|Item weight||1.8 Ounces|
Dimmable LED MR16 Light Bulb 60° Spotlight for Recessed Track Accent Lighting 12V Low Voltage 4W (50W Halogen Equiv.) GU5.3 Bi-pin Base Warm White 3200K Pack of 10
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Imported from Japan or USA. It takes about 2 to 3 weeks to arrive.
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I've now lived with several of these units for just over a year and wanted to provide some feedback. I replaced nearly all the overhead halogen 50W MR16 lights in my house (about 36 of them) with these because I wanted to reduce my energy footprint.
The first thing that struck me was that the beam of light emitted from these are much, much narrower than that of traditional halogens that they replaced. I don't have the tools to measure exactly how much narrower the angle is but it's visibly narrower to the naked eye. The second observation is that there is no question that these are not really 50W equivalent. it feels more like 40W (a guess because I don't have the appropriate tools to measure the lumens). Again, this is evident to the naked eye.
Lastly, and most troubling, the failure rate of these bulbs over the last year has been truly unacceptable (greater than 10% UPDATE: 25-50%). These are rated for thousands of hours but do not expect the circuitry to keep up with the LEDs themselves. I've had to make multiple warranty replacements. In fact, the first batch of 10 that I ordered had a couple bulbs defective right out of the box (they were flickering). Subsequently, one or two bulbs died within the first couple of months (first started flickering and then totally died). I just replaced the 6th of the original 36 just now because it started fading recently and died.
On the positive side, customer support was pretty helpful... at least at first. When I needed replacements within the first couple of months of the original order, they were kind enough to send out a replacement right away without even asking me to send back a defective unit. However, closer to the end of the one year warranty, they're still offering exchanges but will only do so after I send back the defective ones. I feel that this is somewhat unacceptable -- I shouldn't have to spend the money to ship a defective product back to them. I've already paid them shipping one way when I purchased, and do not think it's fair for the customer to have to pay twice -- effectively bearing the burden of a defective product.
I wanted to like these, but there's clearly a quality control issue with this product. The price of the bulb is fair, but you need to factor in the fact that the failure rate is unacceptably high. Post purchase, be prepared to spend both time and money sending these back and forth to Torchstar.
I guess 19 months is a lot better than what other reviewers experienced (dying within 6mths to 1 year), but this is still nowhere near what is advertised. I don't know whether I was lucky or not, but let's see what the future hold for the other 4 bulbs. In the meantime, I'm not placing more bets with Torchstar.
A weeks ago the rest of these Torchstar MR16 died (4 units). Nowhere near the advertised 20,000hrs of life. Also, be warned that they only provide warranty for 1 year. This is definitely not long enough for a bulb that is supposed to last 20,000hrs, but this answers why the warranty is not longer. This ends the Saga of all 10 bulbs purchased.
Rather than throw away more money with a bad product, I am replacing the failed TorchStar lamps with three other brands, JACKY LED® Epistar MR16 4W Warm White, Sunthin® 5w MR16 LED Warm White, and Zhuy 5w MR16 LED Non-dimmable Warm White. It's too soon to know if these other brands will last longer, but the color is more accurate (less blue-green) and they are all shorter front-to-back by as much as 1/2-inch, compared to the TorchStar lamps.
As most of you know, LED lighting still costs a premium. I was going to pay $25 PER BULB for 7W Lucent LEDs but thankfully I came across these guys. At just over $6 a bulb it's a great deal for my landscape lighting needs! They fit nicely into my fixtures (you might want to see my picture of a size comparison if you have particularly strict size requirements), and at only 4 watts they emit a great deal of light and have a greater brightness and "spread" than the 7 watt Lucent LED bulb which I tried. The color, while not as "warm" as a halogen, is still very nice in my opinion - but that's a matter of personal preference (they are not that cold white color that one might expect from an LED bulb). These bulbs also brighten and dim nicely, and fortunately I am not experiencing any issues with flickering or humming. I imagine that's because I lucked out and got a decent 600 watt transformer. Anyways, I hope this info helps. I will report back if any of these burn out in an unreasonably short amount of time, but as of writing this review I think they are a 5 star product. Please note that they are on for approximately 5 hours per night.