The sample ZetaLux LED light bulb that I received from EarthLedlooks good. It is solidly made to last for the ten years or longer that it would take to wear it out.
It is shaped like an ice cream cone. It has an aluminum cone that has a sparkling white ice cream dome on top. The inside of the translucent plastic dome is frosted with something that sparkles. I guess the sparkles are to spread out the light coming from the LED itself.
The LED that makes the light is located down inside the top of the cone a little ways so it cannot shine directly out to the sides. The light intensity readings that I took confirmed the low level of light going out sideways.
In the direction up away from the base, the light intensity is similar to readings for a 60-Watt incandescent and the 7-watt GeoBulb brand LED. The upward light readings were actually better than for a 13-watt CFL bulb. Take a look at this chart for the foot-candle readings.
Where to Use a ZetaLux LED Bulb
Because of the highly directional light from LED bulb, the best place to use them is where the base is up and the globe is down. Ceiling mounted lights in home entryways and hallways come to mind.
Reading lamps, where the light can be focused right where you need it is another good application. If you used them as closet lights, they would never burn out with the low number of hours of use.
You might consider them for bathroom lighting too.
These bulbs are not weather proof so you don’t want to use them as porch lights. A little water inside the base will short out the electronics package hidden in there. They would work in a garage or shed, but might not be bright enough to do the job.
I sent the ZetaLux bulb to my friend Mike to try out. Mike has very acute hearing and catches things that I don’t. Here is what he had to say about it.
I like this bulb for the applications you mention, particularly task lighting and possibly hallway lights or in the shop. I have a light over the kitchen table with a large downward bell shaped shade/reflector and it worked well there.
I didn't hear any noise from this one, hurray! I also thought the warm light was the best of the ones tested. It is still not quite as warm as an incandescent yet.
I did notice that the bulb is a bit longer than the usual incandescent, so some of my ceiling fixtures that have a reflective focusing element did not work well. However, another ceiling fixture with the reflective element was acceptable. The light was not completely even because the light doesn't come out of the sides; however, the combination of the reflector and the white glass cover on my fixture made this acceptable for me. Unfortunately, my wife likes 100-Watt equivalent in the hallways, so until they put out more light, I won't be putting it in the hallway. Also, I usually don't have my hallway lights on for 4 hours a day either, so the payback would be very very long.
I too liked the look of the design. It also fit in all the fixtures that I tried it. It also comes on instantly like all the LED bulbs so that's an advantage over some of the CFLs.
Low Price Makes ZetalLux an Economical Choice
The ZetaLux bulb costs about $50 as compared to the GeoBulb at $120 each. $50 each still sounds like an awful lot to pay for one light bulb that gives you about the same amount of light as an old 60 cent Edison bulb. But, when you graph out what happens to the total cost over time the old style Edison bulb costs the most.
For the first 500 hours, the 60-Watt Edison bulb is the least costly. Beyond 500 hours, the 13-Watt CFL is the low cost choice, up to 17,500 hours. Beyond 17,500 hours, the ZetaLux is the low cost choice. Given enough time, the ZetaLux bulb will pay for itself with the savings on your electric bill. If the increasing cost of electricity is factored in, they are an even better investment.
For cost savings, I strongly recommend the ZetaLux LED light bulbs, if you don’t plan to move soon and have places that you can use them to shine down from the ceiling or in reading lamps.
For applications, like table lamps, where a lot of light shining out the side of the bulb is needed, I recommend a Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL).
In applications where color fussy folks work, go with what every light bulb gives you the color rendering you need. My wife likes real day light from a window or reveal GE Reveal light bulbs or Daylight CFL bulbs. She also needs enough light to see to thread her quilting needles. That rules out the smaller light bulbs.
Maybe someday soon someone will make a LED efficient lamp that gives as much good color light as an old 150-Watt incandescent. All at an economical price.
by Birney Summers – 2009 All Rights Reserved