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Feit Electric 40W Replacement LED review: A flickering failure among 40W replacement LEDs

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The Good Feit's 40W Replacement LED sports an aesthetic-minded design that casts appealingly textured light.

The Bad That appeal vanishes under a lampshade, with messy, non-omnidirectional light output. The bulb also flickers badly on dimmer switches.

The Bottom Line With poor performance, a highly impractical design and less value than the competition, this LED isn't one we'd recommend.

4.0 Overall
  • Design 4
  • Value 4
  • Performance 4

The 40W replacement category was one of the first places where we saw LED pricing creep down to 10 bucks or less. By now, you've got a wealth of options, including a $10 40W replacement LED from Feit that boasts an attractive, clear-globed aesthetic.

Sometimes sold under Lowes' "Utilitech Pro" branding, the Feit 40W Replacement LED (model number LA19DMCLLED) looks appealing enough on paper, with a respectable amount of brightness, a relatively low wattage, and promises of dimmer compatibility. Look closer at the competition though, and you'll realize that Feit's bulb actually lags behind the pack in both pricing and performance. What's more, it failed our dimmability and omnidirectionality tests, bombing worse than any other LED to date. Be thankful for that wealth of options I mentioned -- almost any of them would likely be a better pick than this.

Design

Feit's 40W replacement falls into a similar aesthetic as the Philips Clear LED , the GE Link LED and the non-frosted version of the Ikea Ledare , with a flat bed of diodes sitting beneath a contoured piece of plastic. The light shines up and out through this plastic, creating a filament effect that looks quite nice in exposed bulb settings.

This approach gives a good deal of "texture" to the light. Shine it up against a wall, and you'll see a gem-like pattern. It's pretty, but I had my doubts as to whether or not it'd be all that practical in common fixtures. Just looking at the exposed bulb, you can see that the light isn't shining out evenly (it's particularly easy to spot in the unedited, top-down shot included below).

feit-40w-led-mugshot.jpg
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Ry Crist/CNET

That textured light comes at a color temperature of 3,000K, with a stated brightness of 500 lumens. That's a good number, and comfortably above the 450 lumens you'd expect from a typical 40W replacement light.

As for the power usage, Feit's LED consumes 8 watts, which gives it a good-but-not-great efficiency rating of 62.5 lumens per watt. At average energy rates and with an average usage of three hours per day, it'd add about a dollar to your yearly energy bill. That makes for easy savings when switching over from a 40W incandescent, which will cost about $5 per year, but it isn't as good as competing bulbs from manufacturers like Cree and Osram which each cost less than 75 cents per year.

40W Replacement LEDs

Feit Electric 40W Replacement LED Cree 40W Replacement LED Philips 40W Replacement LED Osram 40W Replacement Ultra LED Ikea Ledare LED GE Reveal LED
Lumens (measured* / stated) 478 / 500 483 / 450 479 / 470 496 / 450 658 / 600 619 / 570
Watts 8 6 8 6 10 11
Efficiency (lumens per watt) 62.50 75.00 58.75 75.00 60.00 51.82
Estimated yearly energy cost $0.96 $0.72 $0.96 $0.72 $1.21 $1.32
Color temperature (measured / stated) 2,954K / 3,000K 2,608K / 2,700K 2,646K / 2,700K 2,561K / 2,700K 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 0.0 - 100% 3.5 - 100% 0.8 - 100% 3.8 - 100% 6.3 - 100% 0.2 - 100%
Weight 4.50 oz. 3.70 oz. 4.50 oz. 3.05 oz. 4.10 oz. 7.25 oz.
Warranty 2-year 10-year 5-year 5-year none 5-year
Price $10 $10 $12 $8 $5 $15

Feit's LED is rated for dampness, which means it should be able to stand up to things like condensation, and should be fine for limited outdoor use. You won't, however, want to leave it directly exposed to the elements.

Feit also advises against using the bulb in enclosed fixtures, where heat will build up and potentially shorten the bulb's 25,000-hour lifespan. Doing so will likely void the bulb's warranty, which, at two years, isn't very long to begin with. For the same price, Cree's 40W replacement comes with a 10-year warranty, while Osram's less-expensive bulb comes with five years of coverage.

feit-40w-led-light-texture.jpg
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Ry Crist/CNET

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