Archive for the ‘Reviewed – Poor Performers’ Category

In my previous entries regarding the Cree LR6, I’ve noted the good and bad sides of the product in some detail. I’ve noted my dissatisfaction with the brightness of the diffuser, which has caused me to first apply plastic trim rings to add a little cutoff, then later, to simply not turn them on. Dimming performance over the years has been disappointing as well. No dimmer I have found has dimmed them satisfactorily, most cause them to flicker. The latest from Lutron, designed specifically for LED/CFL sources, did not fix the issues, so I simply gave up. Rather than remove these expensive retrofits ($65.00+ each), I chose to do what many of us do when caught in a ¬†quandary – stopped using them at all. Estimating these were not used more than an average of 1 hour a day for the last 4 years, total operating time is less than 1,500 hours. I’ll give them 2,000hrs, assuming that when they were first put in place, I used them more than I did as we grew tired of their glare and flickering under dimmer control. (more…)

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, (more…)


These are typical low end retrofit lamps using clusters of 5mm or similar LEDs, often accompanied by outrageous claims.

This is where we run into the same trouble that plagues the CFL market in the consumer segment.

There are so many of these on the market today that it’s impossible to review every one of them. These are the ubiquitous 5mm LED retrofit cluster lamps. Since they all have similar performance, this review is a generalized summary, and an expression of concern.

In each case, the claims made by manufacturers of products such as this are founded on the connected wattage of the devices and not on actual lumen-to-lumen, or photometric equivalency (more…)

5mm LED

The 5mm LED was the first widely used LED source.

The 5mm LED has been around for a very long time. Containing a single LED die (chip) and no thermal management beyond the lead wires, these devices are low in cost and available in a range of colors, including white. Optical control is very limited. At very low power levels, these devices serve as instrument lamps, indicator lights, and are often clustered to create arrays for signage, effects, and signal lamps. These are the small LED “lamps” found in virtually all low quality and novelty LED products.

For general illumination, where demands for significant lumen output, long service life and consistent color and lumen output are necessary, the 5mm LED is simply inadequate to the task. (more…)