3M LED Advanced Light RRA19B3 Review

Updated January 31, 2014
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3M LED Advanced Light RRA19B3
Bottom Line

The 3M LED Advanced Light RRA19B3 is a good all-around performer. It's not the least expensive or the most efficient LED bulb available, but it distributes light evenly and holds up well under testing. Like most LED bulbs, it's dimmable but not compatible with every dimmer switch, and it won't work in enclosed fixtures. Although it's rated for 27,500 hours of use, its warranty period is only five years -- half that of its top-rated competitors.

Performance

On the bright side. At 850 lumens, the 3M bulb is brighter than the Best Reviewed Cree 60-watt Replacement LED Soft White (Est. $13) . It also produces a somewhat cooler light at 3,000K. Professional testers give the 3M bulb excellent marks for its brightness and even light distribution. Several mention its unique design, which some reviewers describe as "cool" and others as "weird-looking." However, it is close enough in overall shape to an incandescent bulb to fit in most lamps. It can't be used in a fully enclosed fixture, and it occasionally flickers when used with a dimmer switch.

ProsBrighter than average, Good light distribution, Convenient shape, 5-year warrantyConsMay not work well with dimmers, Not compatible with enclosed fixtures

Value

A little pricey. David Pogue of The New York Times doesn't recommend the 3M bulb because, although he's impressed with its performance, he finds the $25 price tag "unnecessarily expensive." The price of the bulb has now dropped to $20, but it still costs more than some competitors and isn't nearly as efficient as the Cree bulb. On the plus side, expert testers find the bulb very durable, holding up well to repeated on-off cycling. Its rated lifespan of 27,500 hours is longer than the Cree's, but its shorter warranty makes us wonder whether 3M really stands behind its product.

Our Sources

1. ConsumerReports.org

Recommended Lightbulbs, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, October 2013

ConsumerReports.org tests 48 light bulbs, including CFLs, LEDs and a couple of halogen bulbs, for durability, brightness, efficiency, light distribution, light color and warm-up time. The 3M LED Advanced Light RRA19B3 is one of 19 standard bulbs in the 800-lumen range included in these tests.

2. The New York Times

New Reasons to Change Light Bulbs, David Pogue, March 20, 2013

Technology columnist David Pogue tests six brands of LED light bulbs in his home and reports on their light quality, appearance and value. He describes the 3M LED Advanced Light RRA19B3 as a "weird-looking" bulb, but says it produces "lovely, omnidirectional light." He considers the price too high, though.

3. Apartment Therapy.com

Best of the Bulbs: 2013 LED Light Bulb Buyers Guide, Vahan Baladouni, June 14, 2013

Vahan Baladouni recommends the 3M LED Advanced Light RRA19B3 for its "even bright light," but there's no indication that he personally tested this bulb or any of its competitors. Baladouni also notes that the bulb will not work in fully enclosed fixtures.

4. Amazon.com

3M LED Advanced Light Bulb, Warm White, 60-Watt Equivalent, 850-Lumens, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of February 2014

The 3M LED Advanced Light RRA19B3 gets about 30 reviews at Amazon.com, where its overall rating is an impressive 4.9 stars out of 5. Users praise the bulb's brightness, light distribution and "cool" looks, although a couple of reviewers note that it can flicker on a dimmer switch.