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CNET First Look
Philips' newest LED sticks with a slimmed down designAt $13, the flat-topped Philips SlimStyle BR30 LED is one of the most affordable LED floodlights on the market -- but how'd it do in our tests?
Cnet, I'm Ry Crist. You might remember Phillips SlimStyle LED with the flat style design and a unique bulb shape. Well Phillips actually has a new bulb coming out this month that's taking the same approach. The Phillips SlimStyle BR30 is going to work as a flood light to cast light in one direction. As opposed to the omnidirectional light you get from the original SlimStyle. This is going to be good for recessed lighting, overhead lighting, things like that. The slim style BR30 LED uses nine and a half watts of power to putt out 650 lumens of light. Now in our tests we found it was a little less that 650. Close but not quite. So kind of on the inefficient side. It's about 68 lumens per watt, maybe a little less if our readings our correct but still 68's not bad and this bulb does fine. It's gonna save you money compared to an incandescent BR30. Or even a CSL BR30. However, just like the original slim style LED, we found that this bulb buzzes and flickers quite a bit when you use it with dimming set ups. Take a look at what I'm talking about right here. We've got a dimming set up using a dimmer switch that's designed especially for LEDs. Even there, you can notice some flicker with the BR30, and if I hold my microphone up to it, you'll hear a little bit of buzz too. Now watch what happens when I switch over to this rotary dial dimmer switch from about ten years ago. This model was designed for incandescence only and, it works with the slim style, but the flicker gets really bad. Even worse than before. Almost looks like a strobe light. In the end though, it might just come down to the price. The Philips Loose Style BR30 only costs $13. And that's a lot less than you'll pay for other comparable BR30 LEDs from brands like Cree and GE. So if you're looking for a good value that's gonna cost a little less, and you're not using it with a dimmer switch, I think this could be a good bulb. For CNet, I'm Ry Crist.