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Testing out Philips' LED, CFL, and incandescent bulbs (photos)

Philips' latest LED offers almost identical lighting to its incandescent predecessor, but at significantly higher cost upfront. Here are a few pictures that help demonstrate the light each bulb gives off.

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Candace Lombardi
In a software-driven world, it's easy to forget about the nuts and bolts. Whether it's cars, robots, personal gadgetry or industrial machines, Candace Lombardi examines the moving parts that keep our world rotating. A journalist who divides her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, Lombardi has written about technology for the sites of The New York Times, CNET, USA Today, MSN, ZDNet, Silicon.com, and GameSpot. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not a current employee of CNET.
Candace Lombardi
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1 of 5 Candace Lombardi/CNET

Philips AmbientLED 17/75-watt bulb

Philips' AmbientLED 17/75-watt went on sale earlier this month online at HomeDepot.com for $39.97. While its resemblance to the nuclear symbol when looking at it from the top is unsettling, the bulb's plastic and metal casing feels nice and sturdy in your hand. Repeated drops from different heights onto various hard surfaces also confirmed that it's pretty hard to break it.
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2 of 5 Candace Lombardi/CNET

Bulbs side by side

A side-by-side comparison of the light reflected on the same book page from the same lamp at the same distance using a Philips 18/75-watt CFL (left), a Philips AmbientLED 17/75-watt bulb (medium), and a 75-watt Philips Dura Max incandescent bulb.
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3 of 5 Candace Lombardi/CNET

Philips AmbientLED 17/75-watt bulb

While the Philips AmbientLED 17/75-watt bulb appears bright nuclear yellow when off, it glows a warm white color when on.
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4 of 5 Candace Lombardi/CNET

LED vs. incandescent

A side-by-side comparison of the Philips AmbientLED 17/75-watt (left) next to the bulb it seeks to replace: the Philips 75-watt Dura Max incandescent (right).
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5 of 5 Candace Lombardi/CNET

LED vs. CFL

The Philips AmbientLED 17/75-watt (left) and the 18/75-watt CFL (right). The LED is much closer in color to the light given off by the average incandescent bulb. Many people complain of CFLs having a blue-white light instead of that warm, yellow glow incandescent bulbs made popular. However, the cooler lighting can be ideal in areas where you want something bright and easy to read by.

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