One of the wonkier light bulb selling points is color rendering, or a bulb's ability to make colors look vivid and true. It's a confusing metric that actually averages multiple color scores into a sort of GPA for color quality. Lots of LED bulbs promise to do it well, but many of them fall short.
If quality colors are what you're after, the easy thing to do is stick with the GE Reveal line of light bulbs, as each one is specifically designed to emphasize color rendering above all else. After testing several of them, I can say with confidence that it's the one thing they always get right. At the 100-watt level, your most affordable option is the 100-watt replacement Bright Stik LED, currently selling in a two-pack for about $15.
The Bright Stik's cylindrical, Push-Poppish design is a little odd looking, sure, but it still manages to put out familiar-looking, soft white light in all directions, albeit it with a slight shadow directly beneath the bulb's base. Hide it under a lampshade and no one would guess that it's a stick-shaped light bulb.
With whiter whites and bolder, more vibrant-looking colors, the GE Reveal Bright Stik LED makes a great upgrade for places like walk-in closets, kitchens, bathrooms or rooms filled with colorful decor. It comes with a couple of caveats, though. First, it doesn't work with dimmer switches at all, so you won't be able to dial the brightness up and down. (For that, you'll need to upgrade to the regular GE Reveal LED, which costs about twice as much.)
The other concern is that, like all GE Reveal bulbs, the Bright Stik LED achieves its color quality by filtering out excess light from the yellow part of the visible light spectrum. That wasted light means that it isn't as bright as it ought to be, or as efficient. Specifically, it puts out 1,168 lumens from a power draw of 16 watts, good for a ho-hum 73 lumens per watt as far as efficiency is concerned.
That makes it the dimmest 100-watt replacement LED I tested by a considerable margin. Frankly, it shouldn't even be called a 100-watt replacement -- 100-watt incandescents typically put out at least 1,600 lumens. 1,168 lumens is more in line with a 75-watt bulb.
Still, the Bright Stik is noticeably brighter than your average 60-watt bulb, so 75 watts' worth of light might be enough. If that's the case, and if you don't need your bulb to dim, then the GE Reveal Bright Stik is a steal at well under ten bucks apiece.
For more on bulbs like this one, be sure to check out our overview of the best 100-watt replacement LEDs, which we'll update regularly as new reviews come in.
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