At only $5 each (3 for $15), 90+ CRI, and dimmable, the FEIT LED chandelier bulb is another excellent entry in the candelabra light market.
(Note: The industry seems to use the terms “candelabra” and “chandelier” interchangeably for the bulb itself. Both have an E12 base, often called a “candelabra base”.)
Like the Cree candelabra bulb reviewed last week, the FEIT bulb is dimmable and has an excellent 92 CRI color quality:
It has a swoopy bulb cover which looks nice. However, the light appearance itself isn’t as elegant as the Cree’s, in part because it uses 5 separate LEDs. To accommodate the multiple LEDs, the light guide’s base is larger and has a sort of two-stage lens:
The end result is a light shape that looks quite different from the Cree’s. I personally prefer the Cree’s light-saber-like appearance, but the FEIT has other things going for it, as we’ll see…
Unique among LED bulbs that I’ve torn down, the FEIT chandelier bulb has a glass bulb cover. This may be because glass is cheaper than plastic in complex shapes, or so I’ve been told. The internal plastic light guide is screwed to the top of the bulb case, covering the five LEDs. Here’s a photo with the cover removed (aka broken):
By looking at the plastic guide next to the five LEDs (below), we can see why the guide has to be so wide: 5 discrete LEDs take up a lot more space than a single multiple-die LED like the Cree bulb uses.
Notice the positive attachments made by the screws on the light guide and also the silicon glue on the bulb cover. Compare these to Cree where the light guide is held in place by the cover which snaps on. The Cree had a faint hum at some dimming levels; The FEIT’s firmer attachments may be the reason it’s silent at all dimming levels.
The FEIT has a narrower dimming range than the Cree, and it doesn’t dim down to zero on my Lutron dimmer.
The components were tightly packed on the FEIT’s driver pc board, and also covered in potting material — another sound eliminator.
Here are the components with the compound removed. The power IC is barely visible between the two capacitors:
And the IC exposed:
This could possibly be the Marvell 88EM8187 (PDF) but that’s just a guess.
The FEIT is an excellent chandelier/candelabra bulb. While the Cree has a wider dimming range and a higher number of lumens (350 vs. 300 for the FEIT), and I personally prefer its light-saber-like light guide, the FEIT comes out ahead on its completely silent dimming as well as its significantly lower price at 3 for $15 compared to the Cree’s 3 for $20 and sold exclusively at Home Depot. (I also found the FEIT in my local Costco warehouse, but it was a few dollars more than Amazon.)
FEIT chandelier bulb specs:
Color Temperature (CT): 2700
Color Rendition Index (CRI): 92
Power Factor: .98
Price: $5 ea.