The Philips Everyday 8.5W LED bulb sells at Home Depot for 2 for $5 — a great price for a 60W-equivalent LED bulb, especially one from a major manufacturer. Note that this bulb does not dim.
It performs well, and claims a minimum CRI of 80. The MK350 spectrometer measured 82 CRI and a spectral power density (SPD) graph shows it’s very similar to the Cree 4Flow bulb.
It’s light is even, omnidirectional and show no dark spots. There was a barely audible hum when your ear is 6 inches away; it’s inaudible at 2 feet.
The bulb is not presently Energy Star certified. (Most bulbs come on the market without Energy Star certification, and then add it when/if they pass the testing of the production bulbs.)
Does the bulb get warm to the hot? Hoo-boy, yes. I could encircle the bulb’s base with my thumb and forefinger, but I had to think about it — it was only just bearable. I measured it at 150°F with an IR gun. (More on how the temperature affects the design below in the teardown section.)
For a non-dimming, 80 CRI bulb, the Philips Everyday has excellent performance. And at $2.50 per bulb, there’s really no reason now not to have an LED bulb in every room in your house
Tear down: A look inside
But what’s inside? I was especially interested to see what the positioning of the LEDs would be within the bulb. Would they be up on a column like the Cree, or elevated some way like the Philips Slimstyle bulb?
The bulb cover was not going to come off easily – it required a hacksaw. And revealed that the basic design is that of a sno-cone:
A quick visual check of the light pattern revealed no dark spot, and the lighting pattern appears omni-directional rather than a spot-light. The bulb cover serves as a light diffuser to internally reflect and disperse the light inside the cover so much that, when it finally exits the cover, it’s more omnidirectional than directed. The downside to this is that light is lost within the diffuser, but the LEDs are clearly making light to spare: The efficacy is 94 lm/W.
The pink and blue power wires at the top of the photo above are brought up from the driver circuit in the base of the bulb and hand-soldered onto the LEDs’ metal core pc board. Hand-soldering is always a source of potential failure. Next, let’s dig into the base itself.
Which was not easy. The LEDs board is glued quite firmly, apparently with an epoxy thermal glue, to the metal insert which fits — again, quite firmly — into the plastic-enshrouded metal base.
Why is the metal base plastic-enshrouded? Possibly to protect consumers from the high operating temperature. If the metal had been left bare, at 150°F it would have been painful to the touch because of the high thermal conductivity of metal, while plastic at 150°F is bearable.
Here’s the soldered side of the pc board:
There’s quite a bit of hand-soldering on this bulb. It looks like the passive surface-mount components are re-flow soldered and then the magnetic device as well as the capacitors and one transistor are hand-placed and soldered. The pink arrow points to an unsoldered lead apparently from the transformer — it could be an unused center tap — in any case, it has no solder pad so it’s not a manufacturing fault.
Funnily enough, I can’t find the LEDs used in this bulb anywhere in Lumileds current portfolio. (Lumileds is the LED component division of Philips, which Philips recently agreed to sell to a group of (mostly) Chinese investors.) This bulb was designed well before that deal was finalized. So, are these a soon-to-be-announced new product from Lumileds, or did the bulb designers get the word early not to constrain themselves to in-house LEDs?