The Best LED Light Bulbs on the Market

LED Lighting Retrofit best LED light bulbs

Best LED light bulbs of 2016

CNET, September 28, 2016


Cree 60W Replacement LED

Best 60W Replacement LED

71nskcpdyl-_sl1500_With impressive specs, a 10-year warranty, and a low price, you’ll have a hard time finding a better value than the Cree LED. The Cree 60W Replacement LED features a design that’s focused on familiarity, which puts it right in line with the rest of Cree’s residential lighting lineup. Cree isn’t trying to rock the boat with an outside-the-box bulb design like the one you’ll get with the , and that might help the 60W replacement seem more accessible to fans of incandescents — if not slightly disappointing to to design-minded amateur futurists.

The Cree 60W Replacement LED puts out 800 lumens using 9.5 watts, giving it a very impressive efficiency rating of 84.21 lumens per watt. That’s better than any other 60W replacement bulb that we’ve tested.

The light that Cree’s LED puts out is rated at 2,700 K — the same low, warm color temperature as you’ll get with a standard incandescent. When we put that figure to the test in front of our spectrometer, we got a reading of 2,669 K, which is closer to the mark than any of Cree’s closest competitors. Shining the Cree LED over a piece of paper for a quick eye test confirms that the color temperature is more or less spot on.

$12.52 on Amazon [mks_button size=”small” title=”See It” style=”squared” url=”https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KQXWDSS/ref=asc_df_B00KQXWDSS4553378?smid=A2TLGRZB9TL962&tag=cnetmp15-20&linkCode=df0&creative=395129&creativeASIN=B00KQXWDSS” target=”_blank” bg_color=”#1e73be” txt_color=”#FFFFFF” icon=”” icon_type=”” nofollow=”0″]


 Osram 60W Replacement Ultra LED

Best LED efficiency

With well over 800 lumens from just 8.5 watts, this 60W replacement leads the pack.

Turn the bulb on, and you’ll find the same, golden glow that you’ll get with the majority of the bulbs on the market these days, along with a light output of 800 lumens, making it a worthy replacement for the brightness of a 60W incandescent. That’s all well and good, but there’s nothing on the surface helping this bulb stand out from the crowd.

That efficiency adds up to energy savings over the course of the Osram LED’s 25,000-hour lifespan. Run the thing for an average of three hours per day, and it’ll add just over a buck to your utility bill each year.

$9.79 on Amazon [mks_button size=”small” title=”See It” style=”squared” url=”https://www.amazon.com/OSRAM-8-5-Watt-Equivalent-A19-LED/dp/B00OP5GXLG?SubscriptionId=AKIAJ3NOW7JKGQLTEY4A&tag=cnet-api-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B00OP5GXLG” target=”_blank” bg_color=”#1e73be” txt_color=”#FFFFFF” icon=”” icon_type=”” nofollow=”0″]


Green Creative BR30 Cloud LED

Best LED Design

51bdss28bdl-_sl1024_This cool-looking, hollowed-out floodlight is no gimmick — the design helps it manage heat better than the average bulb.

The Green Creative BR30 Cloud LED looks like something straight out of Star Trek, but the futuristic-looking build serves a purpose. Floating the LEDs up above the body of the bulb reduces the weight of the bulb, and also helps it manage heat better, which, as anybody who’s ever owned a laptop that was prone to overheating can attest, is a good thing.

Sure enough, the Cloud LED manages heat exceptionally well, and also boasts ample brightness and better efficiency than any other floodlight we’ve tested out. Though not quite as well-rounded as the Editor’s Choice-winning  GE Reveal BR30 LED , Green Creative’s Cloud LED is a very solid pick for directional lighting, and at $13 each ($5 cheaper than GE), it’s a great value, too.

$15.90 on Amazon [mks_button size=”small” title=”See It” style=”squared” url=”https://www.amazon.com/Equal-Cloud-BR30-Light-Bulb/dp/B00PDS3VE6?SubscriptionId=AKIAJ3NOW7JKGQLTEY4A&tag=cnet-api-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B00PDS3VE6″ target=”_blank” bg_color=”#1e73be” txt_color=”#FFFFFF” icon=”” icon_type=”” nofollow=”0″]


Cree 11W LED with 4Flow Filament design (soft white)

Best incandescent look-alike

71onnqa6yvl-_sl1500_Cree’s newest bulb marries new age specs with old-school looks.

Everything old is new again. Case in point: Cree’s new LED, built to imitate the incandescents of old as closely as possible. It’s an understandable addition to Cree’s lineup, given the recent changes to the lighting landscape. With phased-out incandescents gradually disappearing from store shelves, more and more consumers simply want to be able to find something familiar.

Consumers want bulbs that are affordable, too, and to this point, Cree’s new LED costs just $8 — its cheapest yet. That’s not a huge price drop from  the brand’s original LED — at $10, that bulb boasts slightly more efficient performance and a much longer warranty. That LED isn’t going anywhere, and I think that it might still be the better overall value. Still, if you’ve been holding out for a solid performing, low-price LED that doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb, this might be the bulb you’ve been waiting for.

$9.45 on Amazon [mks_button size=”small” title=”See It” style=”squared” url=”https://www.amazon.com/Cree-Equivalent-White-Filament-Design/dp/B00U0YHRMU?psc=1&SubscriptionId=AKIAJ3NOW7JKGQLTEY4A&tag=cnet-api-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B00U0YHRMU” target=”_blank” bg_color=”#1e73be” txt_color=”#FFFFFF” icon=”” icon_type=”” nofollow=”0″]


Philips 60W Replacement LED

Best LED Bargain

You can’t dim it, but this five-buck bulb is a perfect pick for basic lighting setups.

If you’ve been waiting for the right time to upgrade to LEDs, things are starting to get pretty compelling. Case in point: the newest 60W replacement bulb from Philips, which costs just $5 at Home Depot — no utility rebates necessary.

That’s as cheap an LED as we’ve seen from the big brands, and with an 800-lumen light output from a power draw of just 8.5 watts, it’s an especially efficient performer, too. Replace your incandescents with them, and you’ll have a tough time telling the difference — at least until you get your next power bill.

This isn’t a bulb without compromises, though. Unlike the majority of LEDs, which are rated to light up for 20 years or more, the Philips bulb only promises 10. It also isn’t rated for use with dimmer switches, so if you like to dial the light down low without flicker or buzz, you’ll need to look elsewhere. But for basic, everyday home lighting, it’s a very safe pick, and a borderline no-brainer in the lighting aisle.

$8.75 on Amazon [mks_button size=”small” title=”See It” style=”squared” url=”https://www.amazon.com/Philips-455576-Equivalent-2700K-2-Pack/dp/B00WETI23W?psc=1&SubscriptionId=AKIAJ3NOW7JKGQLTEY4A&tag=cnet-api-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B00WETI23W” target=”_blank” bg_color=”#1e73be” txt_color=”#FFFFFF” icon=”” icon_type=”” nofollow=”0″]

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