I’ve posted before about LED lighting, and consider myself an early adopter.
Recently, Home Depot significantly expanded their selection of LED bulbs beyond the Philips brand that I’ve been using for a few years, mostly in my kitchen track lights (GU10 formfactor). I’ve been quite happy with those, and I only have two more halogens left in the track that seem to be hanging on, knowing their fate should they burn out.
The EcoSmart line appears to be a Home Depot house brand, and as such is only available there. The brand encompasses both CFL and LED lighting technologies. The bulbs are less expensive than the Philips bulbs.
I picked up eight of the 40W-equivalent A19-style bulbs. These have a form factor that matches that of a traditional incandescent bulb, so they’ll fit anywhere a regular bulb will fit, unlike the bulbs I blogged about previously. I bought these to use in our master bath above the vanity, and the master bedroom ceiling fan, where solid-state bulbs are a much better option due to the vibrations of the fan which drastically shorten the life of filament bulbs. Because of this application, these bulbs are also dimabble.
The specs on the bulb are as follows:
- 429 Lumens, 8.6 Watts (49 Lumen/watt)
- Color Rendering Index: 85
- Color Temperature: 3032K
- Lifetime: 50,000 hours (46 years at 3 hours a day)
- Cost: $18
While this bulb is listed as a 40W equivalent, because of the directionality of the bulb, it’s roughly equivalent to the light you’d get from a 75W bulb in directional applications. I tried it in my regular bathroom fixture, which assumes a standard bulb emitting light in all directions, and it’s not up to the task. Side-by-side comparisons in a reading lamp, on the other hand, give a result that looks almost identical to the 75W incandescent bulb that was in it previously.
In the ceiling fan application (four bulbs), it lights up the large master bedroom quite nicely and dimming is not only smooth and flicker-free, but quiet. The overall consumption of 35W is a dramatic improvement over the set of 75W halogens that used to be in there.
My only real gripe about these bulbs is the logical disconnect between the “eco-smart” name and the ridiculous amount of packaging they come in. The bulb itself is in a plastic clamshell that is not coded for recylcing (but is likely PET), which is then encased in a fairly convoluted cardboard box big enough for a PAR38. These then come four each in a corrugated cardboard tray for retail display. I haven’t been able to confirm it, but the boxes look like they may use the same box die for all their bulbs, and swap out the plastic shell for the appropriate one. At least it’s not your typical wound-inducing plastic retail shell. If I needed to return these to the store, it looks simple enough to repackage them such that they can be resold.
Home Depot also offers EcoSmart LED bulbs in PAR30, PAR38, PAR20, G25, MR16, and E26 formats, as well as a whole host of holiday lighting options.
Time will tell how well these hold up. Next up are likely going to be the G25 bulbs in the dining room fixture.