LED light bulbs are hard to beat for energy efficiency, and the newest generation are matching the performance of traditional incandescent bulbs by offering warmer and brighter light than earlier designs. We recently profiled Cree’s TrueWhite LED light bulb, and now Philips has joined the pack with its AmbientLED model (the first on the market to earn Energy Star certification).
The new Philips LED bulb, the AmbientLED, is a 12-watt replacement for a 60-watt incandescent bulb, and it manages to match the “look” of a traditional bulb with a couple clever design features. Despite its yellow appearance in the box, the colored lens delivers warm white light when lit (2,700 kelvin), in contrast to the cooler blue light of earlier LED bulbs.
The shape of the bulb also helps cast its 800 lumens of light evenly, whereas many earlier LEDs were limited to a directional “spotlight” effect. In fact, our friends over at MetaEfficient recently tested the AmbientLED and declared they would be “hard-pressed to tell the difference between this LED and an incandescent in a blind test.”
The Philips AmbientLED is fine to use in dimmable fixtures, it contains no lead or mercury, and it will save you a pile of cash by paying for itself several times during its 25,000-hour lifespan. When it originally hit shelves it sold for around $40, but it’s currently available for less than half that price.
Philips AmbientLED 12-Watt (60-watt replacement) LED Light Bulb, $15.49 at Amazon.