PAR30 5mm LED Replacement Lamp Test

Posted: December 27, 2008 in Reviewed - Poor Performers
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This test was accomplished using a Testo 540 light meter, under continuous operation. The lamp is a Lights of America model number 2004LEDDL-35K-24 purchased at Walmart for $16, using a cluster of 60 5mm LEDs on a plastic enclosure with an Edison socket. The approximate scale of the product is a long R20 lamp configuration – although the length to the illuminated tip of the lamp is far too long resulting in a portion of the lighted elements projecting from the trim of a regular downlight. The initial light output at the beam center is approximately equal to a 45W R20 Flood lamp at 549 candelas. However, this drops off very quickly, and the beam pattern is not smooth, nor as wide as the R20 lamp.

Light output was measured every 24 hours, until it reached 50% of initial light output. This was used to project  remaining lumen depreciation to end of service life (no usable light).

The actual measured load on a 121.3V wall socket measured 65mA, as labeled. The load totals 121.3 x .065A = 7.88W load, which is more than double the 3.5W on the lamp label.

The lamp lumen depreciation and estimated life at L50 (50% of initial light) is show in the chart below in blue. The reference line is for a source rated at 30,000 hours, which the packaging for the lamp stated, using L50. Even if the life rating on the package were to lamp failure, it appears that light output will have degraded so much that its remaining illuminated for that period of time is irrelevant.


The lumen output as measured (blue line) vs. a projected lumen depreciation for a source rated at 30,000 hours (red line) to 50% of initial light output. The black line indicates the point where measured illumination was 50% of initial (actual), with remaining life projected.

This lamp exhibits greater than the expected severe and rapid light loss that low end 5mm LEDs produce. In fact, light output was so noticable that it was actually visible in the test space each day. This lamp also exhibits a very blue color, regardless of its “Warm White Light” label, and very poor color performance, rendering all colors with a blue cast, and essentially obliterating red samples – indicating the CRI is well below 60 (unverified observation). The apparent color of the test lamp was closer to 4,700k, not anywhere near the “35K” the lamp part number appears to indicate. Warm white is expected to be in the range of 2,800 to 3,000k, which indicates another area of mislabeling.

Recommendation rating = 0 of 10. Unacceptable performance on all levels.

Actual product performance against manufacturer claims = 0 of 10. Claims made on product label are not supported by actual product performance on any metric. Color is not warm white, life will not be 30,000 hours in any usable form, energy use is more than double that indicated, and actual light output is well below that needed to replace a standard 45W R20 incandescent lamp after just a few days of operation.

This lamp will never pay itself back in any comparison, as the short life will demand more in cost than the energy it saves. The color performance, glare, and short life will likely be considered unacceptable to any consumer. This is exactly the type of product the LED community cannot tolerate, and represents the same conditions, and actual performance, the CFL market has suffered from for the last 20 years.

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