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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Which BR30 floodlight LEDs flicker when you dim them?

Philips WarmGlow BR30 LED

Philips WarmGlow BR30 LED

Philips SlimStyle BR30 LED

Philips SlimStyle BR30 LED

Cree BR30 LED

Cree BR30 LED

GE BR30 LED

GE BR30 LED

GE Reveal BR30 LED

GE Reveal BR30 LED

Investing in new LED floodlights for your home? All five of these are reasonable options -- but only one of them worked well with in-wall dimmer switches. Click through to see who the winner was.

Caption by / Photo by Colin West McDonald/CNET

First up, the Philips WarmGlow BR30 LED. This bulb is designed specifically for dimming setups, as its primary feature is that it changes color temperature as you dial the light down, creating a sunset-like effect.

Caption by / Photo by Colin West McDonald/CNET

Unfortunately, that dimmer-oriented design didn't stop it from flickering on older dimmer switch models, and even some new ones made especially for LEDs, like the Leviton switch we're using in each of these GIFs.

Caption by / Photo by Colin West McDonald/CNET

We gave Philips another shot, this time with the SlimStyle BR30. The original SlimStyle performed rather poorly when we tested its dimming capabilities -- would the new floodlight version do any better?

Caption by / Photo by Colin West McDonald/CNET

Nope.

Caption by / Photo by Colin West McDonald/CNET

Next up is Cree. Their $20 BR30 LED comes with a 10-year warranty, and claims dimmer compatibility right on the packaging.

Caption by / Photo by Colin West McDonald/CNET

It dims, but that doesn't mean it doesn't flicker.

Caption by / Photo by Colin West McDonald/CNET

Let's take a look at what happens when we dim this GE BR30 LED.

Caption by / Photo by Colin West McDonald/CNET

Like Cree, this bulb dims, but flickers badly at times, too.

Caption by / Photo by Colin West McDonald/CNET

How about the GE Reveal BR30? For a few dollars more, this floodlight promises better color quality. How about the dimming quality?

Caption by / Photo by Colin West McDonald/CNET

Bingo! This is the kind of steady dimming performance we're looking for. With no flicker on any of the dimmers we tested, this floodlight was the clear winner of our tests.

Caption by / Photo by Colin West McDonald/CNET
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