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Osram Sylvania's 100 W-equivalent LED bulb may be pick of the bunch


May 11, 2012

Osram Sylvania has been in touch to tell us about its 100 W-replacement LED light bulb, jo...

Osram Sylvania has been in touch to tell us about its 100 W-replacement LED light bulb, joining its Sylvania Ultra series: a 20 W, 1600 lumen light bulb with a a warm color appearance of 2700 K - the most compelling spec we've seen

Following Gizmag's coverage of GE Lighting's 27 W Energy Smart and Switch Lighting's 100 W-replacement LED light bulbs, Osram Sylvania has been in touch to tell us about its 100 W-replacement LED light bulb, joining its Sylvania Ultra series: a 20 W, 1600 lumen light bulb with a warm, "incandescenty" color appearance of 2700 K. With Philips also to release a 100-W equivalent this means the big three manufacturers of light sources are joining Switch Lighting in offering high-output LED light bulbs for the home, but all things considered, Osram Sylvania's may prove the pick of the bunch.

Though the press release provided to us puts the Ultra's efficacy at 89 lm/W, the math suggests a 1600-lm light source running at 20 W has a slightly lower efficacy of 80 lm/W. Even so, that's right up there with Switch Lighting's latest figures (also 80 lm/W), and superior to GE's (60 lm/W).

The 20-W Ultra fares just as well on color appearance, out-warming both GE's (2870 K) and Switch's (4100 K) offerings with a remarkably toasty color of 2700 K. There's a fuller explanation of color appearance in our report on GE's announcement (linked above), but the upshot is that warmer colors, indicated by lower Kelvin values, tend to be preferable for home use.

We understand Philips is also to put a 100 W-replacement LED light bulb onto the market. Though we've yet to see word directly from source, industry insiders corroborate press coverage that Philips' 23-W AmbientLED emits an impressive 1700 lm, for an efficacy of 74 lm/W - very good for home light sources, but mid-table in respect of the direct competition of 100 W-replacement LED light bulbs. We have not yet seen color appearance figures for Philips' AmbientLED.

Like the competition, Osram Sylvania claims its LED light bulb boasts omni-directional output, though none of the manufacturers has produced data to quantify this to our knowledge (which it is possible to do).

On paper at least, Osram Sylvania's Ultra appears to have the strongest specification, matching or exceeding the best-performing competition in terms of efficacy and color appearance, (even if Philips' light bulb will emit the most light of all). But with prices for most of these light bulbs yet to be announced, the complete picture remains very far from clear.

We understand Osram Sylvania's 20 W Ultra should hit shelves between June and September this year.

About the Author
James Holloway James lives in East London where he punctuates endless tea drinking with freelance writing and meteorological angst. Unlocking Every Extend Extra Extreme’s “Master of Extreme” achievement was the fourth proudest moment of his life.   All articles by James Holloway

May I suggest that a "RF pollution" evaluation to be included in the next reviews of this kind of products.

The LED light bulbs include a switching power supply and some of them have bad filtering and make a lot of noise over several MHz of spectrum degrading (sometimes blocking) some communication services like MW/LW AM broadcasting, CB, Hamradio, ADSL, etc.

see some testing made by Thilo in Germany at:

Being "green" also includes avoiding this kind of pollution ...


Pedro Ribeiro
11th May, 2012 @ 07:06 am PDT

Completely agree with Pedro. There is so much rubbish in this very slowly developing, but up and coming category of energy savers.

Fahrenheit 451
11th May, 2012 @ 12:28 pm PDT

Interesting video Pedro, thanks!

Interesting James also about Osram Sylvania answer to the GE bulb.

Somewhat unfortunate that LEDs are being used to simply copy incandescents in fixed warm color temp etc

- rather than being developed (and awarded, subsidised etc) for their own advantages in adjustable color temps, and as RGB LEDs or as LED (OLED) sheets.

Never allow a simple regular incandescent bulb solution,

get in the way of a complex expensive copycat replacement!

11th May, 2012 @ 01:25 pm PDT

I would add that the supposed 25 year (and similar) LED lifespans are highly questionable for several reasons.

The lab-tested specs do not conform to real life use (http://ceolas.net/#li15ledax)

Also, because manufacturers gain little profit from long lifespans - on light bulbs as on other products.

General Electric, Philips and Osram/Sylvania already cooperated to fix regular incandescent lifespan at 1000 hours - and cooperated again to achieve the 2007 legislation banning these patent expired unprofitable light bulbs.

GE light bulb lifespan policies are specifically documented by Michael Leahy and Howard Brandston (the latter is the US Congress lighting consultant) in their 2011 e-book "I Light Bulb", there's a review on Dunday.com

11th May, 2012 @ 02:16 pm PDT


You radical, you just blew this piece of junk right out of the water. You know you are going to be hunted down and persecuted for showing the truth.

Thanks Pedro, good job. American companies can do better than this. Or maybe we should turn to China, India for innovative breakthroughs. And we wonder why we can't compete in the world market. How much you want to bet the cost will be somewhere between $15 and $25 per bulb. Pathetic...

Skip Michael
11th May, 2012 @ 03:24 pm PDT

1600 lumens is very bright from one bulb. The best CFL's I have seen are aroung 800 lumens.

The only interesting question is the price indeed.

Kris Lee
11th May, 2012 @ 04:56 pm PDT

And yet, my three old all LED lighting from lumiabulbs has paid for themselves, umm six months ago, payback was 2 and 1/2 years from energy savings

Bill Bennett
11th May, 2012 @ 11:05 pm PDT

The "warm" 2700K LED lamps produce a dingy yellowish light. Sunlight is at 6500K and most tungsten lamps are at 3400K so going down to 2700K is not going to produce a light that many people are going to enjoy using. This is going in completely the wrong direction with regard to SAD as well.

12th May, 2012 @ 02:32 pm PDT

Agree with Calson above ; it does seem odd that manufacturers of these devices seem to want to reproduce the colour characteristics of incandescent lamps, which resemble those of (rather dim) dim class M stars, rather than those of our Sun (G2V). People have, indeed, become accustomed to indoor lighting with such characteristics, given that bulbs with tungsten (wolfram) filaments were introduced over a century ago - but most of us still emerge from our artificially lighted rooms into the light of the sun from time to time...

14th May, 2012 @ 04:23 am PDT

Kelvin is one thing, the full color spectrum is another. Quality of light needs to take both into account.

Bruce H. Anderson
14th May, 2012 @ 09:56 am PDT

Excellent point, Pedro. We really need to see the RF emissions tested and discussed in releases like this because this problem isn't that obvious to most. And I've encountered this very problem in marine applications of LEDs. Luckily, the problem is fixable--the manufacturers just need to care.

25th May, 2012 @ 09:45 am PDT

Forget "warm white" - 2700K is too depressing. 4100K makes people look ill. Just give us 3500K for a nice pure white and be done with it.

Kimberly Lazarski
1st June, 2012 @ 09:07 am PDT

> The "warm" 2700K LED lamps produce a dingy yellowish light.

Agreed. Back when incandescent was the only option (unless you loved flicker) we put up with it because we /had/ to - or go with migraine-inducing 60Hz flicker from fluorescents.

But, since Fluourescent has matured (especially CFL) and now any decent ballast steps the frequency to as high as 10kHz, that drawback of CFL isn't gone. The only real problem they haven't fixed yet is poor performance once ambient temperature dips below 55º-60ºF, and absolutely abysmal performance below 40ºF.

> Sunlight is at 6500K and most tungsten lamps are at 3400K so going down to 2700K is not going to produce a light that many people are going to enjoy using. This is going in completely the wrong direction with regard to SAD as well.

Well, "daylight" is 6500K thanks to Raleigh scattering so most of "daylight" color cast comes from the blue sky. Sunlight itself is between 3500K and 4300K depending on the time of day and also humidity.

Kimberly Lazarski
1st June, 2012 @ 09:13 am PDT

The bulb actually has a CCT of 2700 degrees K, the accuracy of this CCT is not stated but many people like a CCT of 2700 K and it is driven by customer demand. The color rendering index (CRI) is not mentioned which would also be nice but I suspect it is 85 or better. There are LED bulbs available with higher CCT if you need them. Ultimately they

need to be affordable and then just like incandescents most people won't care about these details.

4th June, 2012 @ 08:57 pm PDT

Kimberly Lazarski claims of Fluorescent lights; "The only real problem they haven't fixed yet is poor performance once ambient temperature dips below 55º-60ºF, and absolutely abysmal performance below 40ºF." This is preposterous, the list of problems with CFLs is large:

1. Easily broken.

2. Mercury is both a hazard when accidental breaking one at home or released when breaking in the land fill. Of course people are supposed to dispose of them safely but not everyone does.

3. Inconvenience and fuel waste to take the bulb to the proper disposal area.

4. Perhaps it should be #1. but I have it at 4: They do not handle being turned on and off frequently. The degradation in its life is dramatic making it last no longer than an ordinary incandescent. This means a lot of them in the landfill.

5. Very few dim, and those that do are expensive.

6. They really are not very efficient and as the technology is matured don't expect any dramatic improvements. LEDs on the other hand are newly developing and potentially can do much better when further developed.

7. The broken glass can cut and stay in the carpet for a while randomly cutting people.

8. Much of the light made gets reflected back to itself as the bulbs are bent in a swirl.

9. Bright ones are big and don't fit in fixtures.

10. Just plain ugly

11. If the coating in the bulb is damaged or poorly deposited dangerous ultraviolet light escapes.

12. Many have delays while being turned on. And even though buy one that doesn't, companies sell identical bulbs later in the same packaging that do. I know, I was duped.

13. Even if the color temperature is ok it is very uneven in light frequencies output. This makes things look bad especially faces.

14. They still get warm enough to burn fingers.

15. With the various hazards they represent would you trust a young child with one? Well, lamps are still plugged into wall sockets? Couldn't they l them down and break them?

16. Clearly not viable in flashlights.

17. Can't change color of light made

18. Most people who are environmentally conscious at all have not thrown the dead bulbs away and have a basket of them somewhere waiting for enough of them to accumulate as to justify making the trip to the recycler/appropriate disposal site. Those bulbs can be damaged by something falling on them or children playing with them, even pets knocking then down.

19. None really small enough for use in chandlers (they may "fit" but look bigger and ugly) and none of the small ones are dimmable, but most chandlers are on dimmers.

20. They are twisting into the sockets by grabbing the bulb itself and that twisting force is transmitted to where the bulb emerges from its base often easily breaking it.

Granted, many of the LED lights do not avoid all of these deficits. However, none of these drawbacks are inherently impossible to avoid.

5th June, 2012 @ 03:38 pm PDT

I have one of these in my reading lamp, and I love it. I paid for it, but it is a lamp that stays on many hours per day. I will be buying more of them. I have led's that are over four years old at this point, and they are still going strong, and since they are so cheap to run, I never bother turning them off.

Milton Findley
12th April, 2013 @ 10:02 am PDT

Led's are the future of lighting Kelvin, CRI, and any other problems will be overcome simply because nothing is in the pipeline as efficient and Cfl's just suck. I purchased counter top Led fixtures for $5.00 apiece 6 years ago at the supply house as closeout items because they wouldn't sell at the then ridiculous prices. They have been burning continuously since and except for 1 dead Led in the 30 Led fixtures are continuing to burn with very little degradation in output. If they will ever stop adding 50% to the prices because it says LED on the box the public will buy and learn to love them. As Mr. Findley stated, I rarely turn them off. The life of a Fluorescent can be measured in on/off cycles with the new "electronic ballasts" exhibiting shorter life times than the old magnetic ballasts. I know as I service approx. 3000 2'X'4 commercial fixtures and have noticed very little improvement in fluorescent technology even with attempts to render them competitive with Leds a new tech that has just begun to be developed. OLED panels would save commercial buildings a fortune in energy cost.

3rd December, 2013 @ 09:49 am PST

Like Pedro Ribeiro, I'm concerned with the wide variety and quality of rectifiers and electronics, which seem to me suspect to more failures than the actual LED junctions (except where they allow conditions that damage the LED junctions first). To me, I'd rather have a local DC source from the types of solar regulators and charging circuits that seem so much better in avoiding battery damage, etc. I'd explore a better local dc based home wiring system, with conversion to AC only where you need it to use existing appliances, and even then use the various voltages (24 is common) and frequencies like military 400Hz systems instead of 50/60 Hz.

If we come up with new standard wiring systems (starting with RVs maybe), can we get rid of that socket based on the old kerosene lamp fuel cans?

25th April, 2014 @ 11:37 am PDT
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