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.

Ry Crist Senior Editor / Reviews - Labs
Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a writer, a text-based adventure connoisseur, a lover of terrible movies and an enthusiastic yet mediocre cook. A CNET editor since 2013, Ry's beats include smart home tech, lighting, appliances, broadband and home networking.
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Ry Crist
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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.

A warm glow from Philips' newest LED (pictures)

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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 LEDCree 60W Replacement LEDOsram 60W Replacement LEDCree 4Flow LEDPhilips 60W Replacement LEDPhilips SlimStyle LED
Lumens (measured / stated) 834 / 800746 / 800852 / 800835 / 815864 / 830815 / 800
Efficiency (lumens per watt) 8879100767978
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 / 2,700K2,669 K / 2,700 K2,580 K / 2,700 K2,617 K / 2,700 K2,584 K / 2,700 K2,653 K / 2,700 K
Other color temperatures (price difference) none5,000 K (+$1)5,000 K (+$1)5,000 K (+$1)5,000 K (+$1)5,000 K (+$1)
Color rendering index 808078808080
Dimmable range 2.9 - 100%6.8 - 100%0 - 100%5.6 - 100%0.7 - 100%11.1 - 100%
Dimmer switch flicker/buzz LightLightLightNoneNoneModerate
Lifespan 25,000 hours25,000 hours25,000 hours25,000 hours25,000 hours25,000 hours
Weight 2.85 oz.3.70 oz.4.15 oz.1.90 oz.4.55 oz.2.20 oz.
Energy Star certification YesYesYesYesYesYes
Warranty 10 years10 years5 years3 years5 years3 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.