GE Energy Smart LED Light Review
Our GE A19 9-watt Energy Smart LED light bulb review finds that although expensive, it is one of the best 40-watt equivalents on the market.
The GE A19 Energy Smart LED light bulb is a 9-watt bulb designed to replace a 40-watt incandescent bulb but with a much longer life, at least 17 years, according to GE. Available online now for $50 and coming to stores in January, the ultra-efficient 9-watt GE Energy Smart LED light bulb will provide a 77% savings in energy and last 25 times as long as its incandescent equivelent. If it is used for 3 hours per day, the company claims that the GE LED light bulb will last up to 26 years. So potentially this GE LED light bulb could be the first multi-generational GE LED light bulb, passed down from generation to generation.
Due to the congressional mandate to replace standard light bulbs with more efficient choices by 2014, manufacturers and retailers are providing consumers with halogen, CFL and LED light bulbs as alternatives. The company press release notes that consumers have been reluctant to move away from incandescent bulbs because of their light quality, and claims that the new A19 Energy Smart LED light bulb will resolve that issue. So is this 9-watt LED a smart consumer choice? Read our review below to find out how this led light bulb ranked.
Our review will discuss the 9-watt GE Energy Smart LED light bulb’s design, light quality, brightness, efficiency and durability. Points are assigned to each characteristic, and the summary of our findings will include a final rating and recommendation. For LED bulbs, our rating system uses the following weighting scale: Design (10 points), Light Quality and Details (25 points), Brightness and Dimming (25 points), Efficiency and Safety (15 points), Warranty and Durability (25 points).
Design (7 out of 10): GE has done a good job of making their A19 Energy Smart LED light bulb look more like the familiar incandescent bulbs we’ve all grown up with. The main difference is that the bulb is encased in a new white “dress,” kind of resembling a claw. Although not particularly attractive, this "dress" assists with even disbursement of light and the removal of heat that is necessary for the bulb’s long life. GE's 9-watt Energy Smart LED light bulb is the same color as the familiar incandescent and, unlike the Philips EnduraLED, it might not attract much attention from onlookers. Sometimes blending in is a good quality for a newcomer.
Light Quality and Details (22 of 25): With 3,000 kelvin output, the bulb provides a yellowish-white color output characteristic of most LED bulbs. GE calls this a “clean, bright color” but consumers will ultimately be the ones to determine its acceptability. The Energy Smart LED bulb is also being touted as the first omnidirectional LED product, since the unique design better directs light downward and in all directions, not just upward as most current LED bulbs do.
Brightness and Dimming (23 out of 25 points): GE's 9 watt A19 Energy Smart LED light bulb is equivalent to a 40-watt incandescent (450 lumens) but tests show it actually provides 471.6 lumens, so it’s a little brighter than the traditional 40-watt incandescent bulb. Based on Energy Star ratings, GE's 9-watt Energy Smart LED light bulb has one of the best light outputs in its category. The LED cannot be dimmed, but 40-watts is pretty dim to begin with.
Efficiency and Safety (15 out of 15 points): Using only 9 watts of power, the Energy Smart LED light bulb will reduce energy by 77% over an incandescent 40-watt bulb. It should be noted that according to Energy Star, GE's Energy Smart LED light bulb is rated to use only 8.1 watts, making it even more energy efficient than the company claims.
Regarding safety, the Energy Smart LED light bulb contains no mercury and is RoHS compliant. It is also cooler to the touch than both CFLs and incandescents. No more burnt fingertips, but then again, there’s little reason to touch the bulb when it lasts as long as this one.
Warranty and Durability (25 out of 25 points): The solid state design and lack of filaments make all LEDs longer lasting. With an expected 25,000-hour life span, if turned on for 4 hours per day GE's Energy Smart LED light bulb will last 17 years. This is 25 times the life span of a comparable incandescent, and triple the lifespan of a standard 8,000 hour CFL. GE provides an impressive 10-year warranty on the bulb, one of the highest you will find on the market.
Cost and Availability: GE's 9-watt Energy Smart LED light bulb is available online at a pretty high price tag of $50. This is more expensive than equivalent bulbs, but would still provide savings over an incandescent. Using estimated electricity costs, the yearly cost to run one incandescent 40-watt bulb would be $4.82 in comparison to $1.08 for this LED bulb.
Overall Rating and Summary: In total, we gave GE's 9-watt Energy Smart LED light bulb a 92 out of 100 possible points, scoring an outstanding A on our rating scale. This LED light bulb has a decent color and design resembling that of an incandescent, a great light output and brightness, excellent efficiency and outstanding warranty. At a price of $50 per LED bulb, the 9-watt Energy Smart LED light bulb may not be affordable to all but, for those who can afford it, this LED light bulb is one of the best 40-watt equivalents on the market.