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Sylvania 100W Replacement Ultra LED review: Hard to see value in Sylvania's 100W replacement LED

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MSRP: $21.98
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The Good Sylvania's 100W Replacement Ultra LED is satisfyingly bright and dramatically more efficient than an incandescent. It'll pay for itself in energy savings within a few years.

The Bad Sylvania's bulb was both the most expensive and the least efficient 100W replacement LED that we tested.

The Bottom Line While not a bad bulb, Sylvania's LED lacks value compared to competitors that perform better and cost less.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

5.8 Overall
  • Design 6
  • Value 5
  • Performance 6

Review Sections

Two years ago, Sylvania was one of the first lighting manufacturers to bring a 100W replacement LED to market. The price? A mere $50.

Since then, the field has expanded, and prices have fallen significantly. Case in point: Sylvania's newest take on the 100W replacement LED, which retails at Lowe's for a much more reasonable $22. With the bulb's 1,600 lumen rating, you're getting a clear bump in brightness, but the 19W power draw is higher than I'd like, making it a less efficient choice than some of its competitors -- including bulbs that cost less. Some of those cheaper competitors also offer longer warranties, higher color rendering scores, and better compatibility with dimmers. Given all of that, I say stick with those alternatives, and pass on what Sylvania is offering.

sylvania-100w-led-product-photos-1.jpg
Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Like most 100W replacement LEDs, Sylvania's bulb is a bit bulky, sporting an A21 shape (a step up in size from the traditional A19 shape you'll find with the majority of 60W bulbs). It's heavy, too, weighing in at 11.45 ounces.

That's heavier than any other 100W bulb we've tested -- more than twice as heavy as the GE Energy Smart 100W Replacement LED, the lightest bulb in this class. While not inherently problematic (unless you're buying a bulb for a weight-sensitive fixture), the extra bulk does perhaps speak to a design that's less economical than competitors that manage to do more with less.

All the same, Sylvania puts that hefty hardware to work, cranking out a sufficient 1,600 lumens of yellowy, 2,700 K light from a stated power draw of 19 watts. That's obviously quite efficient when compared with a 100W incandescent, but compared with competing LEDs, it's actually a bit underwhelming. Cree, GE, and Utilitech will all get you those same 1,600 lumens from a lower wattage. As for Philips, its 100W replacement offers a slightly higher 1,680 lumens from the same wattage as Sylvania.

Some of Sylvania's other specs fare a little better against the competition. For instance, we clocked the bulb's color rendering score at 83 out of 100, making it slightly better at accurate, vivid color illumination than all but one other 100W replacement (though it's worth noting that the Utilitech bulb that beat it costs $5 less).

The Sylvania LED promises the same 25,000-hour lifespan as most LEDs currently on the market, making it good for over twenty years if you're using it an average of three hours per day. Sylvania backs that longevity claim up with a warranty of five years -- plenty long enough for you to recoup the cost of the bulb in energy savings (and then some), but not as long as you'll get with Cree or GE, which both offer ten-year warranties on their 100W replacement LEDs. And again, both of those competitors cost less.

Cree 100W Replacement LED GE Energy Smart 100W Replacement LED Philips 100W Equivalent LED Sylvania 100W Replacement Ultra LED Utilitech 100W Equivalent Warm White LED
Lumens 1600 1600 1680 1600 1600
Watts 18 16 19 19 16
Efficiency (lumens per watt) 89 100 88 84 100
Estimated yearly energy cost $2.17 $1.93 $2.29 $2.29 $1.93
Color temperature (stated / measured) 2,700 K / 2,663 K 2,700 K / 2,602 K 2,700 K / 2,628 K 2,700 K / 2,664 K 3,000 K / 2,999 K
Lifespan 25,000 hours 25,000 hours 25,000 hours 25,000 hours 18,000 hours
Color rendering index 80 81 80 83 85
Weight 5.80 oz. 5.65 oz. 8.50 oz. 11.45 oz. 7.80 oz.
Warranty 10-year 10-year 5-year 5-year 2-year
Price $20 $21 $22 $22 $17

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