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AmazonBasics 65W Equivalent BR30 Floodlight LED review: Bright and efficient, but too buzzy on dimmer switches

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The Good Amazon's floodlight LED is brighter than advertised, and brighter than other 65-watt replacement floodlight LEDs.With a 9.5-watt power draw and an asking price of $6 per bulb, it'll pay for itself in energy savings in less than a year if you use it to replace an incandescent floodlight.

The Bad The bulb gives off a noticeable and irritating buzz when you try to dim it. It was also a weak finisher in our heat-management tests.

The Bottom Line You could consider this bulb if you just want a lot of brightness overhead and you don't use dimmer switches, but there are better bulbs at the hardware store from Cree and GE that cost less.

6.1 Overall
  • Design 5.5
  • Value 7
  • Performance 6

AmazonBasics is the online megaretailer's version of a store brand -- and for the past year or so, just like the store brands at Walmart and at Target, the product lineup has included LED light bulbs.

Among those AmazonBasics-branded bulbs: a soft white, 65-watt replacement floodlight LED that sells in a two-pack for $12. Unlike a lot of store brand products, that's actually more expensive than much of the name-brand competition. Run to the hardware store, and you'll find some very good floodlight LEDs from names like GE and Cree all cost a bit less per bulb. With Amazon, you're basically paying an extra buck or two not to need the hardware store at all.

And, in fairness, Amazon's bulbs aren't bad. With a brighter-than-advertised light output that measures in at 792 lumens, they're some of the brightest 65-watt replacement floodlight LEDs I've tested. Drawing 9.5 watts at full brightness, they'll each knock about $7 off of your energy bill every year if you use them to replace 65-watt incandescents. In that scenario, Amazon's bulbs would pay for themselves within 11 months.

The problem here is the dimming. Though I didn't see any noticeable flicker on any of the switches I tested them with, I did notice a persistent, audible buzz across all of them, especially with the bulb dimmed to medium settings. Buzzes like that typically happen when electromagnetic interference from the dimmer switch causes something inside the bulb to vibrate. It happened with both bulbs I tested, and is a recurring point of criticism in the Amazon user reviews, too.

In addition to that, Amazon's floodlight LED was just a so-so performer in our heat tests, losing nearly 15 percent of its initial brightness over the first hour or so of use as the bulb heated up. GE and Cree each did significantly better, with brightness dips of just 7.1 and 6.3 percent, respectively.

All of that has me recommending that you skip Amazon's bulb and go instead with the $5 Cree floodlight LED, our Editors' Choice-winner in the floodlight category. It isn't quite as bright as the Amazon bulb, but it's cheaper, more efficient and much better on dimmer switches, plus it offers a longer lifespan and an industry-leading 10-year warranty. For even more of a value pick, you could also consider the also-great GE Basic LED, which costs just $3 in a six-pack at Lowe's.


AmazonBasics 65W Replacement Floodlight LED Cree 65W Replacement Floodlight LED GE Basic 65W Replacement Floodlight LED
Brightness (lumens) 792 732 659
Power draw (watts) 9.5 8.5 8.5
Efficiency (lumens/watt) 83.4 86.1 77.5
Yearly energy cost ($0.11 per kWh, 3 hrs of use per day) $1.14 $1.02 $1.02
Color temperature (degrees Kelvin) 2,972 K 2,646 K 2,659 K
Average dimmable range 12.0 - 92.8% 9.5 - 96.6% 1.7 - 99.8%
Flicker and buzz-free dimming? No (persistent buzz) Yes Yes
Brightness lost to heat 14.6% 6.3% 7.1%
Lifespan 13.7 years 22.8 years 6.8
Warranty 3 years 10 years 2 years
Retail price $11.99 (2-pack) $9.97 (2-pack) $16.98 (6-pack)
Price per bulb $5.99 $4.99 $2.83
Payback period (if replacing a matching incandescent) 0.9 years 0.74 years 0.42 years
CNET overall score 6.1 8.8 8.4

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