April 25, 2024


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Philips Deco Giant Filament LED review: Vintage-style LED light bulbs as big as your head

Got lights dangling overhead in your kitchen? Wish you did? If so, Philips wants to help you go big with the idea.

Specifically, the lighting-aisle mainstay has a new fleet of gigantic, decorative light bulbs with fake LED filaments strung inside for a vintage aesthetic. Starting at $25 each and available in your choice of three shapes and two color temperatures, the biggest of these eye-catching bulbs is literally bigger than my head.

And you know what? I get it. Lots of homes have fancy overhead fixtures hanging from the ceiling — installing a couple of these bad boys instead could make for a good-looking and potentially cost-effective alternative.

Of course, that assumes that such a setup is possible in your home, or that you’re willing to wire some dangling screw-in bases to your ceiling in order to give these bulbs a place to hang. If it is, or if you are, then the new Philips Deco LEDs offer distinctive looks and solid dimming performance at a reasonable price. I say why not?


The “filaments” in these bulbs are actually just thin strips of light-emitting diodes — LEDs to you and me. They offer old-school looks with new-age efficiency.

Chris Monroe/CNET

The big idea

Philips Deco LEDs come in three shapes — a tube, a teardrop and a globe. Of the three, the tube is the niche-iest. Unless I wanted a steampunk sort of vibe, I’d probably stick with the more familiar-looking teardrop or globe (especially the 25-watt replacement Vintage teardrop bulb, which is the cheapest of the bunch at $25). But hey, to each their own.

Along with your choice of shape, you also get to pick between “Vintage” bulbs with amber-tinted glass, twisty, spiraling filaments and an orange, candle-like glow, and “Modern” bulbs with smoky glass, a vertical, more industrial-looking filament, and a cool white daylight tone. With good-looking tints on the glass and a sturdy, stylish base at the neck, each of them looks sufficiently fancy for something you’ll end up hanging out in the open in your home.

Between the two styles, the Vintage bulbs are the clear winner for me. That’s because the vertical filament in the Modern bulbs casts a harsh vertical shadow. No such issue with the spiral filaments in the Vintage bulbs. That holds to what I’ve seen from other vintage-style bulbs with fake filaments — most notably ones from Feit and GE. The lesson: Arranging those filaments into a spiral clearly seems to be the best way to avoid ugly shadows.

That makes the Vintage globe and Vintage teardrop the two bulbs from the collection I’d recommend, but keep in mind that they’ll each cost you a bit extra. I’ve listed the prices of all six bulbs in the chart below (note that the globe and teardrop Vintage bulbs come in both a 40-watt replacement version and a cheaper 25-watt replacement version that’s a little less bright):

Tube Teardrop Globe
Philips Deco Modern (daylight) $34 $37 $40
Philips Deco Vintage (warm white) $35 $25 (25W), $37 (40W) $30 (25W), $40 (40W)

Check the specs

Despite the size, none of the new Deco LEDs offer more than a few hundred lumens’ worth of light, so don’t expect to light up the room with just one. As such, they’re better suited as decorative accent lighting — hence the “Philips Deco” branding.

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