This post was written by Keith Dawson for UBM Tech’s community Web site All LED Lighting, sponsored by Philips Lumileds. It is archived here for informational purposes only because the All LED Lighting site may go dark at any time. This material is Copyright 2013-2015 by UBM Americas.


Some Facts About Walmart's LED Bulbs

We round out our overview of Walmart's entry into the residential replacement bulb market, with the help of photos from industrial designer Peter Wachter.

On Thursday we covered the news of Walmart's entry into the market for residential incandescent-replacement light bulbs, and managed to dig out a few more details about the offering than the retailer had initially provided. Now that the products are on store shelves, we're able to bring you a few more details.

As we mentioned previously, the bulbs (this initial batch at any rate) are made by TCP Lighting for Walmart, and a spokesman told me that the CRI is 82. There was no indication as to whether this was true across the product line: 470-lumen (40-Watt equivalent) and 800-lumen (60-Watt equivalent) A19s, and 650-lumen (65 Watt replacement) BR-30s, and others, all in dimmable and non-dimmable versions. I put out a call for photos of the Lighting Facts labels from the packaging of products on Walmart's shelves. Community member Peter Wachter obliged with the photos you see after the jump.

To my disappointment, Walmart uses the less informative of two available Lighting Facts labels on their LED light bulbs, and the CRI is not listed.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires Lighting Facts labeling for all "Edison" screw-based light bulbs sold in the US; the mandate went into effect in January 2012. A separate US Department of Energy (DoE) Lighting Facts labeling program is also in existence for LED-based lamps. It is voluntary and the DoE has not been encouraging manufacturers to use its labels since the FTC's program became mandatory.

The DoE's voluntary program is more rigorous: It demands LM-79 testing of lighting products, whereas the FTC's mandated labels don't require any testing. DoE labeling includes data points for color rendering index and luminous efficacy, whereas the FTC's instead features estimated yearly energy cost and estimated lifetime. This 2011 blog post from Lighting Science illustrates the differences between the FTC's (black-and-white) and the DoE's (color) labels.

Hit the jump for the first of the photos. We'll begin with the 470-lumen, non-dimmable bulbs.

— Keith Dawson Circle me on Google+ Follow me on Twitter Visit my LinkedIn page, Editor-in-Chief, All LED Lighting