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Target Up & Up BR30 LED Floodlight review: Target's store-brand floodlight LED isn't enough of a bargain

MSRP: $7.99
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The Good Target's store-brand LED floodlight did well on modern dimming hardware.

The Bad The bulb's cheap build quality makes it especially susceptible to heat, which means you won't want to use it in an enclosed fixture. It was also the least bright and least efficient floodlight I tested.

The Bottom Line This cheaply made LED has few strong points, and it costs more than bulbs that outperformed it in our tests.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

6.0 Overall
  • Design 6
  • Value 6
  • Performance 6

Review Sections

Along with countless other things, Target sells light bulbs, which is convenient when one of yours burns out and you don't feel like making a special trip to the hardware store. Make a detour to the lighting aisle while you're picking up your groceries, and you'll find two main bulb brands on display: GE, and Target's own "Up & Up" store brand.

I wondered if those store brand bulbs were any good, so I picked up an $8 Up & Up LED floodlight and put it through my tests. Results were mixed. It was the least bright of the bulbs I tested at 624 lumens, but that number was still close enough to the 650-lumen target for me to call it acceptable. At 62 lumens per watt, it was also the least efficient bulb I tested, but it's still efficient enough to be an easy an obvious upgrade over an incandescent or a CFL. It flickered a bit on an older, rotary-style dimmer switch, but it also dimmed quite nicely on more modern hardware.

In sum, the bulb's shortcomings are the sorts of relatively minor tradeoffs that you might expect from a product that's pitched as a value buy -- and by those value-minded, cheapskate standards, it's a perfectly decent option.

But it's also $8. That's the same price per bulb as the category-leading Cree floodlight LED and 60 percent more expensive than a competing floodlight LED from Philips that's brighter, more efficient, and better at dimming than Target's bulb. $8 is also a buck more than what I paid for the GE floodlight LED that sits right next to Target's bulb in the store's aforementioned lighting aisle. I like all of those options better than the Up & Up LED.

The Target Up & Up LED (orange) was second-worst in this test, which measures how much performance suffers as the bulb heats up. It wouldn't be a good pick for enclosed fixtures, where heat gets trapped.

Ry Crist/CNET

I saw more evidence of the bulb's cheap build quality in my heat tests, where I run each bulb in an enclosed sphere for 90 minutes and record the brightness every 10 minutes. With LEDs, brightness will always dip in the first 30 minutes or so as the bulb heats up -- from there, things will stabilize as the heat sinks start to kick in. Bulbs with higher quality designs will stabilize faster and lose less of their initial brightness -- ideally, less than 10 percent of it. The Target bulb? It finished my test 17 percent less bright than it started, the second-worst result that I saw.

At $8, you can do better that that. Heck, at $5 you can do better. I say skip this bulb accordingly.

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