The following are step by step instructions for destroying the very first LED retrofit bulb you purchase.
1) Buy the Sylvania Ultra LED A19 bulb from Home Hardware in Canada. Make sure you pay $49.99.
2) Wait until your living room contains at least 7 people - two of these persons should be under the age of 8.
3) Casually ask a few people if they would like to see a LED bulb in action.
4) Without waiting for an answer - unscrew the current incandescent bulb from the most expensive table lamp in the room.
5) Ask your wife if the lamp is one of those tri-light dimmable ones because the LED bulb package states(small text inside of the package) this product is not compatible with dimmers). Oh yes, there is a hard to read graph on the back of the package that says the bulb is not "fully dimmable".
6) Wait until your wife responds with an emphatic "NO". At this point do not question whether her reply refers to the lamp itself or its incandescent bulb you are now holding in your hand.
7) Insert LED bulb into lamp.
8) Proudly turn on lamp.
9) Wait for the smoke to clear and the ringing in your ears to subside before you apologize for invoking the son of God's name in vain. Explain to the children you were praying to God for protection.
10) Unplug the lamp. Remove the LED bulb.
That's it. Ten easy steps to destroying your first LED bulb.
Yes, I am a moron and this is a true story.
Yes, I know enough about LED's and dimmers to know there was a chance this might not end well. But the LED bulb's packaging only stated "not compatible" and "not fully dimmable" and my wife did state the lamp was not dimmable(she meant the bulb in my hand was not a tri-state bulb). Isn't "not fully dimmable" the same as "works with dimmer but just not perfectly?".
In the end, the lamp's electrical contacts are damaged and the LED bulb is dead with a 1/4 inch hole in the metal base. I have pictures but as a new member I cannot embed an image from my computer.
But - I had purchased two of the bulbs. I found an old lamp and retreated to my library. Within 30 seconds I had LED light flooding a good square foot or two of my room. Actually it was 30.5 seconds as there was a half second delay before the bulb reached full output.
Eight watts - 350 lumens. 43.75 lumens per watt. I do not know the exact LER value of this bulb's ouput but I think it would be safe to say the bulb has less than 20% wall plug efficiency.
I have ordered a case of the Home Depot's Ecosmart LED Bulbs. Since these are dimmable I hope to avoid the pyrotechnics of the Sylvania product. Additionally, I have ordered three of RedBird's 30 watt LED outdoor fixtures for evaluation.
I post this in hopes of protecting the next moron/poor soul who purchases their very first LED bulb.