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Philips SlimStyle 75W Replacement LED review: A bigger, brighter, better Philips SlimStyle LED

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MSRP: $12.97
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The Good This bigger, brighter version of the Philips SlimStyle features the same strong heat management as the original, along with improved efficiency and dimming performance.

The Bad You'll still find slight dim spots to the sides of the bulb. Also, you can do a lot better than the SlimStyle's 3-year warranty without paying very much more.

The Bottom Line Philips' new SlimStyle is a strong performer that offers a good deal of value in the 75W replacement class.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

8.0 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Value 8
  • Performance 8

Review Sections

The SlimStyle wing of the Philips family tree is getting a little bigger, with the addition of new 75W replacement versions of the flattened LED lights. Due on Home Depot shelves the final week of November, the new bulbs will retail for $13 each -- cheaper than any other big brand 75W replacement LED currently on the market.

With 1100 lumens to their name, the new SlimStyles offer the expected uptick in brightness over their 60W replacement predecessors , which put out 800 lumens each. They also offer improved dimming capabilities that won't flicker or buzz, and they boast a slight increase in efficiency, too.

Simply put, everything that was good about the original SlimStyle LED is good about these new ones, too -- along with some key improvements to the design. If you don't care about the extra brightness, the original is still the better value at $9, but among 75W replacements, the new SlimStyle looks like an awfully good deal.

Design

The whole point of the SlimStyle's funky, flat design is to distribute the light-emitting diodes along the perimeter of the bulb, away from its heat-generating base. This eliminates the need for bulky, aluminum heat sinks, which makes the plastic-bodied bulb cheaper to manufacture.

It also makes it incredibly lightweight, at least by LED standards. Like last year's SlimStyle, the 75W replacement variety weighs in at less than 3 ounces -- less than half the weight of the next lightest 75W replacement LED on the market.

The new 75W SlimStyle is a bigger version of last year's original SlimStyle LED. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The bulb is noticeably larger in size than last year's, though. This is pretty typical of 75W replacements (and even more so of 100W replacements); it shouldn't stop it from fitting into most lamps and fixtures, but be wary of any sconces or enclosures that are tight fits. Also increasingly typical: you'll be able to choose between the standard color temperature of 2,700 K, or a hotter, whiter version that sells at a slightly higher price.

Compared with those other 75W replacements, the SlimStyle is a pretty competitive bulb. Its stated brightness of 1100 lumens puts it right on par with a 75W incandescent, while the power draw of 13 watts makes it one of the most efficient bulbs in its class. With about 85 lumens per watt, it's a more efficient option than Cree , Sylvania, or Philips' own non-flattened 75W equivalent LED .

75W Replacement LEDs

Philips SlimStyle 75W Replacement LED Philips 75W Equivalent LED Cree 75W Replacement LED Sylvania 75W Replacement LED TCP 75W Replacement LED
Lumens (stated) 1137 (1100) 1047 (1180) 1069 (1100) 1130 (1100) 1149 (1100)
Watts 13 15 13.5 14 13
Efficiency (lumens / watts) 84.62 78.67 81.48 78.57 84.62
Estimated Yearly Cost $1.57 $1.81 $1.63 $1.69 $1.57
Color temperature (stated) 2,670K (2,700K) 2,586K (2,700K) 2,679K (2,700K) 2,548K (2,700K) 2,777K (2,700K)
Lifespan 25,000 hours 25,000 hours 25,000 hours 25,000 hours 25,000 hours
Color rendering score 80 79 80 80 80
Dimmable range 12.4 - 100% 1.1 - 100% 8.1 - 100% 14.9 - 100% 1.2 - 100%
Weight 2.85 ounces 8.35 ounces 5.85 ounces 8.80 ounces 6.90 ounces
Warranty 3 year 5 year 10 year 5 year 5 year
Price $13 $20 $15 $18 $25

That level of efficiency gives it a yearly operating cost of about a buck and a half at an average of three hours of use per day. That's an obvious improvement over a 75W incandescent, which'll cost you about nine dollars a year to run, but compared with an average 75W replacement CFL, which will add about $2.25 to your yearly energy bill, the savings are less significant. Upgrade from an incandescent, and the SlimStyle will pay for itself within two years. Upgrade from a CFL (compact fluorescent), and that number jumps up to well over a decade.

Something else to factor into the mathematics of long-term value is the bulb's warranty. Like the original SlimStyle, the 75W replacement version only offers three years of coverage. That's not terrible, but it's far less than you'll get with a bulb like the Cree 75W Replacement LED, which offers a 10-year warranty and costs just $2 more upfront.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

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