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Home » Energy saving

LED review: best 100 watt alternative from EternaLEDS

Submitted by on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 Loading Add to favourites  13 Comments

quanta-18 by EternaledsThe Quanta PAR38 LED from Eternaleds runs off just 18 watts of mains electricity, and outputs light equivalent to a 100 watt incandescent light bulb. The quanta PAR38 is a simple screw in retrofit unit that will easily replace your conventional E27 floodlight or spotlight bulbs. When you do so, you can sit back and forget replacing it again for the next 35,000 hours or about 12 years normal use*. All the while you run this LED, you can also be assured that you are getting the maximum light output for the minimum electrical usage. The Quanta PAR38 is definitely one of the best designs in today’s current LED lighting products.

THE GOOD

The Quanta PAR38 is a well designed and attractive unit that will complement any style or décor. It has an integral transformer that allows it to take 110-220V allowing it to run in any country. For lower power there is also a 9 watt version and both come in 2 variants outputting daylight white and a genuine warm white, that during our tests appeared one of closest colour matches for incandescent I’ve seen to date. Unlike the CFL, these lights won’t flicker, buzz, grow dull in cold temperatures. They start instantly with no warm up. We note they are also ROHS compliant and thus environmentally safe.  In addition, their life expectancy is rated until the unit drops to 70% of light output, not until total failure!

The 18 and 9 watt versions have a patented air cooling shatter-proof plastic structure that supports the LED units mounted in the front end of the assembly. This grid design provides adequate ventilation for the minimal heat dissipation required by the LEDs. Don’t worry though, you can easily touch any part of the light even after it’s been running for several minutes. Unlike a conventional bulb, LEDs convert 80% of electrical energy into light and only 10% into heat.

The real questions we all want to know is what does the light look like? Is it as good or better than my old bulbs? Well, you have to buy one to see the real thing, but we’ve taken some video of a quanta 18 floodlight in a typical room environment. See the video here. Video and stills are not ideal in artificial light, but you’ll get the idea and hopefully see that this is a real grown up LED that delivers power and quality to match any conventional bulb. We feel the light quality is much superior to a CFL of similar output and of course excels in the other aspects of energy saving and long life spans.
The Quanta is more than just a light bulb. It’s a complete floodlight assembly that looks good and performs effortlessly.

THE NOT SO GOOD

There are still issues with LED lighting that may trouble  some users. Colour quality has been a big problem for many LED lights with poor colour rendering index (CRI) and limited dispersion of light. The Quanta scores well for colour quality. However, because LEDs produce a very intense light, we still see heavy shadowing when the light beam is interrupted. This is because the 6 light modules in the Quanta 18 have minimal diffusers to scatter the light and thus maximise reflective dispersion from around the surrounding surfaces. As a flood light the Quanta 18 works very well, offering a good throw and spill of light in soft coned area in front of it. The Quanta 18 can not be used with conventional dimmers, although my guess is that a PWM dimmer circuit will work (not tested). We also speculate that the air cooling framework may yet prove to be a harbour for airborne dust, which will become unsightly and should be cleaned anyway to maintain good ventilation. One little quirk you need to get used to is turning them off: Because they use so little power, there is a slight delay of about half a second as the inbuilt regulator offloads.

NOT OMNIDIRECTIONAL

We should not see the Quanta range as replacements for single omnidirectional room lights. In our video you will see poorly lit areas around the room that are not reached by the direct beam of light. In architecture and target lighting, however, this isolation pattern would be a bonus. To be clear, this LED is intended as a directional floodlight and by itself is not suitable for omnidirectional space lighting as you would expect a conventional incandescent of CFL.  Used in groups, or as down lighters provides a more balanced dispersion as can be seen from these images.

THE COST

many people see LEDs as far too expensive in comparison to conventional bulbs. What you have to realise is that a well designed LED lasts up to 17.5 times longer and uses up to 10 times less power for the same light output. When you do the sums, you see that investing in a LED unit is much cheaper in the long run, when you compare the replacements or conventional lighting and electricity costs. It also means LEDs are especially suited for poor accessibility locations, as you can simply fit and forget.

OUR VERDICT

The Quanta PAR38 is an attractive well designed LED product that offers superb performance and economy. In addition, it ticks all the right boxes for ecological and environmentally friendly lighting. In a later review, we’ll show you the smaller versions of the Quanta PAR30 9 watt and demonstrate a simple little trick to overcome the shadowing effect and turn a single floodlight into a full room light with soft, even light dispersion.  These are most versatile units and we give them a no reservations thumbs up!

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QUANTA 18: THE DETAILS

  • Uses 18W to output comparable light to a 100W incandescent PAR38 flood
  • Saves $49.91 per year*
  • Costs $7.88 to run per year*
  • Pays for itself in less than 2 years*
  • Saves $600.22 over lifetime*
  • Lasts 35,000 hours or 17.5x longer than incandescent flood lights
  • Contains No Mercury or Hazardous Substances
  • Shatter-Proof
  • No Flickering, No Headaches
  • Runs Cools
  • Approved for Indoor Use
  • Non-Dimmable
  • 2 Year Warranty & 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
  • CE Approved, ROHS

* At 8 hours usage per day, 365 days per year and $0.15/kWh

For more information and  to purchase please visit eternaleds.com

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13 Comments »

  • nortonGH says:

    That’s very interesting news. Except I haven’t seen anything like this in the UK. Yes a few MR16 and GU10 retrofits, but they don’t cut it as a full room light.

    Is it possible to get this sort of thing in the UK? Can I buy from Eternaleds for a reasonable import duty?

    many thanks for the heads up on LED lighting, it sure makes a difference economically.

  • maryingreen says:

    I’m impressed, although I still think the outlay is a bit expensive. I know LED lights end up cheaper in the long run, I’m so used to buying bulbs for a few cents in the store. It’s hard to think of them as an investment instead of a throw away commodity.

    Someone needs to mass produce and market these things, to get the price down enough to interest more demand from the public. I think most people are waiting for that price breakthru.

    So much of this green technology seems to be overpriced and therefore only appeals to wealthy shoppers.

  • Jeff Chan says:

    @nortonGH:
    Hi Norton,

    You’re right – MR16 and GU10 bulbs are smaller so it’s difficult to fit higher power LEDs onto the bulb and still maintain the same form. With floodlights like the Quanta-18, there’s a lot more space to work with thus allowing more LEDs to fit on the bulb and more light as a result.

    You can purchase from Eternaleds.com directly. Local tax and customs duties may apply to international orders. As an example, with a $100 USD order, £12 VAT tax and £8 handling to customs applied.

  • Jeff Chan says:

    @maryingreen: maryingreen: Agreed. Where it makes a larger difference is larger commercial properties like hotels, shopping malls, office building etc. where lights are on 24 hours a day. This is where lighting takes up a large part of their electrical bill and switching to LEDs results in a sizeable difference in both the electrical bill and maintenance (changing the hundreds of bulbs).

    The price is definitely coming down – it’s just a a matter of time and simple supply and demand.

  • Mr Green says:

    @nortonGH: Hi nortonGH and welcome to our website. Thanks for your thoughts. My first moves into LED lights were also the MR16 replacements and I was dreadfully dissapointed. The light was not only very harsh with a blue tint, but gave no more light than a couple of candles.

    If you use MR16 3 watt or 5 watt in a cluster of 4 or 6 lights, you can direct them and avoid some of the dispersion problems and still get a decent amount of light.

    I have to say that by itself the Quanta 18 is an excellent LED light unit and we are happy to leave it in place after the test and review. Believe me, there are some products that we have reviewed that we can’t wait to get out of the door afterwards.

    @maryingreen: Hello maryingreen and thanks for stopping by with your comment.

    I guess like all new technology, it starts high and gradually becomes more reachable as consumer confidence grows. REmember the CFL a few years back? Now people and energy groups here in the UK are giving them away. It won’t be too long before the LED drops significantly in price as better manufacturing methods are adopted in the industry.

    The thing is you can still start saving money now by buying a good LED such as the Quanta 18, because the pay back period of 2 years is quite reasonable. Replace any light that is on for many hours per day and see a big difference in electricity usage and maintenance costs.

  • Mr Green says:

    @Jeff Chan: Hi Jeff thanks for clarifying that query on buying directly from Eternaleds If anyone is in doubt about importing goods from abroad, you can telephone customs advice on 02476-212860.

    Even with this surcharge, buying from Eternaleds still represents excellent value for money, given the exchange rate. I have not seen anything like this available in the UK high street and online vendors are mainly imports anyway.

  • Onan_grazier says:

    I noticed in your short video that there was quit a bit of shadowing away from the main light. How accurate was that in real life and can it be improved?

  • Mr Green says:

    @Onan_grazier: Hello Onan… good question and thanks for raising it here.

    I use a sony HD camera for stills and video and it’s fairly accurate, at least on my screen! So many factors affect how a film will look.

    Ok, You will note that the room I tested the Quanta 18 has some full length dark blue curtains over one wall. In fairness, these are very dense material and reflect absolutely no light at all. In another room where I tested this light, the decor was all white and the LED light was much better reflected off the surrounding surfaces. When you start looking into all the factors closely, you see that there are many influences in the way light and colour work. You might say, show us a CFL or incandescent as a comaparrison. Probelm is, the camera starts compensating for the ‘warm’colour balance, so it is not fair representation.

    If you use multiple ceiling downlighters, you do get better illumination and a more even light dispersion. This can be seen quite clearly in the accompanying images taken from Eternaleds website.

  • […] The team over at littlegreenblog.com have done a pretty detailed review about what they thought of our new Quanta-18 100W flood replacement (Retail $99.99). They’ve even got a cool video that shows the actual light output in a real-world application! Get it here. […]

  • Layla says:

    Great video and post!!

    I can live with the shadows (I think) Is it comfy to work on the PC or read by them? (in opposite direction/facing them?)
    Also the million-dollar question is: are they recyclable? (And how?) :)

    Have you tested 9W version too? (Or any other good LEDs?)
    I soo hate CFLs and was really wondering whether to consider buying these new floodlights! (slightly different brands on Slovenian market though, methinks)

  • Mrs Green says:

    @Layla: Layla, I can’t answer the technical stuff, I’ll get Mr G to do that, but I can say that yes they are great for the PC or to read by. Much easier on the eyes than CFLs, but to be fair, I was very sensitive to CFLs. I find the colour of LEDs much easier to cope with and I no longer get headaches or sleep disturbance.

    They take a bit of getting used to in a room, but for directional light, such as PC work or reading, they are fabulous

  • Mr Green says:

    @Layla: Hi Leyla, thanks for yoiur comment.

    Ok, to keep this short, because I could write and article on each of these points:

    I can live with the shadows (I think) Is it comfy to work on the PC or read by them? (in opposite direction/facing them?)

    LEED lighting is quite differenet from conventional lighting (filament) because it does not have the full colour spectrum that gives warmth to the light. However, the light is more like daylight white and therefore is very easy to work with. If you buy one, go for a “warm white” that produces a less harsh light on youre work

    Also the million-dollar question is: are they recyclable? (And how?) :)

    A good question: LEDs are much easier to recycle that CFL or incandescent lights. Reason: They contain NO hazardous chemicals like mercury, or lead and require no special disposal methods. LEDs are very small electronic componants. That means they contain inert materials such as silicon, gallium and other trace metals. These are valuable and recoverable from the LED unit. However, to date I don’t know of any collection services for the LED waste market. Having said that, an average LED should last at least 10 years so they don’t need recycling that often. My guess is that by the time they are in full use (+ 10 yrs.) we should see plenty of ways to recover these valuable materials.

    Have you tested 9W version too? (Or any other good LEDs?)

    Yes, Have tested the 9 watt versions. They are the equivelent to the 60 watt incandescent bulbs. They are every way as good as the 100 watt one on test, except less powerful

    I soo hate CFLs and was really wondering whether to consider buying these new floodlights! (slightly different brands on Slovenian market though, methinks)

    If you can buy for a good price, I would go ahead and get one… to see how you like it. As a rule of thumb, 1 watt LED = 10 watt incandescent. So, get at least 5 watt warm white to see a good light, similar to your 60-60 watt old sttyke bulb

  • Stephen Lebans says:

    Your review contains an inaccurate statement.

    “Unlike a conventional bulb, LEDs convert 80% of electrical energy into light and only 10% into heat.”

    As of March 2010, the most efficient blue leds are around 50-55% efficient in terms of the ratio of watts in to radiometric output.

    Based on the stated lumen output for the reviewed LED bulb – I would estimate its efficiency at 25% or less. The majority of led based bulbs currently on the market are less than 30% efficient.

    I am hopeful that by the end of this summer consumers will be able to purchase led bulbs with significantly higher efficiencies.

    Just my $.02.

    Stephen Lebans