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Customer Review

919 of 930 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Home Lighting Bulb Out of Many Tested, March 3, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Full Spectrum Light Bulb ALZO 27W Compact Fluorescent CFL - Pack of 4 - 5500K Daylight - 120V - Joyous Light Pure White Light (Tools & Home Improvement)
I am an engineer who has been completely disgusted with the home lighting situation. There are no standards and many misstatements and counterdictions at the stores. I own a Minolta flash meter which accurately measures a lights color temperature. I've tried the bulb technology at Walmart, Sams Club Home Depot and Lowes. The most glaring examples:
1) yellow light is called soft white (2700)
2) very blue washed-out color light is called daylight (6000-6500)
3) Low lumen (400-600 lumens) LED lights go for as much as $90!
4) Some bulbs are advertised as white but the chart on the back shows its yellow. Go Figure!

Here are the bulbs to avoid: all (harsh washed-out blue) daylight, and (yellow) soft white. The GE Reveal offers somewhat better clarity, but is overpriced and quite yellow.

Full spectrum (5000-5500) bulbs are a step-up but stores offer a very limited selection. The Home Depot full 100w spectrum's beats the Lowe's Ott-Lite.

On the LED front Sam's Club carries a 520 lumen, 4100K, 9 LED PAR38 reflector which has a easily noticeable smoother light spectrum. Great for the one light on in the kitchen in the evening. The equivalent $70 LED lights at the hardware store are hardly a bargain, as the Sam's is $20! However its Color Retention index (CRI)is only 74.

The best of all are lights are these 5500K Alzo's. I've installed a 45w in the kitchen pantry and the color of the food boxes really pop. Food looks like it does in the magazines. The clarity is first rate (however 27w should be sufficient). They are the reference to which others are to be compared. My wife has not complained even when they are on at night-time. This is a first.
Skin tones in the bathroom look very natural. A first again.

Color temperature alone is not the sole basis to buy a bulb as a high CRI is also required. The Alzo's come in at 92, which is very high. Most manufactures do not even list this measurable figure (assume because its too low).

I've been testing other bulbs. For vanity and lamps (Alzo does make any) these offer a VERY uniform ball of nice white 5000K glow. I ordered 12 for my new house's bathrooms:
Maxlite 14 Watt G30 Globe CFL DL SKM14EGDL

For kitchen these are now the best 5000K PAR lights. Not as high of color quality as Alzo, but they don't make reflector lights!
Maxlite 23 Watt CFL R40 Flood Day Lite SKR423FLDL

In summary best home lights are the Photo CFL which offer both a 5000-5500K range with a CRI over 90. Further these bulbs allow for brighter rooms, as compared to hardware store types. That is, the more pleasing light allows for greater brightness levels, so go for the 45watt bulbs in larger pantries or rooms.

Thanks go to Amazon and Alzo for allowing consumers to purchase superior quality products at a price no higher than the unpleasant and unsatisfying bulbs in the store. Hope this helps!
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Tracked by 15 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 51 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 13, 2010 2:18:24 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 13, 2010 2:22:20 PM PST
GoneForever says:
Further testing indicate a new best-buy, as the colors really pop. This indicates a very high CRI. Search for "Honeywell Bright White". Available in 14w and 23w for $3.50 bulb.
The manufacture quote is true:
"Your customer won't have to wait for a clear afternoon to enjoy a bright, soft and smooth light! Not only will everything look better, but you will get a 100 watt equivalent bulb that uses only 23 watts."
1600 lumens is impressive too. Found mine locally at Big Lots. Not to be missed.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2010 12:03:24 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 31, 2010 12:15:11 AM PST
Thanks for your great review. As 27W ALZO is out of sale now, I'm inclined to go with your recommended HoneyWell Brite White 23W bulb ( This links shows a price $12.99, where as other link ( shows $15.99 --- both for 3-pack.

As you are probably using this for few months already, I'd like to hear your wise opinion. Also, do you think there might have some discrepancies among the given two links? I'm bit confused as both are sold by Honeywell itself.

Thanks in advance for your recommendations.

Posted on Mar 10, 2011 11:48:22 PM PST
Thank you for all this information, and qualified information at that... not very many people seem capable of giving a qualified opinion on lighting. I hope I can extract a bit more insight from you.

First, consistancy is important for me (light bleeding from other rooms of a different look bothers me), and it seems many brands stink at it. I paid a good chunk of change getting HD bulbs from BlueMax, but their newer bulbs seem to be a higher temperature than their older ones (despite both claiming 5900K, the older ones seem much closer to 5000K, which I much prefer), and even among their newer ones I see notable variances. Even the cheap Philips Bright White 13W spirals I've been using at my new place have consistancy... which leads to a question: have you tried those Philips Bright White bulbs? Eye-balling them, I'd say they match my 5000K T8s pretty closely, with a CRI in the 80s (can't find official specs though).

Due to my desire for consistancy, I thought of switching to the Maxlite brand for everything: have you found them pretty consistant? I'm also tempted to try the Honeywells, but like the Alzos, their selection is limited (I need 48" T8s in the kitchen, 30W spirals in the Torchieres [or, better yet, 3-ways] , 13-18W spirals in each room, and a bunch of globes for in the bathrooms, and lastly, one 4100K flood and one 4100K 13W spiral for in the carport [I find 5000K+ lighting really clashes with the neighboring townhouses' outdoor lighting])

Posted on Apr 22, 2011 1:41:12 PM PDT
Daniel says:
Thank you for your excellent review. This is why I shop everything through Amazon first.

Posted on Jun 26, 2011 11:45:52 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 26, 2011 11:46:10 AM PDT
This is one of the best product (and problem) reviews I've seen - thank you!

Posted on Jul 22, 2011 7:47:16 PM PDT
Nickey says:
Looking for made in the USA CFL bulbs. Are these made here. No store has made in the USA bulbs that I have checked. Not Wal-Mart, Sears, Home Depot, Menards, Lowe's. Help, know of any where to purchase USA made bulbs?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 17, 2011 9:59:29 PM PDT
PapaEJangles says:
There is neither an indication on the packaging, nor on the product which indicates where the manufacturing occurs. The Web site mentions that ALZO Digital designs and manufactures their products, but is likewise without this detail. The phone number listed for their Customer Support is from Connecticut. Check out their site:

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 1, 2011 11:56:46 PM PDT
S. Ramsey says:
thanks for the thorough review and information on other bulbs. Do you know if this bulb acutally has a digital (vs. magnetic) ballast? Also, the specs say it emits 1300 lumens, which translates to only 48 lumens per watt, which is low for a CFL. Does it seem less bright than other 27W CFLs? Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 8, 2011 6:49:41 AM PDT
I believe it has lower lumens per watt because it is emitting along a fuller spectrum rather than on a narrow band.

Posted on Dec 19, 2011 4:51:38 PM PST
C. Elkins says:
Very helpful review and update. Thank you very much.
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