/> ED I T O R S C H O I C E IN N O V A T IO N A W A R D
X

CNET editors pick the products and services we write about. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

Philips 60W Equivalent LED review: This LED from Philips gets almost everything right

Ryan_Crist2.jpg

For $15, the Philips 60W equivalent LED offers American consumers massive boosts in efficiency and longevity over the incandescents it was designed to replace. Of course, the same can be said of just about any LED you'll find sitting on the shelf of your local lighting aisle.

philips-60-watt-replacement-led-product-photos-16.jpg
8.0

Philips 60W Equivalent LED

Pricing Not Available

The Good

Philips' 60W equivalent LED offers excellent brightness, along with a build that won't buzz or flicker when used with in-wall dimmer switches.

The Bad

The Philips LED isn't quite as efficient as Cree's 60W replacement, which also costs less.

The Bottom Line

At $15, this bulb isn't the cheapest in the lighting aisle, but it's well worth it if you plan on dimming your lights.

If you want to know what makes the Philips LED (or any LED) stand out, you need to know what you'll have to compromise in exchange for that extra efficiency. With some bulbs, it's color quality or brightness; with others, it's things like dimmability or directionality. With the Philips LED, there's very little compromising to be done. You might wish that it cost a few dollars less, but the Philips LED is about as well-rounded a bulb as you'll find, and well worth it if you plan on dimming your lights.

Lighting up the room with Philips' 60W Equivalent LED (pictures)

See all photos

Design

Philips has been making flat-topped household LEDs for a while now, and the current bulb (model number 9290002268) doesn't deviate much from what Philips has already done. Along with the previous generations, the bulb shares its shape with the app-enabled, color-changing Philips Hue LEDs , along with the upcoming Philips Hue Lux LEDs . If you're looking for a bulb that's designed to stand out, you'll want to check out the Philips SlimStyle and Philips Clear LEDs , which both put a strong emphasis on unique, eye-catching looks.

The Philips LED sports a build that's slightly heavier than some of the other LEDs we've looked at. At 4.55 ounces, it's almost a full ounce heavier than the comparable 60W replacement from Cree , and more than twice as weighty as the ping pong paddle-esque Philips SlimStyle. All but the flimsiest of flex lamps should be able to support its weight without issue, but it still might be something worth consideration.

philips-60w-led-diodes-exposed.jpg
With the glass removed, you'll find 30 yellow light cells in a flat grid, each one housing two diodes. Colin West McDonald/CNET

In terms of of intangibles, this is a bulb that checks off all the boxes you'll likely be looking for. It's Energy Star certified. It's omnidirectional. It's fully dimmable. This last point is an especially strong one for Philips, as its LED not only works with common in-wall dimmer switches, but also works well with them. In all of our tests, it produced little to no detectable buzz or flicker -- even with older switches that weren't designed with LEDs in mind.

Which LEDs flicker the least? (pictures)

See all photos

This lack of buzz speaks well to the bulb's construction. Wall dimmers will generate electromagnetic resistance as they dim the light, which can cause bulb components to vibrate and buzz (a fairly common problem, as our recent testing showed). Philips came out on top in our buzz tests, with near-silent performance that's indicative of tight, thoughtful engineering inside the bulb.

philips-60-watt-replacement-led-product-photos-14.jpg
Colin West McDonald/CNET

Performance

Our LED performance tests involve a mix of everyday use scenarios and lab-based data collection using equipment like a spectrometer and a variac transformer. The latter half obviously gets a bit wonky, but the short of it is that we work to get an objective look at things like brightness, color quality, and efficiency.

Philips calls their bulb a 60W equivalent, and rightly so, considering that it puts out 830 lumens' worth of light. This is a small bump up from the amount of brightness that you'll get with most 60W replacements, where 800 lumens is the popular benchmark. Compared to the standard 60W replacements from brands like Cree and GE, Philips can claim to be the brightest, albeit just slightly so.

lamp-comparison-cree-philips-comic.jpg
The Philips LED's color temperature is lower and more yellow than that of a comparable Cree LED. Ry Crist/CNET

We can also take a nice, close look at color temperature, and how accurately each bulb hits the tone that it's rated for. With the Philips LED, that color temperature is 2,700K, a very popular tone that's often referred to as "soft white." Lots of bulbs aim for this warm, incandescent-esque color temperature.

Philips overshoots things just a bit, with a color temperature that's lower and noticeably warmer than 2,700K. To be specific, we clocked the Philips LED at 2,584K, which is still close enough to look "right," but not as close as Cree, which comes in at 2,669K.

Philips 60W Equivalent LEDCree 60W Replacement LED
Watts 119.5
Lumens 830800
Efficiency (lumens/watt) 75.4584.21
Estimated yearly cost $1.45$1.14
Lifespan 25,000 hours25,000 hours
Color temperature 2,584K2,669K
Color rendering index 8180
Weight 4.55 oz.3.70 oz.
Warranty 5-year10-year
Price $14.97$9.97

The performance distinction between the two bulbs is a pretty fine one, but if you want the light that will mimic the specific warmth of incandescent lighting the best, you might want to consider Cree. Then again, if you enjoy that incandescent warmth and want even more of it, then the lower color temperature of the Philips LED might actually be a plus in your book.

philips60wledcri.jpg
Like most standard LEDs, the Philips bulb struggles to bring out red shades. Ry Crist/CNET

In addition to color temperature we make sure to test for color quality, too. What's the difference? Color temperature describes the color of the light itself, color quality tells us how accurately a light will render the specific colors of the objects its illuminating. Color quality is measured using the color rendering index (CRI), which is an average of scores for each color. A higher CRI number means more vivid, accurate looking colors in your living room.

The Philips LED is rated with a CRI of 81 out of 100, which is pretty average for an LED. We tested the bulb out in front of our own spectrometer to take a closer look at its color rendering capabilities, the results of which you can see pretty plainly in that color-coded graph up above.

Which LED bulbs are best for eye-popping color quality? (pictures)

See all photos

As you can see, performance plummets with reds, a problem that's fairly universal with LEDs (Cree's bulb scored even worse, posting a red score of -1). This isn't to say that an apple sitting under a Philips LED won't look red -- it just won't look as red as an apple sitting in direct sunlight, where the CRI is a perfect 100. (For more about LEDs and CRI scores, be sure and check out our recent face-off between the Cree TW Series and GE Reveal LEDs, both of which promise CRI scores up in the 90s.)

philips-60-watt-replacement-led-product-photos-16.jpg
Colin West McDonald/CNET

Conclusion

All things considered, the Philips 60W Equivalent LED is a very well-rounded light, and one that merits consideration right up alongside the comparable Cree 60W Replacement LED as a potential best buy. The Philips LED is the brighter of the two, and it performs better with built-in dimmer switches, which I imagine for many consumers will rightly tip the scales in its favor.

Still, the Philips' LED isn't quite as efficient as Cree, its warranty is half as long, and it costs $5 more, which is far from insignificant, especially if you're replacing an entire home's worth of bulbs. Bargain shoppers might want to keep their eye on the Philips SlimStyle, which currently retails for $9, but overall, unless I'm looking for a bulb to use with a dimmer switch, I'm sticking with Cree as my standard LED of choice.

philips-60-watt-replacement-led-product-photos-16.jpg
8.0

Philips 60W Equivalent LED

Pricing Not Available

Score Breakdown

Design 9Value 7Performance 8