Our Philips EnduraLED bulb review examines whether the LED bulb's performance and features overcome its terribly unattractive design
The Philips A19 Ambient dimmable LED Light Bulb, otherwise known as the EnduraLED has some unique qualities that really distinguish it from the other LED bulbs that we have reviewed. The following review is broken up into sections where we discuss the EnduraLED bulb's design, light quality, brightness, efficiency and durability. We assign points to each section, and at the end of the review, we summarize our findings and give 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).
In our detailed review of the Philips Endura LED dimmable bulb, we review its design, light quality, brightness, efficiency and durability.
Design (4 out of 10): The first and most obvious distinction of the Philips A19 EnduraLED bulb is its appearance, which one might describe as futuristic and high-tech, but let's be honest. This bulb is the Frankenstein of LED bulbs. I mean if it were a girl, she would most definitely not be the one you would be running home to show your family, that is unless they're the type of people who can overlook shrek's appearance, which let's be honest, few of us are.
Joking aside, appearance is a big concern of ours since as a replacement screw-in LED bulb, you may be tempted to put it in an area where the naked bulb is visible, such as in a dining room chandelier. Unfortunately, this bulb may need to be confined to areas that shield its visibility, lest your interior designer walk in and heaven forbid pass out because this bulb has ruined the room's feng shui.
We would have given the EnduraLED bulb a 1 out of 10 for design, but since the design's functional reasons include the creation of a wide diffusion angle (making the EnduraLED appropriate for use even in a desk lamp) and increased longevity by decreasing heat build-up, we pushed the design rating up to a 4 out of 10.
But a light is definitely more than just looks, so how does it perform?
Light Quality and Details (25 out of 25): The Philips EnduraLED bulb has a color rendering index rating of 80, which means the bulb allows you to accurately see colors and doesn't create color distortions despite the yellowish light output. The Philips EnduraLED bulb emits a fairly yellowish light (at 2,700 Kelvin to be precise), which does a decent job of approximating the light given off by a yellowish incandescent bulb.
Somewhat ironically, this may pose a problem for compact fluorescent (CFL) bulb users who may want to replace the CFLs with LED bulbs over time. Since the CFLs emit a very whitish light, the mixture of CFL and the EnduraLED would combine different color spectrums which would be hard for some people to deal with.
So it seems that if you want to slowly convert your house to LED, the EnduraLED bulb would be a good partial replacement solution in a room that currently uses all incandescent bulbs, but not in a room that uses compact fluorescents. (Of course, if you buy a whole bunch of these and replace all your lights with LEDs, you won't have to worry about this issue. But we're assuming most people aren't looking to turn ALL their bulbs into LEDs, since current pricing makes that prohibitive.)
Brightness and Dimming (23 out of 25): The Philips EnduraLED bulb is rated at a brightness of 800 lumens, which approximates the output of a standard 60-Watt incandescent bulb. Current owners report that the light output maintained its strength as advertised and that in terms of brightness the bulb is a drop-in replacement for a standard 60-Watt incandescent bulb.
The Philips EnduraLED also has a dimming capability, and dims to about 20% of full output when used with a dimmer. Dimmer compatibility also seems excellent, with both mechanical and electronic dimmers supported. However, since LED bulbs have generally had difficulty interfacing with various dimmers, we recommend that before using your dimmer with the Philips EnduraLED bulb, make sure to check with Philips or your dimmer manufacturer. In general, we would recommend using newer electronic dimmers over mechanical dimmers.
Efficiency and Safety (13 out of 15): At full brightness, the EnduraLED bulb draws just 12.5 Watts of power, producing the same light output as a standard 60-Watt incandescent while consuming one-fifth the amount of electricity. The EnduraLED's efficiency is also a significant improvement over a CFL with would consume approximately 22 watts of power to produce the same light output.
In terms of safety, the EnduraLED bulb contains no mercury, lead or heavy metals, so unlike CFL bulbs you won't need to bring out a hazmat team if you accidentally break the bulb on the floor. In addition, the EnduraLED bulb runs very cool, which reduces the possibility of accidental fires or burns resulting from objects or people coming in contact with the bulb. (My office chair still has horrific marks where it started to melt after getting too close to an incandescent bulb a few years ago. It may sound silly, but fires are a definite issue when dealing with incandescent bulbs.)
Warranty and Durability (18 out of 25): Philips officially rates the EnduraLED bulb at 25,000 hours of continuous use, which is approximately 3 years of constant use. So in a typical application where it is used for perhaps 8 hours per day, the EnduraLED bulb should last 9 years or so before it goes past its rated life expectancy. This longevity pales in comparison to comparable LED bulbs at a similar price range, which claim life expectancy ratings of 50,000 hours.
Unlike incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs, LED bulbs should last far past their life expectancy since the bulb is all solid-state electronics and doesn't depend on filaments or gases. Over time, a LED bulb will dim as the LED starts to slowly wear out, but the main reason for LED bulb failure is due to a failure in the bulb's electronics. If the electronics are of high-quality and the bulb is not paired with a low-quality dimmer switch, an average consumer can expect the bulb to last many years past the 3-year rated life expectancy.
Philips provides a 3-year limited warranty for the EnduraLED bulb, indicating that they are willing to stand behind their 25,000 hour bulb rating. This is an excellent policy, especially considering the fact that most manufacturers stand behind their products for a max of one year. The warranty should also help ease people's fears that the Philips EnduraLED bulb will become an expensive paperweight after only a few months.
Dimensions and Weight: EnduraLED Bulb diameter - 2.375 inches. Bulb Length - 4.06 inches. Bulb Base Type - Medium. Bulb weight - 0.075 lbs.
Cost and Availability: Pricing on the Philips EnduraLED varies, but at the time of writing we are seeing average prices just below $40, with free shipping available from some online stores. Depending on the amount of usage, a homeowner could expect to reach a break-even point on their investment in this light within one to three years. If your intended use for this Philips EnduraLED bulb is as a reading lamp, your payback period will be much longer.
Overall Rating and Summary: In total, this Philips EnduraLED bulb got a score of 83 out of 100 possible points, scoring a B on our rating scale. The Philips 12-Watt A19 EnduraLED Bulb has some standout features, such as its brightness, dimming feature and warranty. If you can find a fixture to hide its controversial appearance, we strongly recommend the Philips EnduraLED bulb, and we think that you'll be pleased with your purchase. However, if you find that its appearance is too strange, then you should pass on the Philips EnduraLED bulb and choose one of the other LED bulbs in our comprehensive LED bulb review series.