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Light Bulbs

Philips Deco LEDs are stylish, pricey, and as big as your head

The new line of gigantic, vintage-style LED light bulbs is coming to the US this fall, and could cost as much as $60 per bulb.

Philips

The new Philips Deco vintage-style LED light bulbs are gigantic light bulbs designed to be seen.

Philips

We've seen no shortage of "vintage-style" LED light bulbs with fake filaments in the lighting aisle lately. In fact, the trend seems to be taking off in a big way, with big names like Feit, GE, and Philips already offering neat, nostalgia-inducing lights of their own.

Now Philips wants to turn the idea up to 11.

Specifically, the lighting mainstay is planning to release two lines of gigantic-sized, vintage-style LED bulbs under new "Philips Deco" branding. Each bulb features a single fake-filament of LED light surrounded by smoky glass, and each comes with its own cord, letting crafty lighting geeks suspend them from the kitchen ceiling or furnish them into a makeshift reading lamp. Oh, and did I mention that they're gigantic?

None of the Philips Deco bulbs are much brighter than an accent light, so don't plan on using them as your room's primary light source unless you're willing to buy a few of them.

Philips

The bulbs are slated to arrive in the US this fall and pricing isn't set just yet, Philips tells me. However, the bulbs are actually scheduled to start selling in Europe much earlier, this May. Pricing for that release starts at around €50 per bulb. That's about $60 a pop, converted roughly (or about £45 in the UK).

And yes, that's really, really, expensive for a single light bulb. Even Philips Hue's color-changing smart bulbs don't cost that much (and no, these Deco bulbs aren't smart bulbs that will work with Philips Hue, which seems like a pretty baffling missed opportunity to me).

Here's what you'll get for the money. The first line of bulbs, the "Vintage" range, features twisty, eye-catching filaments at a warm, orange-toned color temperature of about 2,000 K. Each bulb puts out about 470 lumens -- roughly as much brightness as you'd expect from a 40W accent bulb.

The bulbs in the "Modern" range put out light that looks whiter and closer to daylight in appearance.

Philips

The second lineup is the "Modern" range. You get the same three bulb shapes to choose from (Philips calls them "Teardrop," "Globe," and "Tubular"), but the filaments are less twisty and more contemporary-looking. The color temperature of 4,000 K is also much whiter and closer to daylight in appearance. As for brightness, the bulbs in the Modern range only promise to put out 270 lumens, which isn't even as bright as some candelabra bulbs.

The bulbs are designed to work with dimmer switches, though, and given that they're so design-centric (and so expensive) I'd expect them to dim quite well. Philips has a good track record in my dimming tests, but not a perfect one, so I'll be excited to get these Deco bulbs into my integrating sphere for some tests (assuming they'll fit, of course). We'll let you know when that happens with full reviews from both lineups -- stay tuned.

Need a really bright light bulb? Check out our roundup of 100W replacement LEDs

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