Philips AmbientLED 12.5 Watts LED Lightbulb (Product Review)


Photo: Michael Graham Richard

A Bulb from the Future! It Looks Like it Belongs on a Spaceship

The Philips AmbientLED 12.5-watt A19 LED lightbulb (quite a name!) is probably the favorite LED bulb that I've tried so far. It beats the competition when it comes to light output (800 lumens vs. 450-590 lumens for the other LEDs that I've tried), the design of the bulb is very innovative, and light quality is excellent. Read on for my full review and more technical specs on the Philips AmbientLED.


Photo: Michael Graham Richard

Technical Specifications for Philips AmbientLED Bulb

The Philips LED produces 800 lumens, which makes it a 60-watt incandescent equivalent . Its efficiency of 65 lumens per watt made it earn an Energy Star rating, and at 12.5 watts, it uses only about 20% of the energy of a 60-watt bulb. The socket is the A19 E26 standard.

The unit that I am reviewing is warm-white (2700K) and has a CRI of 80. Warranty is 6 years, and Philips rates it at 25,000 hours of operation (it should last for decades if you take good care of it).

And yes, it is dimmable!


Photo: Michael Graham Richard


Photo: Michael Graham Richard

As you can see on the photos, the bulb has a very original design. It's pretty small compared to other LEDs on the market (see the photos and link at the bottom of this review), which means that it will fit in more lamp fixtures. It looks great, like it belongs in a spaceship, but in a good way. It's also very omnidirectional, more like the GE LED bulb than the others that I've tried, which are a bit closer to spotlights than traditional incandescents.

When I first saw the Philips LED, I wasn't sure where the light was supposed to be coming from. But as you can see in one of the photos below, it comes from the yellow parts, but that doesn't make the light any more yellow than other "warm white" LED bulbs.


Photo: Michael Graham Richard

The way the top part of the bulb curves means that a fair bit of light is sent downwards. This is perfect for reading lamps.


Photo: Michael Graham Richard

This photo might make it look a bit dim, but that's probably caused by the camera. It's actually quite bright and the light quality is very good. If I don't tell people, they don't know it's a LED, and I could easily see myself using Philips AmbientLEDs as my main source of light without problem.

To me this really shows that LEDs are ready for prime-time, all that needs to be done is to reduce the price, and that will happen with economies of scale and as R&D; into new ways to make them pays off.


Photo: Michael Graham Richard

Here is the Philips LED in a reading lamp. As you can see, a large amount of light is sent downwards.


Photo: Michael Graham Richard

In action. Not that it should matter, but it looks very cool!


Photo: Michael Graham Richard

For comparison purposes, this last photo is of a 11W warm-white CFL. (I left the camera on the same manual settings and didn't adjust the colors in post-processing, but obviously the photos weren't taken at the same time and I didn't have a controlled angle, so the comparison isn't perfect by any means). It looks brighter than the Philips on this photo, but in person thats not the case.

Check out the official Philips site for the AmbientLED 12.5-watt bulb.

Price: A simple Google search revealed that the Philips AmbientLED lightbulbs are available at Home Depot for $40. They will no doubt come down in price over time, but $40 for a very energy-efficient lightbulb that contains no mercury and will probably last for decades isn't that much.

For reviews of other LED lightbulb models, see the links below:


Photo: Michael Graham Richard

See also: Philips AmbientLED 17 Watts LED Lightbulb (Product Review)

See also: GE 'Energy Smart' 9W LED Lightbulb (Product Review)

See also: Qnuru 6.4W and 9.2W LED Lightbulbs (Product Review)

See also: FIRST Green 'e-Watt Saver' 7W LED Lightbulb (Product Review)

If you like this article, you can follow me on Twitter (@Michael_GR) and Stumbleupon (THMike). Thanks.
Thanks to Philips for providing the review unit.

Tags: Energy Efficiency | LEDs | Lighting

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