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We bought these light bulbs thinking they would last us a long time considering it says "Long Lifespan This MR16 lasts more than 22.8 years of average daily uses." Well just an FYI you only get 30 days to decide their lifespan so yeah when they flicker and go out on day 31 you are screwed. After 30 days you will have to pay for shipping back to California and they just offer to ship you the same light bulbs back. No offer of a refund whatsoever. Once they have your money it seems they will never give it back. DONT BUY THESE LIGHTBULBS!! Waiting to see if Amazon themselves will help me but looks like they won't help either. It takes longer than 30 days to decide how well a lightbulb is going to work! If I could give them 0 stars I would. Don't buy anything from Torchstar or LED Light Depot!!!
UPDATE: I've since lowered the rating to 1 star after experiencing a number of rapid failures with these bulbs over the last two weeks. Quite honestly, this company has NO QA (quality assurance) seemingly as over a quarter of my bulbs are now dead. Check out the video, because if you buy these bulbs this is a lot of what you'll be dealing with...
ORIGINAL REVIEW: 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.
Ordered these thinking that I would try my luck. In the lot of 10, one was defective right out of the box - really bad sign. I was not happy that I had to pay postage for replacement so I didn't bother with it. They advertise these MR16 by indicating that life-span is approximately 20,000hrs. However, 5 of them died (all within days of each other) after 19 months. These lights were installed in my office (so no harsh conditions or weather) and they were used 10hrs/day, 5days/week, for 19 months. At the most, I only got about 5,000hrs of use, which is 1/4 of the life-span advertised. Take this into consideration when determining if these are worth it.
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.
**Update Sept-2015** 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.
After nearly a year of use the high failure rate of these Torchstar LED bulbs has been disappointing. My lights run five hours each day (fewer than 2,000 hours per year). During the first ten months of use, 11 out of 20 failed. At this point, over half of these lamps worked less than 10% of the claimed 20,000 hours life before they began to flicker and stopped working altogether. TorchStar requires you to ship the defective bulbs back during their one-year warranty, so you have the expense and inconvenience of shipping to deal with.
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.
* Please note that I have uploaded several customer images which compare the size of these bulbs to a conventional halogen as well as comparison shots of the lights in action vs a 50W Sylvania Halogen bulb *
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.
These lights were good for the first month. They were bright enough for my one story house. Unlike the 6W 3000K Jacky led bulbs, they have no interferrence with my garage door opener - the main reason why I bought them. However, their light is a little yellow, and shows the pinkish color in my bricks as brown. The Jacky Led bulbs showed truer colors - pink colors in my bricks are pink. They fit in the Paradise GL22724BK flood lights. However, one month after I received them one went bad. Tourchstar sent another one with free shipping (good service), but In six months 3 of 10 failed. This unfortunately confirms some of the more critical reviews of this product. Currently, I have ordered 12 led bulbs from Sunthin 4.5w led warm light led bulbs to replace them. The colors are good and it does not interferer with my garage opener. They have a 3 yeat warranty. I will write a review about them when I have time to observe them for a while. I am somewhat disappointed with the Torchstar bulbs.
I bought more of these than I should. Here's the deal: I took a chance. These are cheap by comparison. The "Torchstar" company took a chance too; they found a cheap Chinese contract manufacturer that promised them that their product is good enough to "guarantee". Torchstar then ordered a shipping container and listed them on Amazon. Fingers crossed, they listed the bulbs way below market price. Sales were brisk, then the truth came out; the bulbs suck. They stop working in a few months. Moral of the story is the same trusted line...You get what you pay for. Oh by the way, they'll replace them...if you MAIL back the failed bulbs, which will result in a double net loss with shipping costs.
What I discovered is that older track light fixtures will not provide a stable current because these lights use too LITTLE wattage to keep the current stable. This makes the lights flicker. The solution is to mix halogens with these lights. The downside is that the light appearance will likely be noticeable. And of course you use more total wattage. These lamps are every bit as bright as the 50 watt halogens I was using. They are a cooler temperature (both in light spectrum temperature and actual temperature). There are other LED lights which would be a close color match, but I don't mind the mix of colors. They blend together well. Be careful when selecting LEDs because color and brightness vary greatly. But if you hope to use these lights in a track light fixture you may run into an issue. Check and see if your fixture can operate properly with the much lower wattage of LED lights. My 5 fixture track lights are designed to supply a current of 250 watts, so when I put 5 4 watt LEDs in the fixture, they flicker frequently (though not always). Swapping out one halogen was enough to allow the fixture to run without flickering. 70 watts is certainly more economical than 250, so it's still worthwhile. Especially since we have 5 similar track lights in our home. So that's 1250 watts vs 350 watts.