Top positive review
25 people found this helpful
At last! A genuinely good colour match for a 35W halogen!
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!