Are pricey candelabra LEDs a smart upgrade for your chandelier?Looking to replace those flame-shaped bulbs in your living room with long-lasting LEDs? Here's a close look at your options -- and some reasons to think twice.
Chandeliers are just the worst. Yeah the little flame shaped bulbs look nice but every time one of them burns out you've got to drag a ladder into your living room and climb up to change it. And if you're using incandescents like we are here in this place, that can be every year or so. Wouldn't it be better if you could use LED's that last a decade or two decades and save you the trouble. We wanted to take a close look at your options, so we bought every single 40 watt equivalent candelabra LED we could. [UNKNOWN]. All in all, it took us about 18 hours of testing in our lighting lab to get a good luck at each bulb. And you certainly got a lot of options. I've got six of them up here, from [UNKNOWN] Phillips and [UNKNOWN]. Even a Walmart store brand bulb. And these range in price from $7 each to $11 each. None of them are as affordable as I would like, and none of them work perfectly with dimmer switches either, which is kind of a problem when you're spending this much to upgrade your lighting. The best value among dimmable candelabra LEDs that I found was this seven dollar bulb from Ecosmart. It was the best performer in our heat management test, and it also performs well in terms of brightness and efficiency. If you don't need your bulbs dimmed, you can get this non-dimmable Phillips bulb in a three pack for about 10 bucks at Home Depot. To sum it all up, these bulbs aren't bad, but they're not quite there yet. The category still has some catching up to do in terms of value and performance. For that reason, I wouldn't blame you one bit if you wanted to stick it out with bulbs like these for another years. Halogens and incandescents are still available, still very affordable. You'll have to drag your ladder out the next time you need to replace them, but hopefully by then these bulbs will be a lot better.