Which LED bulb is the best fit for your chandelier? (pictures

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A closer look at the bulb reveals why. The heat sink is much skinnier than average, and the downward-angled glass bulges outward a little bit — enough to get the job done.

If youre tired of getting the ladder out to replace the burnt-out bulbs in your living room chandelier, then you might be tempted to make the switch to LEDs which promise to last years, if not decades before burning out.

The problem with these heat sinks is that they block off the bottom of the bulb, keeping many of these LEDs from casting as much downward light as they should.

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Something else these bulbs have in common: they all cost more than they should. Unlike common 60W bulbs, the candelabra LED category hasnt seen such a steep decrease in prices relative to other kinds of light bulbs. This Utilitech model costs $11 a piece — keep in mind that youd probably want to buy multiples for a matching set in your chandelier.

Which LED bulb is the best fit for your chandelier? (pictures)

After you first flip the lights on, theyll immediately see their brightness start to fall as things heat up. Then, once the heat sink kicks in, they hit an equilibrium called the steady state. Bulbs that hit a higher, steadier steady state are bulbs that handle the heat better. Theyd be the best pick for enclosed fixtures, where heat gets trapped.

Thanks to that glass, the color temperature drops deep into the orange end of the spectrum.

Which LED bulb is the best fit for your chandelier? (pictures

All in all, we tested 11 bulbs. Here are the results of the thermal management test, where we measure how much heat buildup affects performance. Like all electronics, LEDs dont perform as well when they get hot. Thats why each of these bulbs has a somewhat bulky heat sink hidden in its base.

EcoSmart isnt the only brand with a vintage-style, fake-filament bulb. There it is in the right with a competing model from Feit on the left. Thats an actual incandescent in the center, for comparison.

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That sepia glass also wreaks havoc with the bulbs color rendering capabilities. Everything gets that orange tint.

Compare those LEDs with this GE Reveal incandescent candelabra bulb. With no heat sink in the way, it puts out light evenly in all directions.

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That Philips bulb also uses a crown-shaped diffuser in the center of the bulb to cast its light out evenly. It also has the effect of patterning the light with a crystal-like texture.

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There arent many exceptions, but this non-dimmable Philips LED is one of them. It sells in a three-pack for $10 at Home Depot. That isnt bad, but if you want something dimmable, youll need to spend at least $7 per bulb.

This Sylvania LED performed really well in that heat test, no doubt thanks to the king-size heat sink wrapped around the bottom of the bulb.

Other candelabra LEDs go with a traditional flame shape, like this 40W equivalent from GE.

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With the exception of that non-dimmable Philips bulb that sells in a $10 three-pack, none of these bulbs offer enough value for us to recommend outright. But if you want a dimmable candelabra LED right now, this Cree bulb is my pick. It sells in a $20 three-pack, making the cost per bulb a little under $7. Thats as low as youll currently find.

Now compare that with this EcoSmart LED — it was one of the worst at casting light down below the bulb. Thats not ideal if youre using it in a chandelier overhead (unless a well-lit ceiling is all you really care about.)

Youll find plenty of candelabra LEDs in the lighting aisle that will do the trick — click through for a quick rundown of your options.

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Speaking of orange, this Warm Glow LED from Philips drops its color temperature down into the orange part of the spectrum as you dim it down. Its meant to mimic the glow of an incandescent filament.

Not all of the LEDs we tested were guilty. Heres a different, vintage-style bulb from the same manufacturer as that last one. It does a great job at casting its light out evenly.

Feits vintage-style bulb takes the extra step of tinting the glass orange to help give it more of a fiery glow.

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Most candelabra LEDs are pointy little bulbs with narrow, screw-in bases. For this roundup, we stuck with 40W equivalents like this torpedo-shaped Walmart store brand LED.

Crees candelabra LED also features an above average color rendering score of 91. Though it wont make colors pop quite as much as an incandescent will, itll come close, and itll do noticeably better than the average LED.

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