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    Hands on with Philips’ New Ambient LED Spotlight

    Recently Philips rolled out their own line of Ambient LED indoor lighting. These bulbs are screw in lamps are for indoor use, intended to replace less energy efficient incandescents and CFLs. Despite a poor kelvin rating of 4,000K I went ahead and picked one up to test over the glassbox–In some cases warm toned lights […]

    Philips-Ambient-LED-PAR-30-Flood

    Recently Philips rolled out their own line of Ambient LED indoor lighting. These bulbs are screw in lamps are for indoor use, intended to replace less energy efficient incandescents and CFLs. Despite a poor kelvin rating of 4,000K I went ahead and picked one up to test over the glassbox–In some cases warm toned lights (low kelvin) can provide a much needed pop to reds and yellows under blue dominated light.

    Although the LED Spotlight I picked up does have the potential to be used on reef aquariums, refugiums, or better yet–planted freshwater aquariums,  it is not intended to. So why did I potentially waste my time and money? I was more interested to see how Philips, a mass market electronic manufacturer was implementing LEDs into their product lines. You can now find the Philips Ambient LED light bulb like ranging from tiny MR16s to monstrous PAR38s at  Philips retailers (read: big box stores) around the U.S..

    Philips-LED-Spotlight

    Philips-MASTER-LEDI went with the 4,000K Par30 model that retails for just over $50. This LED light bulb is rated for 25,000 hours (just shy of 6 years @ 10hrs/ day) and uses just 11w of electricity. Philips states it is a replacement for 50w halogen PAR style lamps. 11 watts sounds great, but LED technology is not that far ahead. It is still just 11w, keep this in mind when looking at any LED type lighting.

    Costs aside, this lamp is a testament to the viability of LED technology. Philips has done a terrific job with their new line of lights–my favorite design being the stylish “incandescent” master light LED bulb that made headlines over the past few months.

    Philips-PAR-30-LED

    Like most LED spotlights, the heatsink is incorporated into the lamp body. Philips opted for an aluminum heatsink that is painted a gunmetal color–which blends in well with most light fixtures and is easy on the eyes. Not surprising from a large company like Philips–this lamp is the most solid of any LED spotlight I’ve felt. The internal circuitry is extremely well done with no rattling or hollow feel to the body. Unfortunately there is no way to open the light up without causing damage, but it feels like the internals (sans the LEDs themselves) are encapsulated in epoxy. As LEDs come down in price, I would not be surprised to DIYers swapping out the LEDs  and lenses of these lamps for a more reef-friendly spectrum.

    Philips-LED-Light-bulb

    Over the tank the warm yellow light will add glitter lines, but when mixed with 20Ks it created a sepia-like tone that did not pop colors as well as less expensive lights such as CFLs, halogens, or similar red led spotlights. Yes, the lights do last over 6 years, but with the reef equipment ADD I have, to truly believe that it will be in use over an aquarium 6 years from now is ludicrous.

    The effect on the display was not bad, but it did not contribute enough to justify the $50 cost. For those with refugia displays or planted tanks, the simplicity and availability of this light drastically changes the scenario. This LED lamp has been relegated from the aquarium to illuminating the front hall of a Chicago condo. While it wont be making its way into a formal review, keep an eye out for some LED reviews in the near future–including the NanoCustoms PAR38 LED Spotlight.

    If you’re feeling spendy and would like to “go green” the Philips Ambient LED light bulbs are a unique alternative for your home… and for specialty aquarium applications. It is certainly not going to be a standard reef light, but it keeps us hopeful of what the future will bring.

    Phillips-LED-Spread

    9 Comments

    1. December 2, 2009 at 1:40 PM | Permalink

      Cool ideas there. Swapping out the LEDs for reef ones is a pretty neat idea.

      Also, the less heat shooting into my sump the better, so I could see using one of these LEDs in my sump as a replacement for my flourescent bulb.

    2. Brandon
      December 2, 2009 at 3:14 PM | Permalink

      I saw these guys the other day at Home Depot. I was wondering how they would look over a reef though.

    3. Joe
      December 3, 2009 at 6:02 AM | Permalink

      For home use are they as bright as the halogen in your hallway. I saw them at homedepot and was wondering if they are bight enough.

    4. ZiyaadB
      December 4, 2009 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

      This would be AWESOME for an algae scrubber

    5. CJ Vander
      December 23, 2009 at 5:59 PM | Permalink

      These are really nice… Does any one know of the cheapest place to buy these at? The best prices I have found on all these are from http://www.lightbulbsusa.net/searchResults.aspx?tSearch=ambientLED

    6. guest
      September 27, 2010 at 9:23 PM | Permalink

      “Although the LED Spotlight I picked up does have the potential to be used on reef aquariums, refugiums, or better yet–planted freshwater aquariums, it is not intended to.” —Why?? it would work though correct? at about a quarter of the cost of the led that are “intended to” go with tanks

    7. Anonymous
      March 17, 2011 at 4:33 PM | Permalink

      I am not a technical person, but does this philips LED bulb have red leds in it? I am confused by the reviewer’s comment:
      “Despite a poor kelvin rating of 4,000K I went ahead and picked one up to test over the glassbox–In some cases warm toned lights (low kelvin) can provide a much needed pop to reds and yellows under blue dominated light.”

    8. June 15, 2011 at 4:41 AM | Permalink

      Hello,
      This one is very nice information of LED light technology.I like this fantastic LED lights.Led spot lights make the place very shining and charming and also it can save the lot of the electricity…….:) 

      LED Grow Lights

    9. Anonymous
      July 1, 2011 at 2:07 PM | Permalink

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