For $15, the Philips 60W equivalent LED offers American consumers massive boosts in efficiency and longevity over the incandescents it was designed to replace. Of course, the same can be said of just about any LED you'll find sitting on the shelf of your local lighting aisle.
If you want to know what makes the Philips LED (or any LED) stand out, you need to know what you'll have to compromise in exchange for that extra efficiency. With some bulbs, it's color quality or brightness; with others, it's things like dimmability or directionality. With the Philips LED, there's very little compromising to be done. You might wish that it cost a few dollars less, but the Philips LED is about as well-rounded a bulb as you'll find, and well worth it if you plan on dimming your lights.
Philips has been making flat-topped household LEDs for a while now, and the current bulb (model number 9290002268) doesn't deviate much from what Philips has already done. Along with the previous generations, the bulb shares its shape with the app-enabled, color-changing Philips Hue LEDs, along with the upcoming Philips Hue Lux LEDs. If you're looking for a bulb that's designed to stand out, you'll want to check out the Philips SlimStyle and Philips Clear LEDs, which both put a strong emphasis on unique, eye-catching looks.
The Philips LED sports a build that's slightly heavier than some of the other LEDs we've looked at. At 4.55 ounces, it's almost a full ounce heavier than the comparable 60W replacement from Cree, and more than twice as weighty as the ping pong paddle-esque Philips SlimStyle. All but the flimsiest of flex lamps should be able to support its weight without issue, but it still might be something worth consideration.
In terms of of intangibles, this is a bulb that checks off all the boxes you'll likely be looking for. It's Energy Star certified. It's omnidirectional. It's fully dimmable. This last point is an especially strong one for Philips, as its LED not only works with common in-wall dimmer switches, but also works well with them. In all of our tests, it produced little to no detectable buzz or flicker -- even with older switches that weren't designed with LEDs in mind.
This lack of buzz speaks well to the bulb's construction. Wall dimmers will generate electromagnetic resistance as they dim the light, which can cause bulb components to vibrate and buzz (a fairly common problem, as our recent testing showed). Philips came out on top in our buzz tests, with near-silent performance that's indicative of tight, thoughtful engineering inside the bulb.
Our LED performance tests involve a mix of everyday use scenarios and lab-based data collection using equipment like a spectrometer and a variac transformer. The latter half obviously gets a bit wonky, but the short of it is that we work to get an objective look at things like brightness, color quality, and efficiency.
Philips calls their bulb a 60W equivalent, and rightly so, considering that it puts out 830 lumens' worth of light. This is a small bump up from the amount of brightness that you'll get with most 60W replacements, where 800 lumens is the popular benchmark. Compared to the standard 60W replacements from brands like Cree and GE, Philips can claim to be the brightest, albeit just slightly so.