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I have read about the LED technology with great interest, as I am sort of convinced it might be the technology of the future...
Most reviews & opinions said though, that it's not fully developed enough to be of proper replacement of 'ordinary' lightbulbs...
Imagine my excitement to see the LED lightbulbs in stores then!
I was somewhat dubious about it, but I couldn't resist it! (especially since Dad was intrigued too..) & the price wasn't too big considering the long life of LEDs...
Also, I would be investing into development of a new & exciting technology...
Most LEDs are rather small, some nightlamps for example have a ton of small LEDs to give some illumination... (which is a bit distracting for me personally)
This lightbulb is of almost 'regular' shape - it has a very pretty round shape really, in my opinion.. & can fit into your ordinary lamps...
(The product data sheet says the "colour-changing versions have 12 LEDs per lamp; all others have 18 LEDs per lamp", but you don't really see this.. It looks like a unified lighbulb, no separate light sources are seen.)
It only consumes 1 Watt of energy!! Yes, you heard it right, 1 Watt!!
Now ordinary conventional lightbulbs consume around 40 W at least, & most 'eco friendly' labeled CFLs are in the range of 10-12W or so, so 1 W is really very little!!
Also, many (including me) find the CFL light too harsh & some people even say fluorescent light will give them headaches or such.. or at least cause sensitive eyes some discomfort.. Not to forget that the CFL bulbs contain mercury, which is a very dangerous heavy metal & neurotoxin.. (albeit in very small amounts, but still..)
So, a LED light bulb would be an interesting alternative!
But, how does it deliver?
When I tried the Philips Deco LED 1W I realized they were right to label it 'Deco LED' because, well, it doesn't really illuminate enough for any particular purpose... You can't really read (even from up close, if used in a nightlamp) or do anything much...
I was a bit disappointed at first... but then realized I could give it another try!
I used it as an 'extra bulb' in a 3-bulb lamp, & it proved quite useful!
It will not give you much illumination but it is just enough to relax by when listening to the music & not bump into odd furniture when getting up..
The Deco LED light bulbs are available in white, various colours (green, red, blue and yellow/amber) & colour-changing variations..
The coloured lamps have extremely long lifetime: 20.000 hours, & white lamps 6.000 hours.. (which is still quite impressive - according to Wikipedia, 'ordinary' incandescent light bulbs for general purpose have the lifetime of "several hundred to 2,000 hours") - but the colored LED bulbs may be a better purchase with regard to lifetime & price.. (it is more complicated or less efficient to produce white light from LEDs, hence the differences!)
With regard to lifetime (& novelty factor!), the price of about £7 (depends on the version) seems quite tolerable..
The one purchased & reviewed is yellow..
It gives a soft lovely very warm yellow light that is constant (no flickering!) & very pleasant..
It doesn't hurt even very sensitive or tired eyes, even if you look into it directly.. (It is evenly colored all around) - which is quite the opposite of conventional or CFL light bulbs!
/though I wouldn't recommend very sensitive eyes staring into it much! I used it indirectly, mostly turned away../
Basically, it could be said to be a very good replacement for candles on nights when you can't air your room properly.. (winter nights with poor air quality outside come to mind..) or if you wish to avoid candles for safety, carpeting or other reasons..
(Clearly on other occasions candles from natural wax would probably be a more environmentally friendly - & better-smelling! alternative)
Some reviews of products marketed as 'alternatives to candles' (that look more like candles) report of an unpleasant flickering effect - I'm happy to say there is no flickering whatsoever with these bulbs! just a constant pleasant low light..
Depending on how sensitive your eyes are, & how well you see in the dark, one may be enough - as it is for me, or you might wish to purchase several.. (or other smaller versions if you do not use them in a conventional lamp)
The shape of lamp used may make a difference too.. Mine is in a lamp that does not enclose it (which is a good thing here! unlike with the CFLs where some barrier between the bulb & the eyes may be most welcome) - & the direction can be somewhat adjusted too (this bulb is not omni-directional like incandescent bulbs are, so this may come handy)
I am very happy with my purchase - & my eyes are too!! :)
This is not for illumination or 'main light source' - their slogan is 'Play with LED technology' - so basically, in a way you do play with it! :)
My nitpicks would be the somewhat excessive plastic packaging that doesn't quite look like it could be recycled..
& not being sure if the LED technology is actually environmentally friendlier as CFL with regard to materials & chemicals used..
Luckily there is no mercury, but I am not familiar with materials used & I guess further research in this directon would still be needed...
I am delighted that product info from Philips is online.. haven't managed to find info on end-of-cycle or any possible take back/recycling of the LED bulbs & exact materials/chemicals used & their environmental friendliness yet..
It does seem like an exciting new product & I will most certainly keep an eye on further developement of the LED technology!