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Philips LED is first 100-watt replacement to earn Energy Star

Philips LED is first 100-watt replacement to earn Energy Star

An LED that replaces 100-watt incandescent lightbulbs is the first of that type to earn Energy Star status. Philips announced that its 22-watt LED is the first 100-watt replacement to meet Energy Star’s tough requirements of reducing energy consumption by 75 percent and lasting at least six times longer than an incandescent. (The Philips has a claimed life of 25 times longer.) Consumer Reports hasn’t tested this particular LED but it has tested scores of lightbulbs to replace 100-watt, 75-watt, 60-watt and 40-watt incandescents, which are being phased out.

Consumer Reports has traditionally tested lightbulbs but we began testing them in earnest after the passage of the Energy Independence and Security Act six years ago, which required most screw-in lightbulbs to use at least 27 percent less energy by 2014. LEDs, CFLs and some halogen bulbs, a type of incandescent, meet that requirement. Standard incandescents do not. As of Jan. 1 2012, 100-watt bulbs were no longer being made or imported. The 75-watt incandescent bulb goes away this year, and beginning next January it’s lights out for 60-watt and 40-watt bulbs.

Energy Star status makes a lightbulb eligible for utility rebates in some areas, which can offset the cost. Fortunately, the price of LEDs has been dropping fast. Recently we’ve seen some selling for as low as $10 or $15 compared to prices of $50 and up just a few years ago.

In our lightbulb tests, we’ve found some praiseworthy replacements, including many for 60-watt incandescents, the most commonly used bulb. Our five top picks include two LEDs and three CFLs. The LEDs include the dimmable EcoSmart A19 60W bright white 400674 from Home Depot, $14, and the Philips AmbientLED 12.5W 12E26A60 60W 409904, $25. Both were excellent in our tests for brightness, rapid cycling, warm-up time and light distribution. The three CFLs from GE, EcoSmart and Feit Electric range in price from $1.50 to $10 and were also excellent on the brightness test. CFLs do not warm up as fast as LEDs so the bulbs scored lower on that measure.

Our tests of replacement bulbs for 100-watt incandescents include five CFLs and one halogen lightbulb and we plan to test more LEDs as they come on the market. In addition to lightbulbs for indoor fixtures, we also test replacement outdoor flood/reflector and porch/post lightbulbs. For more information on replacement lightbulbs check our lightbulb buying advice.

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