These recently appeared at CostCo; LED bulbs (supposedly 40W equivalent light from 1.5W), produced in China for Lights of America. Sold in a 3-pack for less than $15, I decided it was time to experiment.

The brightness is difficult to evaluate due to the directionality of the beams. It doesn't look too bad, but I didn't think LEDs had yet hit 4x better efficiencies than CFLs (7wCFL also claim 40W equivalences, and they're omnidirectional.)

The clear container is glass...

At worst, this is 60 white LEDs with usable leads for $15, which isn't bad. At best I have a new candidate for some of my lights. I wish they had made the bulbs somewhat smaller to match normal candelabra base incandescents. Instead, they're the same size as the CFL candelabra lamps: huge.
so? what's the instructable part here?
Costco just got a newer version with an assembly of stacked LEDs, a total of about 26 LEDs. The unit claims 2.5W and 135 Lumens. The lights looks pretty good in my outside garage door lighting. They claim 15,000 hours to 30% loss of output. They are also Lights of America. They cost about $18 for 3 candelabra units with E24 to E12 adapters. They looked like they would compare quite well with the original triple 50W incandescents in the daytime. I will have to look at them tonight to compare. I would not use the 50W lights because I have 6 of them times 3 bulbs times 50W, or 900W! Now I'm looking at 45W to light up the front of my house.
It has been quite a while since i posted on this. The 3 1/2 W floodlight is still going strong illuminating a canyon behind my yard. The &quot;40W for 1W&quot; LEDs were subject to a recall from Lights of America. I took six of them back to Costco for a full refund. They had become very very unbright. I still have two working which produce a wan glow. The little three light blue-white LEDs that consume fractional wattage are still going strong. <br />
I got the recall notice as well; apparently due to the quick fading.&nbsp; Since I'd only bought the one pack, and disassembled one of those into individual parts, I declined to take part in the recall...<br /> <br />
I have purchase a lot of these. A use some on a string of outdoor lights. Others are used with a splitter in my hallway. I have a 6 bar of lights in my bathroom, so I replace the regular bulbs with these. The one thing that is strange is that in my hallway and in my bathroom they still emit a tiny amount of light when the switch is turned off. Makes a great night light this way. I purchased them at Costco. The first ones were plain. The second were a little fancier.
Hi: Here it is the end of September. Two of the LEDs have become too dim to be very usable. One failed completely. Having a CFL ballast in series with them wasn't a good idea. I have taken apart the dead one. I looked at the circuit board and saw four rectiifiers. It will take some time, a magnifying glass, and patience to trace out the circuitry. Does anyone know the voltage, limiting resistor value for one of the LEDs. They probably aren't all dead. I put one unused lamp in an outdoor light to shed some darkness on a curve of my street. It replaces a five watt CFL that failed after over two years. No ballast or other thing here. I did have to remove the bulb so it would fit in the light which is weatherproof. Bye for now. (since this is the first comment after April, i gather that the initial enthusiasm has waned; Costco doesn't have them any more though i think the floodlights are still available). I had one
I never quite understand these forums that seem to end a month ago. But here goes another comment on the LED lights. I have installed them on outdoor lights which originally used 9W CFLs. I built adapters from dead CFLs i had and small bulb holders. I was curious how much voltage drop the ballast would introduce so i measured across the light. BIG SURPRISE. The line voltage into the fixture was 120volts. The voltage at the light was 142 volts. When i shorted out the ballast, the voltage was 120 volts. The light from the LED also dimmed. Only explanation i have is that the LEDs are a 1/2 wave diode and the ballast gives an extra kick every other cycle. I will be interested in seeing whether the lamp life is shortened in the fixtures that still have the ballast in the circuit. For the use i have the downward light on the ground (the lights are about eight feet high) appears almost as bright as the 9W CFL which emits light in all direction. Good for the dark sky people. Any other comments?.
Your closing comment matches my impression: they sort-of <em>look</em> as bright as a 40W incandescent, but they're a lot more directional. Whether they'll actually work as a 40W replacement depends on how much you're relying on the indirect lighting from the omnidirectional filaments (or CFLs.) Your outdoor app sounds like a great example of a case where a lot of omni-directionality of traditional light is wasted anyway...<br/>
Hi: Here it is five months later. The LED lights aren't as bright as they were when first installed. I haven't seen them in COSTCO lately, although there still are the floodlight LED cluster lights which are quite bright and are around 4W.
I decided to remove the LED light from the bathroom. It was almost too bright. I put the light in an outdoor fixture and put a green shield around it. It looks great.
Hi: I'm new to this site. I bought a package of the LED warm white lights from Costco. I used one to replace a 4W incandescent in a bathroom nightlight (photo controlled). It is certainly much brighter. I notice that in the light the photo control does not completely shut off and the light glows dimly. I also have several 9W CFL outdoor lights i have used since the mid 1970s. In two of them, with adaptors, i installed the other two LEDs. They are plenty bright enough to be outdoor lights. Not radiating in all directions is good for the dark-sky folks. I did not remove or bypass the ballasts. I think that the 1.5W will produce negligible voltage drop through the coil. If i replaced them all i would save some 45Watts or so. Feit also makes a very tiny three-led night light. It is blue white and is enough in a dark room or inside a decorative globe. I bought mine through a Home Trends catalog (2 for $9.95) I think the main reason they say don't use with a dimmer is the weird wave form involved. Same reason they don't work well with CFLs. Try a variac if you have one. I'll be interested to see if they really will be long lasting. Some Christmas tree LEDs i used outdoors died some time ago. Lightning kills them quick.
I got one at wally today, I'm going to put it on the dimmer circuit tonight and see what happens.
The internal circuit OUGHT to work sorta OK even with a dimmer, though I don't know that a dimmer would work correctly with all LED lights (dimmers get the power for their own operating THROUGH the load...) I have one in a dimmed chandelier with incandescents in the other positions, and it seems to work ok...
Well, it worked, but it was far from spectacular! <br/>It dimmed pretty smoothly to maybe half brightness on both digital and analog dimmers. Much smoother than most dimmable fluorescents. But you're right, even at full brightness it's nowhere near equivalent to 40 watts. It's on the cool end of the warm spectrum.<br/><br/>Wal-mart had all kinds of these, in warm white and cool white, from these 1.5 watt candelabra bulbs for about $5US up to 5 watt PAR-style floodlights for about $20US. Mine had an E26 (&quot;medium&quot;) base.<br/><br/>I poked around on the net a bit and popular consensus seems to be that <em>at best</em> these cheap LED's are about the same efficiency as a compact fluorescent. So this is about equivalent to a 1.5 watt CF or a 6 watt incandescent. <br/><br/>So I'd say these are still a novelty, not a practical lamp for most applications. I'll probably tear min e down for parts too! Thanks for your original post.<br/>
in series huh, first one dies and its trash kind of series?
Yep. Although it's not clear that LED fail "open." I made an LED "nightlight" with about 9 series LEDs of various colors, and had one "go bad" in the sense that it was no longer emitting any light, without affecting any of the others in the chain.
What did it take to get the glass off?
Yes, these were &quot;warm white&quot;; they actually look pretty good next to the 40W incandescents in the chandelier in the dining room, color-match wise.<br/><br/>Like the CFL <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.instructables.com/id/Take-apart-a-Compact-Fluorescent-Bulb/">I dissected in my instructable</a>, the glass has a plastic rim that is press fit into the bottom. With a bit of care and squeezing (or a saw), you can pry apart the two pieces with a flat screwdriver or equivalent. I did crack the glass when I did this; I guess I wasn't careful enough.<br/>
and did they look like the newer "warm white" LED's (like a bright incandescent Christmas light) or the old ones with the bluish color (might be marked "daylight")?

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