Samsung 13-Watt 900 Lumens LED Lightbulb Review

Samsung LED 13W
© Michael Graham Richard

Lighting of the Future

It might seem silly to some to be excited about lightbulbs, but I'm stoked about LED technology. Looking back, incandescent lightbulbs did the job, but they were better at producing heat than light, and wasted a tremendous amount of energy, especially in warm regions where they would heat up buildings and make A/C units work overtime. Compact fluorescents (CFLs) then had their moment to shine (literally), but while they're much more efficient and last longer than incandescents, they're also fragile and contain a bit of mercury. Definitely not the ideal mainstream light source...

© Michael Graham Richard

The future belongs to LED lights, at least until we invent something better. They're efficient, last almost forever, don't contain mercury, and each year new models with better light quality, lower prices, and higher lumens outputs have been coming out. We're rapidly approaching the magic tipping point when LED lightbulbs have the right combination of characteristics to go fully mainstream.

Plus, they look cool enough to belong on a spaceship. What more can you ask?

© Michael Graham Richard

Samsung 13-watt 900 Lumens LED

I got my hands on a Samsung 13-watt LED bulb, and while they officially refer to it as a 60-watt incandescent equivalent, at 900 lumens it produces a bit more light than most 60-watt incandescents, which are closer to 800 lumens. You can see all the specs straight from the box on the photos below:

© Michael Graham Richard

© Michael Graham Richard

My Thoughts on the Samsung LED 13W

An important note on the pictures in this post: I wish I was more knowledgeable when it comes to photography so I could have set a more objective series of tests with exact distances, better color calibration, test patterns backgrounds, etc. But unfortunately, I'm not quite that skilled yet, so the two pictures below where you see the bulb in action are just to give you an idea of performance. They aren't necessarily exactly what the human eye will perceive, and I don't think it's really possible to do that on the internet since even if I had very precisely calibrated equipment, if your computer monitor isn't calibrated, you won't see the same colors I'm seeing anyway.

© Michael Graham Richard

So with that out of the way, here's the Samsung LED in two different types of lamps. Notice how a lot of light is going downward; the curvature of the top part of the bulb definitely helps a lot with that, and compares well to other bulbs which are more like spotlights that send most of the light in one direction (the otherwise excellent Qnuru LEDs are like that).

© Michael Graham Richard

When handling the bulb, it feels well-made and solid. The white part on the top is plastic, so it should be better able to handle shocks than a glass bulb cover.

I've tried the bulb in various positions, including my office and multiple lamps in our living room, and it performed well in every situation. It's not powerful enough to light a big room alone, but that's just a function of its lumens output. I've tried it in combination with Philips LEDs, and to my eye the Samsung's light seemed more white while the Philips was more yellow. This is confirmed when looking at the specs of the bulbs, the Samsung I have is 3000K and the Philips is 2700K. That's something to keep in mind if you want to match different bulbs, and if you buy a Samsung 13W LED, make sure you look at the specs because I think some are rated at 2700K, not the 3000K that I have.

© Michael Graham Richard

The other Samsung LED lightbulb on the table is the 10-watt 550 lumens model. It's also good, but the design means that it doesn't quite emit light as omnidirectionally as the 13-watt 900 lumens model.

© Michael Graham Richard

If you want to buy it, Lowes carries it, among other places.

For some reason, it doesn't seem like it's on Samsung's website yet, but maybe by the time you read this it will be.

I'm not quite sure which LED is my current favorite. I still really like the Philips 12.5 watts LEDs, and the GE 9-watt LEDs do a great job too, especially if you want a very omnidirectional bulb. But I really like the quality of light of this Samsung. To my eyes, it might be a bit better than the Philips and GEs, though your mileage may vary.

See also:

Tags: LEDs | Lighting


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