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Old 04-13-2013, 03:56 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 73
Default LED Light Bulb Study

I know this has been discussed in the past, but I was asked to review several LED bulb samples from an eBay vendor that I had purchased my original LED bulbs from and I figured I would share my findings here as well.

They 6 different bulbs from 2 different suppliers to review. They were as follows:

18 5050SMD 3000K
30 3030SMD 3500K
18 5050SMD 4500K
30 3030SMD 4500K
18 5050SMD 6000K
30 3030SMD 6000K

I bought a cheap automotive bulb mount and made a bulb jig to take some pictures. The photos were taken with my Sony A77 and Minolta 50mm f/1.7 lens at f/2.5, 1/80 sec, and 100 ISO. The white balance was set at 5500K B3 M1.

I used the original incandescent bulb as the starting point, and then took photos of each bulb in the order listed above.

Here are the side-by-side comparisons:

Some observations:

(1) The 30SMD 3500K most closely resembled the original incandescent.

(2) When comparing identical color intensity in on the 18 and 30SMD bulbs, the 30SMDs are slightly warmer than their 18 SMD counterpart. While it is barely noticeable on the 4500K bulbs, it is a little more noticeable with the 6000K bulbs.

(3) When comparing the light output of the 18 and 30SMD bulbs, the light intensity was remarkably similar. The 18SMDs were a little brighter, but only by the smallest of margins.

(4) When installed in my travel trailer light fixture, the 30SMD bulbs acted more like the original incandescent it replaced. While slightly lower in overall output, the 30SMD array made better use of the fixtures reflector and gave a more even, pleasing light.

(5) The 30SMD 3500K the closest to match the original incandescent in terms of color and light output.

Unfortunately, this vendor didn't have any of these varieties in a T10 base yet. If they had, I would have most likely chosen the 30SMD 3500K bulbs instead of the 18SMD 6000K bulbs I bought. Heck - even the 4500K bulbs are pretty acceptable, but the 6000K bulbs are too blue for my liking.

As mentioned in an earlier post, I used some Lee Lighting Gels to wrap the 18SMD 6000K bulbs to correct the color. I performed the same tests with the following configurations:

18 5050SMD 6000K
18 5050SMD 6000K with Lee Filter 624
18 5050SMD 6000K with Lee Filter 622

Here are the results:

The color correction to incandescent is pretty darn good with both filters! Unfortunately they do knock the light output down a bit more than the 30SMD 3500K equivalent, but only by a very small amount. It certainly not enough to keep me from using them or for me to drop more money in 3500K bulbs if the become available.

I guess that's it for now.


Ed Venture is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2013, 01:20 PM   #2
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Idaho
Posts: 87

THX Ed, this was interesting. I sure wish the LED sellers would give lumens rating for the bulbs they sell, like we can now find for residential LED conversion bulbs. That would help.

I converted most of our ceiling fixtures with 36 diode 'cards' that plug into the 921 base. All the diodes then are pointing downward at least, maximizing their contribution. The K is a bit more white than the incandescent 921s, and not quite as many lumens, but they function well enough for cabin light. I keep looking for 'more' light in the LEDs, but these small bulbs just don't quite make it yet it seems.

Fred n' Jeri

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fischnet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2013, 11:40 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Southern California
Posts: 206
Default LEDs

I agree with fischnet. I have searched high and low for LED light bulb replacement for ceiling lights only to find less lumens and colors that are still not good. I bought a couple of different card-type at the Main Event in Quartzsite in January. You would think that if there were LEDs to be had, they would be at Quartzsite!

Ed Venture-thanks for all the work. Your photos really bring home the color variations among the different K quantities.

Someone please post when you find an LED that is as bright or brighter than the incandescent with approximately the same warm color.
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Old 06-10-2013, 01:04 PM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 73

Just a FYI:

The company I bought and then tested the LED for gave me a coupon code to post here for anyone interested in buying LED bulbs. Here is the info:

Discount Code: 10%discount4RV

This will give you 10% off your purchase. It's not much, but every bit helps! They also stock a variety of solar panels and solar charging regulators.

Ed Venture is offline   Reply With Quote

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