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Philips SceneSwitch BR30 LED review:Three lights in one bulb with the Philips SceneSwitch floodlight LED

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The Good The BR30-shaped Philips SceneSwitch LED is one of the most efficient floodlights we've ever tested, and it aced our brightness tests, too. The three distinct light settings are a nice bonus that you won't get with other bulbs at this price.

The Bad The SceneSwitch floodlight is only available as a mixed-tone bulb, so if you'd rather have a third soft white brightness setting instead of that daylight setting, you're out of luck. It also won't work with traditional dimmer switches.

The Bottom Line The Philips SceneSwitch floodlight is a great bargain, and a smart way to bring some limited dimming capability into your home without needing to wire in new light switches.

8.5 Overall
  • Design 7.5
  • Value 8.5
  • Performance 9

The Philips "SceneSwitch" line of LED light bulbs promises versatility with the flip of a switch. Each one has three different light settings -- to change between them, you just turn the bulb off and back on.

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You can cycle through three different light settings by turning the SceneSwitch LED off and back on.

Chris Monroe/CNET

The newest SceneSwitch bulb is a BR30-shaped floodlight that'll sell for $8 at Home Depot this fall. Flip it off and back on within a few seconds to cycle through a yellowy soft white setting, a whitish daylight setting and a dimmed-down night-light setting. Like the other SceneSwitch LEDs, it's a simple and interesting way to add some limited dimmability to a fixture without needing to replace the light switch or install expensive smart bulbs.

It's also a pretty good light bulb in its own right, and one of the most efficient floodlight LEDs we've ever tested. At just 8W, each one will add less than a buck to your yearly energy bill if you run it at the brightest setting for three hours a day. By comparison, a standard 65W incandescent floodlight at three hours of usage per day will add almost $8 to your yearly energy bill. 

Replace a bulb like that with the SceneSwitch floodlight, and it'll pay for itself in a little over a year. After that, it will continue saving you money for the rest of its 22-year life span -- decades longer than that incandescent would have lasted. Oh, and that longevity claim comes backed by a five-year warranty, too.

I was also impressed by the SceneSwitch bulb's brightness. Philips clocks it at 650 lumens for both the soft white and daylight settings (the same as you'd get from an incandescent), and 65 lumens for the night-light setting. In our lighting lab, we measured the soft white setting at 714 lumens, the daylight setting at 655 lumens and the night-light at 76 lumens. All three were accurate and comfortably above the target, and their color temperatures were right on the money, too.

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