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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Utilitech 100W Equivalent LED

Light quality

Directionality

Heat management

Efficiency

Pays for itself

Non-dimmable

Price point

Utilitech's 100W LED is one of the most affordable bulbs in its class, offering a high level of brightness and impressive efficiency specs. Click through for a closer look.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Utilitech's bulb shines at a warm white color temperature of 3,000 K, and puts out a very bright 1,600 lumens from a stated power draw of 16 watts.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

If the bottom half of that previous lampshade looked a bit dimmer than the top half, it's because Utilitech's bulb isn't omnidirectional. With only 180 degrees of light output, you won't get nearly as much downward light as you will light aimed up and out.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

See those fins along the body of the bulb? Those create narrow channels that help disperse the heat.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

If efficiency is your key concern, then you'll like this bulb. With 100 lumens per watt, it'll add less than $2 per year to your yearly power bill. Under the same parameters, a 100W incandescent would cost $12 per year.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

With those energy savings, the bulb will pay for itself in less than two years if you're upgrading from a 100W incandescent. The bulb comes with a two-year warranty, too -- meaning those savings are more or less guaranteed.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Try and use Utilitech's LED with a dimmer switch, and you won't like the results. It says "non-dimmable" right on the box, and on every dimmer switch we tested, the bulb flickered and strobed at low settings.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

You can find the Utilitech 100W LED on the shelf at Lowe's where it sells for about $17. That's one of the cheapest 100W replacement LEDs you'll find. Keep in mind that less than two years ago, the things were selling for about $50 a pop.

Does that make it a bright bargain worth buying into? Read our full review to find out.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET
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