FZLed PAR38 22-Watt LED Spotlight (Product Review)


Photo: Michael Graham Richard

The Future of Lighting, Today

For technical reasons previously mentioned (Haitz's Law), LED technology is extremely likely to become the dominant lighting technology over the next few years. But like all still-maturing technologies, there is a great variety of approaches being tried to figure out what works best. LED light-bulbs can be found in all shapes and sizes as manufacturers try various tricks to improve light difusion, color quality, heat dissipation, etc. For the past few weeks I've had a chance to test a pair of LED spotlight bulbs by Taiwanese manufacturer FZLed, here's my review (for more reviews, see links at the bottom of this post).


Photo: Michael Graham Richard

FZLed PAR38 LED Spotlight Specifications
First, some specifications. Power is 21 or 22 watts (it says 21-watt on the box but 22-watt on the website.. I have a feeling it falls in between and they're rounding it up differently). They use individual LEDs made by Cree (one model has LEDs made by Samsung), and only one of the two models I have is dimmable (see here at the bottom of the page for the different models). The lens that covers the top of the bulb can either be transparent or frosted.


Photo: Michael Graham Richard

They are E26 / E27 socket compatible, and the ones I have are warm white and cool white. They are interior light, it is not recommended to use them outside (which is too bad because they would make great motion detector spotlights).


Photo: Michael Graham Richard

In term of lumens, the warm white produces 1300lm ±10% while the cool white one produces 1500lm ±10%. I've never seen an LED brighter than those! They truly are spotlights, and before buying them, make sure that you need that much light pointed at something (for small rooms, I recommend getting one of the less powerful models).


Photo: Michael Graham Richard

One important thing to note on the box above is the size of the spotlights. They are quite big because of the heatsink (LEDs don't produce that much heat compared to even the least powerful incandescent bulbs, but they are more sensitive to heat).

For you American readers, 16cm x 12.5cm is 6.3 inches x 4.92 inches.


Photo: Michael Graham Richard

My Review
Here comes the more subjective part of the review: my impressions on the light quality, bulb design, etc.

First, for comparison purposes, above is a photo of a 60w incandescent bulb (I didn't have a 100w, sorry). Not that the ceiling above is white.

In all these photos I've kept the camera settings the same and didn't post-process the photos, but I'm still not set up for extremely rigorous control of variables when taking the photos, so keep that in mind.


Photo: Michael Graham Richard

This one above is a 23w cool white CFL.


Photo: Michael Graham Richard

This if the FZLed PAR38 warm white.


Photo: Michael Graham Richard


Photo: Michael Graham Richard

And here's the FZLed PAR38 cool white.

Overall, I've got to say that I'm quite pleased with the light quality. I've had the chance to try many different bulbs that use Cree LEDs, and so far they've all been quite good and useable in every-day life. The FZLed PAR38 LED spotlight is no exception on the color quality and brightness front. The main problem for me is that I don't have any light fixtures where they would fit.

That's my main advice to you if you are thinking about buying these: Make sure you have a big room that needs lots of light pointed at something, and make sure you have big ceiling cans or directional fixtures that can accomodate the size of these LED spotlights.

FZLed also makes smaller and less powerful models, so if you really want one, chances are you can find something that fits your needs.

As for the design of the bulb itself, it's pretty functional yet cool looking. The big heatsink surrounds the LEDs and provides a lot of surface area to dissipate heat, but it's mostly covered by white plastic that protects the heatsink and protects errand fingers from the heat. I suspect that over time these types of bulbs will become smaller and smaller, probably because of the use of liquid cooling and ever more efficient LEDs. But right now, this is pretty state of the art!


Photo: Michael Graham Richard

Here they are again, pointed at some white doors to better show how directinal and powerful the LED spotlights are. This one is the warm white.

Note that on photos the cool white looks much more natural than the warm white, but most people seem to be used to the yellow-ish tint of incandescents, and once your eyes are used to it, it looks fine. It's up to you, just don't mix and match both kinds in the same room if you don't want your brain to constantly be adjusting...


Photo: Michael Graham Richard

And this is the cool white LED.


Photo: Michael Graham Richard

See also: Haitz's Law: Moore's Law for LED Lightbulbs

More LED Light-Bulb Reviews
Philips AmbientLED 17 Watts LED Lightbulb (Product Review)
GE 'Energy Smart' 9W LED Lightbulb (Product Review)
Qnuru 6.4W and 9.2W LED Lightbulbs (Product Review)
FIRST Green 'e-Watt Saver' 7W LED Lightbulb (Product Review)
Philips AmbientLED 12.5 Watts LED Lightbulb (Product Review)
Thanks to Cree and FZLed for the review units.

Tags: Energy Efficiency | LEDs | Lighting

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