Overall Rating: 4.5/5 Excellent
The Philips SlimStyle LED light bulbs have been on the market for a few months now, and it’s time to share our first-person experience. Long story short, we’re extremely pleased with both their performance around the home and the overall value they offer. Read on for the complete review…
LED light bulbs have opened a nice little crack in the consumer market over the last couple years, and Philips has been one of the leaders in creating LED bulbs that can actually serve as replacements for the average consumer. Since LED bulbs are incredibly efficient and contain no hazardous materials like mercury, their widespread acceptance hinges primarily on performance and purchase price.
Philips SlimStyle LED Bulb Performance Review
In the “Performance” category, we’ve considered two main issues. First, does the LED bulb cast a light that’s comparable to the warm, bright glow of an incandescent bulb? And second, is the LED bulb interchangeable with a conventional bulb in common household fixtures?
Light Quality and Usability
The Philips SlimStyle LED bulbs provide exceptional quality light. They are available in 7-watt (40-watt replacement) and 10.5-watt (60-watt equivalent) models, in soft white (2700k) or daylight (5000k) color temperatures. We found the 800-lumen brightness of the SlimStyle in a standard lamp application to be indistinguishable from a 60-watt incandescent bulb, and the SlimStyle bulbs cast an even glow in all directions. Equally important, the warmth and color of the LED bulb was just as pleasing as the incandescent (admittedly a somewhat subjective measure, but backed up by the specs provided by Philips – see below).
In terms of everyday usability, the Philips SlimStyle also earns high marks. Its physical size and shape work just fine in most common fixtures, and the design foregoes the huge heat sink base that made many LED bulbs look so strange. Also, it’s fully dimmable, which earns it big points.
Philips recommends that the SlimStyle LED bulbs only be used in open fixtures, not fully enclosed globes or base-upward mountings. It would be great if the bulbs could be used absolutely anywhere, but this limitation is due to the inherent need for LED bulbs to avoid overheating, and certainly isn’t an issue specific to the Philips bulbs. In fact, Philips has integrated some pretty clever engineering to manage the heat issue in these bulbs (check out this great article at All LED Lighting if you want all the technical details). So, these bulbs may not be a good choice for EVERY fixture in your home, but they’re a great choice for the right fixtures.
Philips SlimStyle Value
In addition to delivering performance that genuinely rivals that of an incandescent bulb (while using just a tiny fraction of the energy to do so), Philips has managed to bring the price point of the SlimStyle LED bulbs down to a very attractive level. Many earlier LED light bulbs were actually economical choices given their long lifespans – but convincing a consumer to pay $30 for an LED instead of less than a buck for an incandescent was a tough sell. The SlimStyle bulbs are actually cheap enough that you could reasonably refit most of the lights in your home without breaking the bank.
Convenience also counts for value, and under normal conditions an LED light bulb won’t need to be changed for years. That’s a surprising amount of time saved, especially with hard-to-reach fixtures. The SlimStyle LED bulbs retail for around $9 each, and we’ve seen them for even less in a multi-pack or with rebates.