EcoSmart 14-Watt Soft White CFL Review

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Think Twice

These bulbs light up quickly and brightly and have a warm, yellow tone. Like other CFLs, they claim to have a long life span of 10,000 hours, or more than nine years when used three hours per day. However, many users have seen the bulbs burn out far more quickly -- sometimes within days.

These super-cheap light bulbs (starting at $1.24, or $5 for a four-pack, Amazon) promise a lifespan of more than nine years, based on usage of three hours a day, but many EcoSmart 14-Watt Soft White CFL reviews at Home Depot and elsewhere counter that those estimates don't hold up. Customers report a high failure rate -- two out of a pack of four within a week, for example -- and accuse the manufacturer of poor quality control. EcoSmart 14-Watt Soft White CFLs come with a nine-year warranty, but some reviewers have had no luck getting the manufacturer to honor it.

Many other users are satisfied, judging by EcoSmart 14-Watt Soft White CFL reviews. They've seen significantly lower electric bills after switching from 60-watt bulbs and consider the light soft and warm -- very similar to the incandescent light they're used to. The color temperature is 2,700 Kelvin, on the yellow end of the color scale, which creates a warm and pleasing atmosphere. There are no indications of buzzing, humming, or flickering, which used to be associated with older fluorescent lights.

EcoSmart 14-Watt Soft White CFLs turn on immediately, but they do take time to come to full brightness. Good Housekeeping testers recorded a warm-up period of more than two minutes. The manufacturer identifies these CFLs as suitable for outdoor lighting fixtures and enclosed ones, so they can be used in sconces, ceiling-mounted fixtures, and porch lights in addition to table lamps. When fully lit up, they register 900 lumens -- very bright for a 60-watt replacement.

This brand also makes 60-watt equivalent CFLs in a "daylight" color of 5,000 Kelvin. The EcoSmart 14-Watt Daylight CFLs don't seem to have the longevity issues that dog their soft-white siblings and get much better reviews overall. Consumers who prefer low-temperature light, however, should look elsewhere.

Elizabeth Sheer

Elizabeth Sheer is a Brooklyn-based writer and researcher. In addition to researching and writing about household appliances and other consumer items, Elizabeth draws on her history of preparing cooking-related articles to conduct taste tests on all things delicious.

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