The lighting aisle at your local hardware store has seen a lot of changes over the past few years, with incandescents getting phased out in favor of more efficient options. That's led to a rapid rise in LED options, including some increasingly affordable bulbs in the 100W replacement category.
LEDs like these used to cost $50 or more, but today's crop won't cost you even half that. Here are five you might want to consider, along with full reviews to help you split the hairs between them.
Cree 100W Replacement LED
It's been less than two years since Cree started selling light bulbs, but the North Carolina-based company has already established itself as a dominant force in the drive to LED adoption. Priced just under $20, the brand's 100W replacement looks to be just as enticing a step forward as the 60W replacement was, impressing us at nearly every turn -- and sharing that predecessor's 10-year warranty.
GE 100W Replacement LED
GE's 100W replacement is another very solid option, and one that boasts a class-leading efficiency rating of 100 lumens per watt. At $21, costs a dollar more than Cree's bulb, but you'll earn that money right back in energy savings thanks to the lower wattage. With superb light quality and dimmer compatibility, this LED gets just about everything right, and it even matches Cree's 10-year warranty. You'll have a hard time finding a better 100W replacement LED than this.
Philips 100W Equivalent LED
Philips' bulb impressed us across the board, with the same exceptional dimming performance as we saw from the brand's smaller-sized 60W replacement. You can find it at Home Depot for $22, which isn't quite as affordable as the Cree or GE LEDs, but Philips claims a slight edge in brightness over those two. However, we couldn't see that extra brightness when we tested the bulb out -- and neither could our spectrometer. That, coupled with the fact that the warranty isn't as long, makes it tough to recommend Philips over Cree and GE.
Sylvania 100W Replacement Ultra LED
Sylvania's 100W Replacement Ultra LED was one of the brightest bulbs we tested, but its efficiency was edged out by every other LED we tested. The design is a bit too bulky for our tastes, and it doesn't offer omnidirectional light output or the same level of dimmer compatibility as the competition. At $22, it's also tied with Philips as the most expensive option in this roundup, albeit by just a buck.
Utilitech 100W Equivalent Warm White LED
Utilitech's bulb was the most affordable in our roundup, costing just $17 at Lowe's. It also tied GE as the most efficient LED we tested, putting out 1,600 lumens from 16 watts for a rating of 100 lumens per watt. On top of that, its color rendering score of 85 was slightly higher than any of the others. That all adds up to a bulb with plenty of value, but a lack of dimmability, a non-omnidirectional design, and a relatively short 2-year warranty stop us from recommending it outright.