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Light Bulbs

GE's king-size, vintage-style LED light bulbs let you lose your lampshade

GE's newest LED light bulbs are as big as your head and built to stand out.

GE

Following a trend set by Philips and Ikea last year, GE Lighting is introducing a new lineup of large-sized, vintage-style LED light bulbs that are basically as big as your head.

Available across the US at Lowe's, the bulbs range from $26 to $38 apiece and come in a variety of shapes and colors, complete with your choice of three different filament styles.

Here's how GE describes the lineup:

ge-large-vintage-led-light-bulb-skus

GE's new large-sized vintage-style LED light bulbs come in a variety of shapes and colors, and with different filament options for the inside, too.

GE Lighting

Globe: Available with spiral or weave filaments in clear, amber or smoke glass. These globes measure approximately 1 foot tall and 9 inches in width and diameter.
MSRP: $32-$35

Elongated Tube: Choose from spiral filaments in clear, amber or smoke glass. These tubes measure approximately 11.6 inches tall and 3.3 inches in width and diameter.
MSRP: $26

Oversized Pear Shape: Select from clear, amber or smoke glass with spiral or weave filaments. These bulbs measure just over a foot tall and 7.7 inches in width and diameter.
MSRP: $30-$34

Retro BT56: Available with spiral or weave filaments in clear, amber or smoke glass. These bulbs measure approximately 15.5 inches tall and 8.5 inches in width and diameter.
MSRP: $35-$38

ge-large-vintage-led-light-bulb-pendants

GE is also offering vintage-style pendant fixtures for the bulbs at $15 each.

GE Lighting

GE is also offering hanging pendant fixtures for the bulbs, with a matching vintage aesthetic of their own. Available in four styles, they'll cost $15 each.

As for brightness, the new bulbs are listed as 25-watt and 40-watt equivalents, so don't expect them to put out any more than a few hundred lumens -- good for an artsy accent light, but not bright enough for one of them to serve as the primary light source for a room. Color temperatures vary based on the color of the bulb's glass, with the amber-tinted bulbs putting out a warm, yellowy glow at 2,000 K and the smoke-tinted bulbs putting out stark white light at a temperature of 5,000 K.

As for the filaments, they're actually light-emitting diodes (LEDs) arranged into thin strips to mimic the look of the incandescent light bulbs of the past. It's an effective trick that makes for admittedly striking designs that combine old-school aesthetics with new-age efficiency.

The amber-tinted bulbs put out a warm, candlelike glow.

GE Lighting

This isn't GE Lighting's first foray into vintage-style LEDs, a newly established section of the rapidly changing lighting aisle that seems to connect with consumers who appreciate the nostalgic designs. GE's previous batch of faux-filament bulbs earned high marks here on CNET for their attractive appearance and strong dimming performance. Dimming will once again be key, as any hint of flicker can turn an exposed bulb into an eyesore.

GE Lighting cites the "overwhelming response" to those regular-sized bulbs as the motivation for the new large-sized versions. I asked the company if it could elaborate, and a spokesperson pointed to Nielsen Scantrack data that shows a 20% increase in vintage lighting sales thus far in 2019 versus the same period last year.

We'll be sure to grab a few and test them out for ourselves in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

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