neutral (3000k) or warm white (2700k). See the last three shown of the notes below for more information.

The Philips range has a massive choice of bulbs with just small differences between models which means that it's possible to fine tune your lighting to suit most environments. I've been lucky enough to have eight of them to try together, so have tried them all in one room at the same time (my kitchen ceiling has eight GU10 fitments). I've also used them in other rooms throughout the house in various combinations where I have fewer fittings so I have been able to compare the light that they provide and judge them accordingly. The Philips website has pages and pages of information on these bulbs if you want even more detail. They even have lighting `apps' suitable for iOS and Android, and online courses for those who want to learn more about LED lighting.

For a simplified idea of what the different numbers mean when choosing a LED bulb you should consider this:
The `colour' of the light is expressed in terms of temperature, and in this range varies from 2700k (yellower light, similar to a traditional bulb) through to 4000k (a bluish light which is similar to that from fluorescent lighting). Generally speaking a yellow light can look cosier in a room but isn't as good for activities such as reading or sewing, and a blue light is better for activities but can make it look clinical.

The brightness or intensity of the light is dependent on its power rating which in this range is 4w, 5w or 6w, and it is also shown in its equivalent value for the halogen bulbs they are typically used to replace (35w, 50w etc); the higher the power the brighter the light.

The shape of the light projected from the bulb is given as the angular dispersion it has by number of degrees (25 degrees etc). This range had 25D, 36D and 40D with the higher number having a wider light dispersion and the lower number indicating a narrower cone of light from the bulb. In practice none of these bulbs have a clear line where there is darkness beyond that cone of light, but the most concentrated areas of light are in that area. For example the 25D bulbs have their light more closely focussed directly in front of the bulb so they are very good for concentrating that light when you want to see objects very clearly. The 40D bulbs have their light more widely dispersed so they're better for lighting wider areas.

Below is a list of the models that I have tried and what I thought of them.
MASTER LEDspotMV D 6-50W GU10 WH 25D = This bulb produces a bright white light with just a slight yellow tint making it a good replacement for halogen bulbs. Skin tones look natural and I think this would be a good bulb in places where you're looking for a natural light, which is especially useful near mirrors for applying make-up etc. ASIN B008FGU8W6

Philips Master GU10 6-50 Watt LED 4000 K 25D MV Spot Light, Cool White = this bulb provides a bright white light with a noticeable central area which is more strongly lit. It was very good for most things, especially looking at objects in detail but appears very cool against skin.

Philips GU10 5-50 Watt/ 2700 K LED Corepro Spotlight = although listed as a replacement for 50w halogen it is less bright than the 6w versions (above). It has a yellowish tint and a decent spread of light. This is the only bulb that I tested which had a white housing - all of the others were silver.

Philips Master GU10 4-35 Watt LED 4000 K 25D MV Spot Light, Cool White = This bulb provides a very white/blue light (same colour as the 4-35w 40D 4000k version but appears brighter and more clinical due to the narrower dispersion angle). It would make a good work light when used closely because of its more focussed beam. Good for detail but not as warm looking for skin tones.

Philips Master GU10 4-35 Watt LED 3000 K 25D MV Spot Light, Neutral White = a noticeable lit area, not widely spread with a yellow colour similar to halogen lighting. It's good against white paper when in the central, lit area and good for pleasant skin tones.

Philips GU10 35 Watt MV Master LED Spot 4, 4000 K, Cool White = This bulb provides a very white/blue light (same colour as the 4-35w 25D 4000k version but appears less bright due to the greater dispersion angle) and is good for reading from white paper. It looks okay against skin but isn't the most flattering because of the cool tone.

Philips GU10 35 Watt MV Master LED Spot 4, 3000 K = This bulb had a good spread of light compared to some of the others in this range from Philips with just a slight yellowish tint, and it looked good against paper and for natural looking skin tones. It makes a reasonable all-rounder for a 35W replacement bulb.

Philips GU10 35 Watt MV Master LED Spot 4, 2700 K, Warm White this was the yellowest of all the bulbs when looking against plain white paper. It provides pleasant light but is noticeably yellower than some others. It makes a good direct replacement for a halogen bulb providing even light, but is quite dim in comparison to the other bulbs.

Philips' whole range of these bulbs is very well-made and they seem to be of a more consistent and higher quality than the cheaper LED bulbs that I have tried and give clear, even lighting. They might be more expensive than some others you'll see but LED bulbs appear to be one of those things where you really do get what you pay for. I definitely plan to buy more LED bulbs now that I have seen how good they can be, and my preferred choice is this range.
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on 26 July 2013
Colour: Warm White|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is not cool white, the cool white is very harsh in my opinion. This is a very warm standard yellow which is great in a desk lamp or a single spot.
It is also a good brightness. I cannot see why the RRP is so high though. You apparently get 25 years of usage with this one bulb, but obviously these estimations are hardly ever true so with normal usage and some above average usage you can chip a few years off, but still, you end up with a bulb that lasts upwards of 20 years which is impressive, considering that lesser branded bulbs of this type typically last 1.5 years max in my house. add on the fact that it is extremely energy efficient and it starts to seem like a good investment - even though you are obviously paying heavily for the Philips brand.
I think you just need to decide whether or not to take Philips at their word about the years of life this bulb has and invest in some for your house. As the large cost will in the long run work out less expensive compared to paying for replacements every year or so.
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Colour: Neutral White|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
These are slightly better than regular GU10 bulbs, as they do not seem to heat up, which made adjustment of the bulb into its slot easy (I didn't get it right first time round, but did not have to wait for it to cool down to try again), and they're meant to use 8 times less electricity.

The light seems a tad warmer than my regular 'white light' GU10s, and it's great that far less energy is used, but at the RRP, it's hard to justify the price compared to regular GU10s. Maybe if the light is in constant use, you'll get your money's worth in savings, but where it's not used that much, it's harder to work out. It's meant to last 25000 hours, but I will have to come back and comment on that feature in 2.85 years - or sooner, if it needs replacing before.

At the currently reduced price, I'd consider buying more, but it's worth checking around, as today at a certain major UK DIY chain, a well-known brand's 5 x 50w GU10 bulbs are on sale for two-thirds of this price, with a 5* rating.

A few days after using this in my kitchen, I swapped it to a corridor location, where it clearly is at its optimum and providing far better lighting in a darker area with taller ceilings.
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VINE VOICEon 6 July 2013
Colour: Warm White|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Finally Philips have come up with a LED GU10 replacement that a) mimics the colour of a halogen GU10 perfectly, b) is exactly the same size so fits in standard GU10 sockets and c) is dimmable. What they don't tell you is that if you replace ALL of your bulbs you will probably need to replace your dimmer switch too, as many of the existing dimmer switches have a minimum load that exceeds the combined load of 4-6 LEDs (the typical set up in most rooms). Am currently experimenting with Dimmer switch replacements and will publish the results soon. Easy workaround is to keep one standard halogen bulb per room which increases the minimum load enough for the dimmer to work. You still end up saving 93 watts per room (assuming 3 x 4 watt LED bulbs and 1 x 35 watt halogen bulb = 47 watts versus 4 x 35 watt halogens = 140 watts). Obviously the saving will be more if you have more bulbs. All in all a great advancement but more info should be provided on dimmer switch requirements!
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VINE VOICEon 25 May 2013
Colour: Warm White|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've seen the approach of LED bulbs increase in my visits to the local DIY store, however, the main issue is the price. This bulb is currently £18!?! You really need to carefully balance whether you should replace with the non-LED and far cheaper bulb or buy these. It really depends on how often you use the lights you have at the moment. Don't get completely caught up in the 85% less energy use will save you money malarkey as you are spending a shedload more at the outset.

I noticed the quality of the bulb was far superior to the cheap one I pulled out and didn't have too much of a faff screwing it into the holder. I was expecting a much starker light beam from this LED bulb but am really surprised and pleased at how this 2700K casts a lovely warm yellow glow.

Compared with the slightly cheaper Philips GU10 50 Watt MV Master LED Spot 6, 2700 K, Warm White, I can't actually tell the difference.

If it wasn't for the price I'd be snapping these up left right and centre.
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VINE VOICEon 6 August 2013
Colour: Warm White|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Excellent build quality and look very smart. I have normal Halogen spots in various places in the house, and they consume quite a bit of electric, get very hot, and seem to blow regularly. These LED spot bulbs answer all those questions, consuming some 85% less electric, do not get excessively hot and have a life expectancy of 15 years.

This is the 4W (equivalent to 35W) warm white (2700K) version. It's incredibly bright, don't look directly at it. I would say it's brighter than a 35W Halogen, but the light beam is more focused, so you get much more of a `spot' compared to Halogen. The warm white is a yellower shade than normal halogen spots, and are the ideal replacement for the existing standard Halogen bulbs in my bedroom, I found it too yellow for the living room.

They do dim, but I'm using a standard, cheap and cheerful dimmer, rated at 60W min, I tried dimming with a 6W and 4W LED bulb (so 10W total), and it only dimmed on the first 5 clicks of the 15 click range, providing 5 big steps from very dark to full bright. Adding two 50W Halogens to the same 4 spot rail, the dim range increased to 7 clicks, indicating the LED bulb load was too low for the dimmer to work correctly. I probably need a more advanced dimmer, but these are generally quite expensive.

All in all, a great bulb, especially for bedrooms where the colour is right, but remember to consider the limited dimming.
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VINE VOICEon 1 August 2013
Colour: Cool White|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
If you're looking for a down-light spot to light hallways, which is cheap to run if left on, then this is a good alternative to it's energy guzzling halogen alternative. At 4000K and 35W equivalent this is bright enough to use in an upstairs passageway/hall in combination with other bulbs and with a wide beam angle the light spread provides good coverage.

There are cheaper alternatives out there it terms of initial outlay, but the build quality on this bulb is excellent and makes you feel confident that it will last, the Philips name is still one of the top marques in lighting. At 50p per year minus the money you save from the energy saving these bulbs should give (4W LED equivalent to 35W Halogen so 31W per hour) for me means they're currently a good buy at this price.
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on 19 September 2013
Colour: Warm White|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
....apart from the 50W version. I am using several of these Philips bulbs. They come in very minimal packaging (thin card box) I would have expected better protection for the bulb considering they are an expensive item.

I am using these in a semi-outdoor application so they are exposed to atmospheric moisture and temperature changes (but no direct water)and they work fine. Seeing as it is such a low-wattage device I don't expect any problems in this regard. I have tried it on a dimmer and it worked fine although it was a bit more 'notchy', probably due to the low power used and my aging dimmer system.
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VINE VOICEon 8 August 2013
Colour: Cool White|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I seem to spend a great deal of time buying and replacing halogen bulbs which we have in the majority of the rooms on our house. I'm really happy with the 15 year life expectancy and the quality of light from these LED bulbs. The initial outlay might seem like quite a lot but I've worked out that I'll make back the money after one winter.

I'm not an expert but I wouldn't know the difference in terms of the light quality.
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