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GE's color-enhancing "Reveal" light bulbs get lots of attention, but don't be too quick to overlook the company's more basic offerings. That includes the BR30-shaped GE LED floodlight, which often gets overshadowed in the lighting aisle by its Reveal-branded sibling (and more recently, by GE's "HD Light"-branded bulbs).
That's a bit of a shame, because that plain, vanilla GE LED, which I picked up at Target for $7, is pretty darned good. At 810 lumens, it was the brightest floodlight I tested, and the second-most efficient, too (the Cree floodlight LED beats it by just a hair). It was also the top finisher in my heat test, which makes it a great pick for enclosed fixtures. It does just fine on dimmer switches, too.
Let's take a closer look at that heat test I mentioned. Like most electronics, LED performance will dip slightly as the components inside the bulb heat up, the end result being a slight drop in brightness before the heat sink kicks in and stabilizes things. You can see as much in the graph above.
Bulbs that lose less than 15 percent of their initial brightness before stabilizing earn a passing grade, and ones that lose less than 10 percent pass with flying colors. The GE LED lost just 6.8 percent -- better than every other floodlight I tested. It's the first LED floodlight you should consider for an enclosed fixture, where heat gets trapped.
GE's bulb also did fairly well in my dimming tests, especially on the more modern dimming hardware I tested out. The bulb wouldn't go higher than 90 percent or so at max on a few of the switches in my rig, but that's OK, given that it's about 25 percent brighter than the competition to begin with. The bigger concern is the minimum setting -- GE's LED wouldn't go much lower than 10 percent brightness on any of the switches I tested. That's not a deal-breaker, but it's worth knowing before you make a purchase.
All in all, this is a very solid LED floodlight with no real weak spots of note. It won't make the colors in your home look any better like the GE Reveal LED will, and it's not as much of a bargain (or as good on dimmer switches) as the Philips LED floodlight. But if you just want a bright, efficient, can't-go-wrong pick, then going with GE seems like a very good choice. For more, check out my full roundup of LED floodlight options.