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LED Filament Bulbs Heating Up

A new design of LED bulb has been showing up in Europe and may be appealing to customers in the USA, where we still think (mostly) fondly of the traditional incandescent lamps. The often-maligned fluorescent "curly" bulbs are generally considered to be a sort of stop gap until we find something better such as LEDs, or other kinds of photo-luminescent lighting.

The new lamps differ from most consumer LED bulbs in that they look like an incandescent lamp - they appear to have glowing filaments, and no obvious, clunky heat sink like most LED devices. They are more efficient than the other LED lamps, and so far are as reliable - although a bit more expensive at this time (on an already comparatively expensive product).
The LED filament bulbs were as efficient as the European Commission projected for the industry in 2018. Cost of the filament bulbs just about on par for the 2014 predictions, at about slightly more than 15 euro per 500 lumens. Overall, the LED Filament bulbs were 40% more efficient and 20% more costly than the conventional LED bulbs included in this study.

Testing the light characteristics such as color rendering index showed that the LED filament bulbs had high light quality (> 80 CRI) that overall didn’t seem any better or worse than the conventional LED bulbs included in the study. Long-term durability testing is ongoing, with a followup report for lumen maintenance after 6,000 hours due in May.

Initial results were encouraging. Though a few bulbs failed in the initial 200 hour "burn in" period due to manufacturing flaws or physical damage (well within the warranty period), initial results show that the LED filament bulbs have been faring well so far.


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