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Ikea Ledare LED (1000L) review: Ikea's brighter bulb shines in more ways than one

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The Good The 1000L Ledare LED offers outstanding color quality and a much better price than the 75W replacement competitors it sits closest to.

The Bad The 1000L Ledare lags behind the competition in efficiency. Overall, there's better value to be found at the 60W replacement level, including bulbs with extended warranties (Ledare bulbs don't come with any warranty at all).

The Bottom Line Though not quite as competitive as the 600L version was last year, the 1000L Ledare LED holds its own -- and in some categories, it's a standout. If you're comfortable in the middle ground between the 60W and 75W levels, it's worth picking up.

7.8 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Value 9
  • Performance 7.5

Ikea impressed us last year with a low-cost light bulb called the Ledare LED . This year, the Swedish retail giant is expanding the line with new Ledare shapes, sizes and SKUs -- including a bigger, brighter bulb that puts out 1,000 lumens' worth of light and sells for $11 (the value dips a bit in Australia and the UK, where the bulb sells for AU$18 and £10, respectively).

1,000 lumens is a tricky number, sitting somewhat awkwardly in between the 800 to 900 lumens you'd expect from a 60W replacement and the 1,100 lumens or so that you'd get with a 75W replacement. Fortunately, the bulb competes fairly well in both categories, offering a distinct bump in brightness over the former and clear-cut value compared with the latter. It also offers a superior color rendering score close to 90 out of 100 -- noticeably better than the LED average of 80, and good for better-looking colors wherever you use the thing. If 800 lumens isn't bright enough for your tastes, or if 75W replacements aren't affordable enough for your home improvement budget, then the 1000L Ledare might be just what you need.

Design and specifications

The 13W, 1000L version of Ikea's Ledare LED looks more or less the same as the 10W, 600L version we reviewed last year, albeit slightly larger. It isn't an overtly innovative build like the tube-shaped GE Bright Stik LED or the flattened down Philips SlimStyle -- it's just a typical-looking LED light bulb that doesn't want to rock the design boat.

With the 600L Ledare LED, you had the option of a frosted globe design or a clear globe that put the inner hardware on full display. That option is gone with the 1000L version, which comes with a frosted globe only. That isn't such a bad thing -- the frosted globe tested slightly better in brightness and color quality than the clear globe last year.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The new Ledare promises to be just as good with colors, and noticeably brighter than its little brother. It's brighter than the 60W replacement pack, where 800 lumens is the norm. However, it also comes in below the 75W replacement level, where you'd expect at least 1,100 lumens.

That makes things a bit tricky. Based on its 13W power draw, it fits in better with the 75W crowd, but at around 950 lumens of measured light output (and a price of $11 per bulb), it merits comparison to 60W replacement LEDs, too.

1000L Ledare vs. 60W Replacements

Ikea Ledare LED (1000L) Osram 60W Replacement LED Cree 4Flow LED Philips SlimStyle LED Philips 60W Replacement LED
Lumens (measured / stated) 958 / 1000 852 / 800 835 / 815 815 / 800 821 / 800
Watts 13 8.5 11 10.5 8.5
Efficiency (lumens per watt) 74 100 76 78 97
Yearly energy cost (3 hr. per day @ .11 kWh) $1.56 $1.02 $1.32 $1.26 $1.02
Color temperature (measured / stated) 2,702 K / 2,700 K 2,580 K / 2,700 K 2,617 K / 2,700 K 2,653 K / 2,700 K 2,701 K / 2,700 K
Other color temperatures (price difference) none 5,000 K (+$1) 5,000 K (+$1) 5,000 K (+$1) 5,000 K (+$0)
Color rendering index 90 78 80 80 80
Dimmable range 9.1 - 100% 0 - 100% 5.6 - 100% 11.1 - 100% Non-dimmable
Dimmer switch flicker/buzz None Light None Moderate N/A
Lifespan 25,000 hours 25,000 hours 25,000 hours 25,000 hours 11,000 hours
Weight 4.95 oz. 4.15 oz. 1.90 oz. 2.20 oz. 1.80 oz.
Energy Star certification No Yes Yes Yes No
Warranty none 5 years 3 years 3 years 3 years
Price $11 $10 $8 $9 $5

1000L Ledare vs. 75W Replacements

Ikea Ledare LED (1000L) Cree 75W Replacement LED Philips SlimStyle 75W Replacement LED Sylvania 75W Replacement LED Philips 75W Replacement LED
Lumens (measured / stated) 958 / 1000 1069 / 1100 1137 / 1100 1130 / 1100 1047 / 1180
Watts 13 13.5 13 14 15
Efficiency (lumens per watt) 74 81 85 79 79
Yearly energy cost (3 hr. per day @ .11 kWh) $1.56 $1.63 $1.57 $1.69 $1.81
Color temperature (measured / stated) 2,702 K / 2,700 K 2,679 K / 2,700 K 2,670 K / 2,700 K 2,548 K / 2,700 K 2,586 K / 2,700 K
Other color temperatures (price difference) none 5,000 K (+$1) none 5,000 K (+$1) none
Color rendering index 90 80 80 80 79
Dimmable range 9.1 - 100% 8.1 - 100% 12.4 - 100% 14.9 - 100% 1.1 - 100%
Dimmer switch flicker/buzz None None Light None None
Lifespan 25,000 hours 25,000 hours 25,000 hours 25,000 hours 25,000 hours
Weight 4.95 oz. 5.85 oz. 2.85 oz. 8.80 oz. 8.35 oz.
Energy Star certification No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Warranty none 10-year 3-year 5-year 5-year
Price $11 $16 $13 $18 $20

There's an awful lot to look at in those two charts, so let me help walk you through the comparisons. First, at the 60W level, you'll see that it isn't as efficient as the competition, putting out 74 lumens per watt. That adds up to an extra 50 cents per year or so in energy costs when compared to the 60W replacements from Osram and Philips , which lead the pack in efficiency. Sure, 50 cents per year is practically nothing, but if you're looking to switch over 20 or 30 bulbs in your home, it might be worth considering.

At the 75W level, the Ledare's efficiency comes up short again, though it's a lot closer. It also ranks last in brightness, and it's the only bulb in the pack that isn't Energy Star-certified or covered by a warranty.

The ace up Ledare's sleeve is its score on the color rendering index, which indicates how accurately a given light source can illuminate different shades of different numbers. The 1000L Ledare scored a 90, which is fairly exceptional -- almost every LED we test comes in around 80, as both charts make clear. We'll dig into color rendering a little deeper in the next section.

Compared with bulbs at the 60W replacement level, you're getting that high CRI and a bump in brightness. At the 75W level, the 1000L Ledare offers the high CRI and a bargain price point. It doesn't dominate either category though, with across-the-board compromises in efficiency and warranty, along with less brightness than you'd get from strong competitors like the Cree 75W Replacement LED and the Philips SlimStyle 75W Replacement LED .

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Colors that pop (and efficiency that fizzles)

A light bulb's core function is to convert electricity into light. Incandescents do it by heating a tungsten filament until it glows, but that's an inefficient process that's better at producing heat than producing light.

LEDs like this Ledare bulb promise to perform better -- and save you money in the process. In the US, a 75W incandescent will add about $9 per year to your energy bill, whereas the Ledare LED will add just a buck and a half. At that rate, it'd pay for itself in less than a year and a half.

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