Feit Electric High Performance A19 LED Light Bulb Review: Not the Brightest Bulb in the Socket
Our comprehensive LED light bulb review of the Feit Electric 6.5-watt (40 Watt or 60 Watt Equivalent) A19/HP/LED 5-LED High Performance A19 LED Light Bulb
In the past ten years, light bulb shopping has gone from a mundane task to a taxing moral decision. The government now passes legislation on light bulbs, LED Christmas lights save energy but blind to neighbors, and CFLs have no safe method of disposal due to their mercury content. What would Tom Edison say if he saw this ruckus?
Luckily, he can’t see it. Instead, we’ll try to lift your light bulb moral burden as we continue our series on LED home lighting.
Today’s review breaks down the design of the “Feit Electric A19/HP/LED 5-LED High Performance A19 Bulb, 6.5-watt” into five components: Design (10 possible points), Light Quality and Details (25), Brightness and Dimming (25), Efficiency and Safety (15), Warranty and Durability (25). We assign points to each section, and at the end of the review, summarize our findings and provide a final rating (out of 100) and recommendation.
Design (8 out of 10):
The Feit A19/HP/LED 5-LED High Performance is definitely recognizable as a light bulb, which is more than we can saw about some other LEDs. Its top half resembles a standard incandescent, while the bottom half has a futurism-meets-1980s-linear-wood-paneling feel to it.
However out of this decade the bottom half of the bulb might be, it probably is functionally irrelevant. The bulbous top half gives this bulb a fairly diffuse light range, which extends a little over 180 degrees. This compares to many other home performance LEDs. Incandescent lights have a wider range of projected light, which means lighting a room with LEDs after it had been lit with incandescents could require several bulbs. Almost every LED presents this problem, so we did took that into account and gave the Feit A19/HP/LED a score of 8 out of 10 on design.
Light Quality and Details (25 out of 25):
Most purchasers of LEDs are looking for one very hard to find quality in an LED bulb: the degree to which it looks like an incandescent. The warm, yellowish color of childhood incandescent elude both the manufacturer and the purchaser, as few CFL or LED makers have managed to replicate the warm color that many of us nostalgically seek.
The Feit Electric A19/HP/LED gets pretty close. Temperature determines light color, and the typical incandescent bulb rings in between 2700 and 3000 Kelvin. Feit’s A19/HP/LED 5-LED bulb burns at a temperature of 3000 Kelvin, which should be encouraging to the consumer reminiscent for an incandescent color. The bulb emits a “soft white” light that borders on a yellowish hue, and is quite nice in a home setting. Like other LEDs, the bulb lights immediately, so it is unaffected by rapid on/off switching. Feit’s bulb also resembles other LEDs in that it does not “strobe” like CFLs, which saves us all headaches.
All in all, the quality of light in this bulb is excellent. We would recommend it to anyone seeking to fill the incandescent void in their home. However, the brightness of the bulb might be something you also would like to consider. . .
Brightness and Dimming (15 out of 25):
Our main beef with Feit’s A19/HP/LED bulb is the brightness. It just does not cut it if you are buying this bulb to light a large space. Feit advertises that the bulb is suitable “for both distance and close-range directional light.” They have not yet sold on this statement.
The bulb emits somewhere around 360 lumens (Feit claims 360, but other sellers cite numbers between 325 and 360). The average light of a 60-watt incandescent bulb is about 800-840 lumens, while the average 40-watt bulb light is measured between 400 and 460 lumens. Feit does not include the incandescent “watt equivalent” of this bulb in their product catalog, but it is advertised elsewhere as 60-watt and as 40-watt. 360 lumens is less than half as bright as a 60-watt, so do not buy this bulb if you need a very bright light source. This less-bright bulb would work much better as a desk lamp bulb or lighting for a small room. Keep in mind, it also does not have dimming capabilities.
Efficiency and Safety (15 out of 15):
LEDs beat incandescent and CFLs hands-down in safety. This bulb retains heat well, so while a little warm to the touch, it is not hot and therefore safe around children. Retention of heat makes this bulb 90% more efficient than standard incandescent (it only uses 6.5 watts to power itself) and 25% more efficient than CFLs, which merits a great rating, in our books.
In addition, the Feit A19/HD/LED radiates no UV emissions and is both mercury- and lead-free. This bulb is safer and more efficient than almost any non-LED alternative, but ranks right in line with the rest of the LEDs we have reviewed in this series.
Warranty and Durability (17 out of 25):
Feit claims this bulb will last for 30,000 hours, which sounds great—and is great, too, if that promise holds up. We are a bit skeptical of this claim because of Feit’s two-year warranty (which pales in comparison to Pharox’s 5-year warranty on its bulbs). Two years a light bulb running 24 hours a day comes to 17, 520 hours—roughly half of Feit’s warranty. If Feit backed up their durability claims with an equally impressive warranty, we might be more inclined to believe them,
However, this bulb will still last longer than an incandescent or a CFL. It is vibration-resistant and, let’s face it, simply looks pretty durable with its ridged metal base. We give it a 17 out of 25.
Dimensions and Weight: Bulb diameter – 2.25 inches Bulb Length – 4.34”; Bulb Base Type – Standard screw base.
Cost and Availability: The Feit A19/HD/LED is available from Amazon for $29.99, a little less if used. Other websites like Attic Trunk spot the price a little lower ($23.00), while Lowe’s sells the bulb for $18.98. In comparison to other LEDs, this price is quite reasonable, but still dwarfs the price of incandescent and CFLs. The bulb is an investment, one that not everyone has the means to make quite yet. We are encouraged by the lower retail sale of the bulb, however, and hope that Lowe’s price indicates an imminent downward turn of LED bulb prices.
Overall Rating and Summary (80/100):
Overall, the Feit Electric A19/HP/LED 5-LED High Performance A19 Bulb, 6.5-Watt scores a 80/100, or a B- on our ratings scale.
On the positive side, this bulb emits a beautiful color of light—a “soft white” that borders on the yellowish hue of incandescent bulbs. This LED is very efficient and free of unsafe chemicals, and it does not strobe in the headache-inducing manner of some bulbs. It should be very durable, lasting longer than the average CFL or incandescent, and the price is significantly cheaper than other LED home bulbs.
However, the price is still several times the cost of a CFL. While Feit does provide a warranty, it does not cover Feit’s suggested lifetime of the bulb, which might give some consumers pause. The main negative aspect of this bulb is the brightness. At 360 lumens, it does not quite reach the brightness of a 40-Watt incandescent bulb. That just is not very bright.
If you are looking for a bulb for a desk lamp or a small room, this bulb might be perfect for you—if we ranked this bulb for desk lamp use only, the score would go up to 90/100 right away. So keep in mind your intended use, and check out this LED Light bulb if you are looking for something a little less strong this year.