Sunlite G30 LED Globe Lamp (light bulb), made by
(You can print this review in landscape mode, if you
want a hardcopy)
In the lighting industry's parlance, a "light bulb" is called a "lamp."
To most consumers, a lamp is a fixture. Just to be clear, when I refer to
"lamp" in this review I mean "light bulb" rather than the fixture that holds
the lamp, socket, etc.
I've written about lighting extensively, for electrical trade magazines
and a newsletter put out by a major electrical distributor. So keep that in
mind when reading this review; it may help you feel more comfortable with
what I'm about to tell you.
LED (light emitting diode) is not a variation of CFL (compact
fluorescent). The CFL is a bad idea that I never bought into. In the typical
home application, a CFL lamp actually results in a net waste of electricity
versus an incandescent lamp. That's because of the high inrush current and
abominably low power factor; it takes time to "pay off" those minuses with
run time, and the typical run time isn't long enough. A CFL lowers the
efficiency of all connected loads, including your refrigerator, by lowering
power factor on the load side of your service. CFL also gives you light that
is of unacceptably poor quality. CFL isn't compatible with existing lighting
controls; if you have dimmers for incandescent lamps, you have to replace
those with CFL-compatible ones. CFLs also have a short lifespan, quite the
opposite of the propaganda that they are long-lasting.
LED is solid state, and thus efficiency is very high. But that also means
it runs at the same voltage as what's inside your computer. So an LED lamp
needs a 5V (or lower) power supply. If it's a direct replacement screw-in
for a 120V incandescent, as this G30 is, that means it needs a power supply
in its base. The power supply generates waste heat which, in some
circumstances, is too much for a given application. For example, you
generally do not want to use an LED in a recessed lighting "short can"
fixture (the tall can is fine).
LED gives you many advantages. These include:
- Ultra long life. This varies by model, but it's several times what
you can get from an incandescent or CFL.
- No mercury. Fluorescent lamps use mercury, and the CFL is no
exception. How that device ever got onto the market I still do not
understand. Having a few T8 lamps in your garage is one thing, having
glass containers of mercury all throughout your house is just stupid.
Count how many "light bulbs" you have.
- Great color rendition, color temperature, etc. (if designed for
those features, and most LED lamps are). Depending on the model, you can
have very nice lighting.
- Ultra low energy usage. Your typical 60W incandescent lamp puts out
about 750/850 lumens. An LED direct replacement will use about 10W (most
of that consumed by the power supply). If you replaced several of your
most commonly used (in your home) incandescent lamps with LED lamps, you
would see the difference in your electric bill.
- Many interesting shapes and styles.
- Compatibility with controls, such as dimming (if designed for that,
and most LED lamps are).
The first LED direct replacement lamps that came out were not dimmable.
Then it dawned on the lamp manufacturers that the target market for
energy-efficient lamps would be, duh, people who cared about energy
efficiency. What a concept. Such people have already made extensive use of
dimmers. In our home, nearly every light is on a dimmer rather than just an
on/off flip switch. That meant we could not buy LED lamps. Today, most such
lamps are dimmable (including this one). Always look for that on the
package. If you have dimmers in your house, it is best to buy ONLY dimmable
lamps so you do not inadvertently mix and match.
The Amazon product page does a good job of describing this lamp and its
features (for example, that page tells you it's dimmable). So I won't rehash
what's on there. This is a globe lamp, and that shape means you need the
right application for it. This lamp isn't suitable for recessed lighting,
because it does not have a rear reflector. You really need a flood lamp for
that type of fixture, because the lamp must direct the light back out
through the fixture opening.
But put a flood lamp in an open style fixture, and it casts a shadow
underneath itself. That's where a globe light, er, shines. I put this in an
open style fixture in our main hallway, and light emanates in all directions
just as expected. It's perfect. It's also 2200 lumens of light, which is
quite high for a lamp that draws only 8W (see again those numbers I provided
earlier). The light has a nice color to it, and the globe design does a good
job of simply lighting up the entire space. No shadows around the lamp. This
style of lamp also means those 2200 lumens are spread rather than focused.
So it could seem as if this lamp is dimmer than a lower lumen LED of another
style, depending upon where you are standing. For general illumination of a
room, this lamp will light that baby up. If you want a task light, you need
a different style lamp (with this much light, you probably won't need task
If this review is a little too, er, glowing for you, please understand
that I keep adding LED lights and have yet to meet an LED light that I don't
like. I now have 12 LED lamps in my home. I have several LED flashlights,
two LED worklights, and an LED "trouble light" (for automotive work). It is
really hard for me to say "this LED product is the best one I've
encountered" because each product serves a particular purpose. I buy the
correct LED lamp for a given purpose and I'm always highly satisfied with
Because I've replaced so many incandescent lamps with LED, I'm using
considerably less electricity each month. In the summertime, this savings is
amplified by the decreased load on the air conditioning (which I use
sparingly, but when temps go past 100 DegrF that baby runs). If Congress
(the opposite of progress) would end Daylight Wasting Time, I would not need
to use lights in the morning. I'm still not sure why Congress imposes this
energy-wasting, public endangerment (traffic fatalities and industrial
injuries spike for the 3 weeks following each clock change) on us, but they
The big energy savings (even with DWT) also means less coal burned to
satisfy my needs, so less mercury ending up in tuna fish, less acidification
of the oceans, less destruction to coral reefs, etc.
I'm not saying buy a few LEDs and you save the world. My home is very
energy-efficient in other ways, including all energy-efficient appliances,
energy-efficient HVAC/heat pump system, insulation, energy-efficient habits,
etc. What was missing prior to the emergence of dimmable LED lamps was a way
to meaningfully reduce the electricity used in lighting. The LED lamps
solved that problem.