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Light Bulbs

Philips' new LED warms up as you dim it down

The new Philips Warm Glow LED cuts the color temperature when you dim the light down low.

Now playing: Watch this: Philips' newest light bulb offers an LED sunset

LED prices have fallen dramatically over the past few years, but we're seeing a $10 sweet spot emerging in the 60W replacement category. The latest is the newly announced Philips LED with "Warm Glow" dimming capabilities. Dial the brightness down using a dimmer switch, and you'll see a sunset-like drop in the color temperature, too, from a yellowy 2,700K down to a tone that's more reddish-orange.

That's a feature that you won't get from Osram and Cree , both of which also offer 60W replacement LEDs at that $10 mark. The Warm Glow LED seems to have its sights set specifically on the Cree 60W Replacement LED, matching that bulb's 10-year warranty with its own decade of coverage.

60W Replacement LEDs

Philips Warm Glow LED Cree 60W Replacement LED Osram 60W Replacement LED Cree 4Flow LED Philips 60W Replacement LED Philips SlimStyle LED
Lumens (measured / stated) 834 / 800 746 / 800 852 / 800 835 / 815 864 / 830 815 / 800
Watts 9.5 9.5 8.5 11 11 10.5
Efficiency (lumens per watt) 88 79 100 76 79 78
Yearly energy cost (3 hr. per day @ .11 kWh) $1.14 $1.14 $1.02 $1.32 $1.32 $1.26
Color temperature (measured / stated) 2,620K - 1,906K / 2,700K 2,669 K / 2,700 K 2,580 K / 2,700 K 2,617 K / 2,700 K 2,584 K / 2,700 K 2,653 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 (+$1) 5,000 K (+$1)
Color rendering index 80 80 78 80 80 80
Dimmable range 2.9 - 100% 6.8 - 100% 0 - 100% 5.6 - 100% 0.7 - 100% 11.1 - 100%
Dimmer switch flicker/buzz Light Light Light None None Moderate
Lifespan 25,000 hours 25,000 hours 25,000 hours 25,000 hours 25,000 hours 25,000 hours
Weight 2.85 oz. 3.70 oz. 4.15 oz. 1.90 oz. 4.55 oz. 2.20 oz.
Energy Star certification Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Warranty 10 years 10 years 5 years 3 years 5 years 3 years
Price $10 $10 $10 $8 $15 $9

Spec for spec, the three bulbs seem to sit pretty close together, all of them claiming a light output of 800 lumens. From our initial tests, the Warm Glow LED comes in comfortably above that number, our spectrometer measuring it at 834 lumens. That puts it in line with Osram, and makes it noticeably brighter than Cree, which falls short of that 800-lumen benchmark.

Like the Cree LED, the Philips Warm Glow LED claims a power draw of 9.5 watts, though it can claim to be the more efficient of the two thanks to that bump in brightness. However, both fall short of Osram, which only uses 8.5 watts but still manages to top 850 lumens -- good for an outstanding 100 lumens per watt.

Dim the Warm Glow LED to minimum, and the color temperature falls towards the reddish end of the spectrum. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

As for color temperature, all three bulbs come in right under 2,700K. Dim the Philips Warm Glow down to minimum (about 3 percent of its maximum brightness), and the color temperature falls to 1,906K. It's a noticeable shift towards the red end of the spectrum, but not a terribly vivid one, since it only comes when the brightness goes.

The Warm Glow LED isn't Philips' first crack at selling a 60W replacement for $10 or less -- the flat-formed Philips SlimStyle retails for $9. That bulb came as an answer to Cree's debut LED, and in turn, Cree responded with the $8 4Flow LED . The new Warm Glow will soon sit beside all of them on the shelf at Home Depot -- we'll have a full review up once we've had a little more time to test it out.

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