Incandescent looks, LED energy savings. That's the pitch for Feit Electric's "vintage-style" candelabra LED. It's one of a growing number of LED options that arrange their light-emitting diodes to resemble the filaments of old-school incandescent bulbs. It's a neat-looking trick.
But I have a couple of beefs with this bulb. The biggest is that it calls itself a 40W equivalent, which would mean it would need to put out about 350 lumens of brightness from about 4 or 5 watts of power. Instead, it puts out just over 200 lumens from a power draw of 2.5 watts.
That means that you're paying the 40W-equivalent price for what's really a 25W equivalent. Not cool, Feit.
That price happens to be $9 per bulb -- higher than you'd probably expect, and indicative of the candelabra LED category as a whole, which hasn't seen the same rise in value as we've seen in other, more common LED categories.
The Feit bulb's packaging calls it a 40W-equivalent LED, but also pegs its light output at 210 lumens, which is more in line with what you'd expect from a 25W equivalent. We confirmed that number in our lighting lab, where the bulb rang in at 216 lumens.
That might not matter so much if you're using several of them in a single fixture (or if brightness simply isn't high up on your list of lighting priorities), but it's still worth keeping in mind. It's also worth noting that the bulb uses less power than the rest of field, too -- just 2.5 watts each.
This isn't the only filament-style candelabra LED in the lighting aisle. EcoSmart makes one, too, and unlike the Feit bulb, it's a legitimate 40W equivalent as far as brightness goes, with a category-leading 482 lumens to its name.
It's also a better pick for enclosed fixtures, where the trapped heat can affect performance.