Good quality retrofit solutions
It’s widely acknowledged that LEDs are going to be the future of lighting. However, while there are now many good LED OEM components available, which are being used in technical whizz-bang luminaires, there are few LED sources on the market that are genuinely of use to the end-user.
By ‘of use’ we mean LED ‘lamps’ that can be used in standard luminaires like downlights, wall lights or table lights. The cost of manufacturing and components play a part, but it is largely due to problems to do with creating heat-sinks, so that the LED doesn’t ‘cook’ itself, causing premature failure.
To date, the few attempts made have been woefully low on light output (thus keeping the heat down) or frankly terrible, with inconsistent light quality (thus keeping the cost down).
We are pleased to say that this is now changing and here are two manufacturers that offer good quality retrofit solutions:
Philips’ Master LEDbulb range includes GLS, MR16 and GU10 options. We are particularly impressed with the GLS offerings, which give decent output and a pretty good colour temperature. The reflector lamp versions are also good – but be aware that the MR16 lens pokes out of the front of the lamp and so might not fit all scenarios. The range is also dimmable.
Mega-Man has been touting the Reflector Series lamps for a while now, but they are still class leaders with good colour rendering and fairly smooth beams. The output is a little lower than the lamps they are designed to replace, but we think they are very good nonetheless.