CNET First Look
How to buy bright LED light bulbs that don't suckWe tested every 100-watt replacement LED we could find to help make sure that your next light bulb is the right bulb.
For most folk, the 60 watt lightbulb is a classic standard of household lighting. But if you want something brighter, you might be inclined to upgrade to a 100 watt lightbulb. The problem? Most of those 100 watt incandescents have long been phased out due to rising efficiency standards. That's why we have 100 watt replacement LEDs. They're way more efficient, but they haven't always come cheap. The last time I reviewed them was back in 2014. And back then a single bulb would typically cost you at least 20 bucks. Thankfully, things are a lot less expensive these days. A dimmable 100 watt LED can be had for as little as $5. And thanks to the fact that they typically only use about 15 watts, Will save you a lot of money in the long run. How much money? Well, each one will add about 2 bucks to your yearly energy bill on average. An old-fashioned 100-watt incandescent will add 12 bucks to your bill over the same stretch. 10 bucks in savings per bulb per year adds up fast. But that in mind, I hit the local lighting aisles and set out to test every 100-watt replacement LED I could find. Here are the ones I recommend you to check out. For the best bang for your buck, head to Lowe's and look for the Utilitech 100W replacement LED. You get 2 bulbs for less than $10, and they're surprisingly good performers for the price. Utilitech's bulb was the most efficient one that I tested, It's plenty bright. And it did a nice job on dimmer switches too, dimming all the way down to average minimum of 1% without any flicker. I did notice a slight hum when I dimmed it using modern dimming hardware but it wasn't loud enough to be a deal breaker. If smooth dimming without any of that hum is essential then I recommend upgrading to the Cree 100 watt replacement LED It's more expensive at $13 per bulb, but it dims smoothly on every single switch I tested it on. No flicker, no buzz. You could also consider my dimming test runner up, the Philips 100 watt replacement warm glow LED. It's almost as good as Cree's at dimming, and it has a longer life span to boot. If you want lightbulbs that will help the colors in your home look more accurate and true, I like the 100 watt version of the GE Reveal Brightstik LED, which sells in a two pack for about $15. It isn't as bright as I like, but it does a great job of making colors pop. You could also try out the Target store brand 100 watt replacement, which surprised me with its above average color accuracy. One caveat though, neither of those picks are dimmable.