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Sylvania 60W Equivalent Daylight LED review: A terrific daylight LED (if you don't need it to dim)

Despite excellent all-around performance, the Sylvania 60W Replacement Daylight LED is tough to recommend to anyone who uses dimmer switches in their home.

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Ry Crist
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Ry Crist

Senior Editor / Reviews - Appliances

Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a text-based adventure connoisseur, a lover of terrible movies and an enthusiastic yet mediocre cook. A CNET editor since 2013, Ry's beats include smart home tech, lighting, appliances, and home networking.

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On paper, the Sylvania 60W Replacement Daylight LED is one of the best neutral-toned LEDs we've tested. It nails the hot white quality of light that you want from a daylight bulb, it's tied with Philips for the title of brightest LED in its class, and it's the most efficient one we tested, to boot.

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7.5

Sylvania 60W Equivalent Daylight LED

The Good

Sylvania's daylight LED was the clear winner of our heat management tests, making it the best choice for enclosed fixtures. It's also brighter and more efficient than any other daylight LED we tested.

The Bad

Dimming performance was a disappointment, with consistent flicker at low settings. It's also more expensive than most other daylight LEDs.

The Bottom Line

This daylight LED is a solid choice, but only if you don't need to dim it (and preferably if you catch it on sale).

Dimmable 60W replacement daylight LEDs

Sylvania 60W Equivalent Daylight LEDPhilips 60W Equivalent Daylight LEDPhilips SlimStyle Daylight LEDCree 4Flow Daylight LEDWalmart Great Value 60W Equivalent Daylight LEDGE 60W Equivalent Daylight LED
Lumens (measured/stated) 738 / 800738 / 800670 / 800625 / 815709 / 800711 / 900
Watts 8.5910.5101011
Efficiency (lumens per watt) 878264637165
Yearly energy cost (3 hours of use per day) $1.02 $1.08 $1.26 $1.20 $1.20 $1.32
Color temperature (measured/stated) 4,781 K / 5,000 K4,645 K / 5,000 K4,758 K / 5,000 K4,561 K / 5,000 K4,562 K / 5,000 K4,575 K / 5,000 K
Dimmable range 2.1 - 96.1%9.9 - 93.2 %13.4 - 94.9%5.0 - 100%18.4 - 99.5%13.4 - 92.5%
Dimmer switch flicker/buzz ModerateVery LightLightVery lightModerateLight
Lifespan 25,000 hours25,000 hours25,000 hours30,000 hours25,000 hours30,000 hours
Weight 3.0 oz.2.3 oz2.2 oz.1.9 oz.2.9 oz.3.8 oz.
Energy Star Certification YesYesYesYesYesYes
Warranty 5-year5-year3-year5-year3-year10-year
Price $8 $8 $5 $6 $4 $5

It isn't a slam dunk, though. At $8 each, it's one of the priciest bulbs we tested -- twice as expensive as a comparable Walmart-brand bulb. It'll still save you money in the long run, since it'll only add about a buck to your yearly energy bill, compared with seven bucks from a 60W incandescent, but $8 is still an off-putting asking price, especially if you need to replace several bulbs at once.

Six dimmable daylight LEDs for your consideration

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Its dimming performance also left a lot to be desired. I tested the bulb out with a couple of different dimmer switches, and while I was able to dial it down to an average minimum of 2.1 percent brightness, I wasn't able to do so without a noticeable flicker. The Cree 4Flow Daylight LED did a much better job, and costs two bucks less per bulb.

Dimming disappointments aside, this is still a well-designed bulb that performed like a champ, especially in my heat management tests. Like most electronics, LED light bulbs will see a dip in performance as they get hot, which is why they typically include things like heat sinks and convection vents in the design. All of them will see a slight dip in brightness in the hour or so after you first turn them on -- after that, they'll stabilize at what's called the "steady state."

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The Sylvania 60W Replacement Daylight LED was the clear winner in our thermal management tests -- it only lost about ten percent of its brightness to heat during ninety minutes of use. That puts it right where you want it, in that green zone.

Ry Crist/CNET

The Sylvania LED had a higher steady state than any other daylight bulb I finished, losing only about ten percent of its initial brightness during 90 minutes of use. That's an excellent result that speaks to good bulb design, and one that suggests that this might be an especially good pick for use in enclosed fixtures, where heat gets trapped.

All in all, this is a very decent bulb, and a steal if you find it on sale for a few bucks less than the 8-dollar asking price. Still, I can't recommend it if you use dimmer switches in your home -- if that's the case, go with that Cree 4Flow LED, instead.

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7.5

Sylvania 60W Equivalent Daylight LED

Score Breakdown

Design 8Value 6Performance 8