By now, LEDs have become a mainstay of the lighting aisle, with plenty of options available from a variety of brands. That kind of competition is good for consumers, but only so long as you know which bulbs offer the most bang for your buck.
To that end, Osram's 40W Replacement Ultra LED belongs on your radar. In our tests, it put out more brightness than any other bulb in its class, and did it from a power draw of just 6 watts. At $8, it's also the cheapest 40W replacement LED that we tried out, and it comes with a 5-year warranty. Its dimming performance wasn't totally flicker-free, but for basic household lighting, it will do a fine job.
Osram's 40W replacement is about as simple-looking as LEDs get, with a uniform plastic bulb that extends almost all the way down to the screw base and a barely noticeable heat sink at the bottom. This gives it an inconspicuous, nicely streamlined appearance that shouldn't stick out amid your home decor.
The streamlined build and smallish heat sink also means that the bulb itself extends lower than most LEDs, lower even than. In practical terms, this means that more of the bulb actually lights up when you turn the thing on, including the bottom hemisphere that casts light downward. This omnidirectional design makes Osram's bulb a good choice for a bedside reading lamp.
Osram's bulb draws 6 watts and puts out a stated 450 lumens, a common benchmark for brightness at the 40W level. That power draw ties it with the $10 Cree 40W Replacement LED, and makes them two of the most efficient 40W replacements on the shelf. At an average of 3 hours use per day, each would add less than 75 cents to your energy bill per year.
The bulb's color temperature comes in at the standard 2,700K -- the warm, yellow end of the spectrum that manufacturers often refer to as "soft white." For an extra dollar, Osram offers the same bulb at a hotter color temperature of 5,000K -- "daylight white," if you're using the lingo.
40W Replacement LEDs
|Osram 40W Replacement Ultra LED||Cree 40W Replacement LED||Philips 40W Replacement LED||Feit Electric 40W Replacement LED||Ikea Ledare LED||GE Reveal LED|
|Lumens (measured* / stated)||496 / 450||483 / 450||479 / 470||478 / 500||658 / 600||619 / 570|
|Efficiency (lumens per watt)||75.00||75.00||58.75||62.50||60.00||51.82|
|Estimated yearly energy cost||$0.72||$0.72||$0.96||$0.96||$1.21||$1.32|
|Color temperature (measured / stated)||2,561K / 2,700K||2,608K / 2,700K||2,646K / 2,700K||2,954K / 3,000K||2,632K / 2,700K||2,680K / 2,700 K|
|Lifespan||25,000 hours||25,000 hours||25,000 hours||25,000 hours||25,000 hours||15,000 hours|
|Color rendering index||78||80||80||78||88||95|
|Dimmable range||3.8 - 100%||3.5 - 100%||0.8 - 100%||0.0 - 100%||6.3 - 100%||0.2 - 100%|
|Weight||3.05 oz.||3.70 oz.||4.50 oz.||4.50 oz.||4.10 oz.||7.25 oz.|
|Warranty||5 years||10 years||5 years||2 years||none||5 years|
Osram's bulb weighs in at just over 3 ounces, making it the lightest 40W replacement we tested and reinforcing the simplicity of its build. Like most LEDs these days, it promises to last you 25,000 hours (well over 20 years at that average usage of 3 hours per day). Osram backs its LED with a 5-year warranty -- not bad for an eight-buck-bulb, but not as good as the 10-year warranty that you'll get with the Cree 40W Replacement LED.
While we're comparing bulbs, it's probably worth mentioning that you might consider options that aren't explicitly within the 40W replacement category. Ikea markets its $5as a 60W replacement, but with just 600 lumens to its name, it's closer to the 40W level. The same goes for the , which costs a little more, but offers an impressive color-rendering bump.