Monday, February 19, 2018

Review, Commercial Electric 74203 and 74207 Color Changing Edge Lights Almost Surface-Mount

There is big change in LED downlight offerings at Home Depot. A new two-member family of very promising ultra-thin LED edge lights offers easy mounting anywhere. First review the big brother of the family:
Commercial Electric 74207 (the identifier in the bar code) 

5/6 in./J-Box 12-Watt Dimmable White Integrated LED Round Flat Panel Ceiling Flushmount Light with Color Changing CCT  

Let us not encourage a naming as "Color Changing." I dispute any virtue in user control of the illuminating color temperature, achieved by phosphor coating of diodes.

Find an identifying number in the bar code at bottom of box. Find a box that is compact and fully recyclable. Commercial Electric (17801), product ID 74207. Unboxing, find preset of mounting as retrofit of an A-type bulb in a can light. Simply detach the plug at the quick-connect  and free the harp springs by compressing to remove nylon ties. You know the rest of the simple mounting that will probably air seal a decrepit can.

I am interested in the mounting upon a junction box, and pry off the mounting bracket to detach the harp springs. Look closer at the color temperature selector switch that you will not want to leave in the SWITCH position. In the default SWITCH position, the color is initially perhaps 2800°K, not the box-claimed 3000°K.

On my comparison stand with Nicor DLS10, 3000°K, 750 lumens at left, and CE 74027 at right. See about-equal brightness confirming the box claim of 800 lumens output.

Cycle the wall switch, to BW, Bright White, claimed to be 4000°K.

Cycle the wall switch again to bring up setting DL, Daylight, claimed to be 5000°K. 

Daylight? We all know sunlight does not shift perceived color of a beige wall, to blue.

In fact blue illumination is in absence of daylight. This photo is found among "color temperature" discussion at Wikipedia. A cream-colored house is blue and purple at sunrise, illuminated only by the back glow of blue sky; not at all by direct sunlight.

Here is a spectrum of sunlight correlated color temperature from Wikipedia . The Wikipedia discussion states: Daylight has a spectrum similar to that of a black body with a correlated color temperature of 6500 K (D65 viewing standard) or 5500 K (daylight-balanced photographic film standard).

Blue colors are thousands of degrees Kelvin, above that of luminaires called 5000K. Something is wrong in our marketing of LED color achievement with painted-on phosphors. I'm afraid it is deliberate deception to sell luminaires of blue diodes. Blue is the easy color to achieve, and lumens count is not diminished by blockage in phosphor. Call blue (sky color), daylight. Get away with it for awhile. If it is deception, honesty may arise only in a fuzzy transition to white light from RGB diodes and in the inevitable arrival of low-cost OLED lighting. I'm ready for that.

See the test stand setup with 74027 at SW, Soft White setting.

74027 box mounting is simple and secure.

Get curious now, how "color changing" works. The white rim of the luminaire is resilient plastic, easily deformed to successively release keys that retain the metal pan.

One of the keys has easily-separated gluing to the pan and between the rim and the obscuring lens. Leave the rim/ lens bond alone.

Drop out the lens and backing paper to reveal three conductors between the diode strip and the converter block.

At full power in SW setting, find light of diodes with an orange phosphor coating.

In the BW setting, all diodes are powered, and light that will be projected through the obscuring lens, seems a natural color.

In the DL setting, only the diodes with a white phosphor coating, are powered.

I hoped to find the luminaire desirable, in the BW setting. I do not. There is unacceptable bluing of illuminated objects. I imagine virtue in display of multiple color temperatures to better represent natural sunlight. Perhaps many soft colors will be the emerging best design. The two colors equally blended here are of too extreme a range.

See remarkably small lens luminance. There are many wonderful things about this 

Here is Commercial Electric 74207 among Nicor DLS10 lights upon a kitchen ceiling. The 74207 color temperature setting is BW, Bright White. All diodes fired. I imagined this then to be the best setting. Clearly though, it is too blue, to my eyes and to sensitivity of my iPhone 6 Plus camera. The diodes with less yellow phosphor are only a corruption of the luminaire usefulness. I will find the 74207 useful in the SW setting, but with upset over "color changing" misconception.

I persist in supportive curiosity about the new Home Depot offerings of surface-mount ultra-thin LED edge lights.. I want to buy and try the 500 lumens little brother of 74207 . Not in my store. Nor sold online.

There is this, too, not really on offer. 
Commercial Electric 4/5/6 in./J-Box 12-Watt Dimmable White Integrated LED Energy Star Recessed Trim Disk Light with Color Changing CCT 

I have dutifully purchased the little brother of the new Home Depot edge light family, called 74203 in the bar code.

Out of the box, 74203 is ready only for setting in a cylindrical 4" can light. I won't bother to remove the spring clips, sticking this onto my illumination comparison stand.

Original 4" Glimpse 3000°K 500 lumens at left. 74203 at right, at full power, first setting SW, delivered in SWITCH position. 4" Glimpse, 3000°K, correctly illuminates wall color. The 74203 SW illumination is a bit on the yellow side of correct. This clearly though, is my preferred setting.

Original 4" Glimpse at left. 74203 at right, at full power, second setting BW, delivered in SWITCH position. 4" Glimpse, 3000°K, correctly illuminates wall color, but my eyes and my Canon Digital Rebel now find corruptive yuck in Glimpse color.

Original 4" Glimpse at left, 74203 at right, at full power, third setting DL, delivered in SWITCH position. 4" Glimpse, 3000°K, correctly illuminates wall color, but my eyes and my Canon Digital Rebel find yuck in Glimpse color. The 74203 color illumination is GLOOMY.

Look from further back at comparison in the DL setting. Everything is wrong.

The 74203 does not fully dim. Here at about 20%, see very gloomy night lighting.

Now give another three-star review at, disliking push of "color changing" as virtue.

Done, and with regret. This small and efficient light will be superior to many other luminaires that might replace dead bulbs in 4" can lights, especially as architectural lighting or security lighting upon home soffits. For this and with many installation virtues, this deserves at least four stars,

I said in a three stars review: At 500 lumens this is correct brightness from a "four inch" light. Wrongful comparison to a useless fifty watt light bulb, still sold and claimed 825 limens, will mislead. A 500 lumens LED downlight gives illumination matched to a 100 watt point-source incandescent bulb.
All three settings selectable by cycling the wall switch, are gloomy. Does any home owner want the 5000°K blue light I have hated in some ugly CFL bulbs? Blue gloom comes from absence of sunlight, not from afternoon brighter sunlight.

At 3/5/2020, add to this post, to report continued purchases and satisfaction with 74203 and 74207 lights. Here are six 74203 500 lumens lights in BW setting now accepted as 3000°K good color temperature. This is the completion of the remodel of my own kitchen. The photo is presented in my blog post My Kitchen LED Starry Sky With Constellations, of 11/23/2018. I call this lighting constellation, "Dining," which I imagine to be at the island, upon bar stools. The now-fully-modern 1955 ranch home is now a very desirable, energy-efficient rental.

 Although these Commercial Electric lights are no longer offered in Home Depot stores, they remain in stock for online purchase.Click HERE for the 4" light now Model 74202. There see twenty reviews 4.4 stars on average, with my unfortunate 3 star review seventh for helpfulness.  Click HERE for the 5" - 6" light now Model 74206. There, see 95 reviews averaging 4.6 stars, with mine ninth-rated for usefulness despite indelible three-stars..