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Walmart Great Value 10W LED Light Bulb (60W Equivalent) review: Brightness to spare with Walmart's low-cost LEDs

There's a lot to like about this low-cost LED light bulb -- but how good is it on dimmer switches?

Ry Crist Senior Editor / Reviews - Labs
Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a writer, 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, broadband and home networking.
Expertise Smart home technology | Wireless connectivity Credentials
  • 10 years product testing experience with the CNET Home team
Ry Crist
6 min read

LED light bulbs hit a new milestone this year, with 60W replacements selling for less than $5, no rebates necessary. At that price, upgrading from incandescents is a no-brainer, especially considering that an incandescent will add about $7 to your yearly energy bill, compared to just over a buck from a comparable LED.

7.8

Walmart Great Value 10W LED Light Bulb (60W Equivalent)

The Good

Walmart's low-cost LEDs are some of the brightest 60W replacement bulbs we've tested, especially the higher color temperature daylight varieties, which ring in well above 900 lumens. At less than $5 per bulb, they're some of the most affordable dimmable LEDs available.

The Bad

Each of the bulbs we tested flickered when dimmed down to a minimum setting, and neither one dimmed down much lower than 20 percent.

The Bottom Line

It's hard not to like a bargain-priced LED that offers this much brightness, but don't rely on it if you're using dimmer switches.

One of those low-cost options can be found on the shelf at Walmart. Sold under the "Great Value" brand name, the bulb is a dimmable 60W replacement that costs just $4.88 a piece. At that price, the dimmable bit is perhaps its strongest selling point -- comparable low-cost options like the Philips 60W Replacement LED and the GE Bright Stik LED won't dim at all. The Walmart LED is also noticeably brighter than those two, and it promises a longer lifespan of 25,000 hours.

That's enough for me to call this bulb a good purchase, but it isn't a perfect one. Yes, it dims, but it doesn't dim particularly well, and failed to go much lower than 20 percent brightness on any of the dimmers I tested it with (ideally, you want a bulb that'll hit 10 percent or lower). It also flickered a fair amount at those lowest settings, which might be another deal breaker if you like the lights down low. Walmart's LED deserves consideration alongside Philips and GE in that bargain-priced tier, but for smooth, satisfying dimming performance, I'd rather spend a few extra bucks on a bulb like the Osram 60W Replacement LED.

This bargain-priced LED from Walmart shines bright (LED)

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Design and specs

Walmart's Great Value line of LEDs are actually manufactured by TCP, a brand that's impressed us in the past. I was impressed again as I started testing out the dimmable 60W replacement Great Value bulb. With 874 lumens to its name, it's officially the brightest 60W replacement bulb I've tested. The 5,000 K daylight version of the bulb does even better, coming in 100 lumens brighter and putting it closer to 75W replacement territory than 60W.

You get that brightness from a power draw of 10 watts. That's the same as GE Bright Stik and the Ikea Ledare LEDs, but obviously more efficient than either of those two because you're getting more brightness for the power draw -- roughly 87 lumens per watt. The only low-cost LED that beats it in efficiency is the Philips 60W Replacement LED, which also costs $5. That bulb puts out 821 lumens from a power draw of 8.5 watts, giving you nearly 100 lumens per watt.

Walmart's Great Value LED vs. the competition

Walmart Great Value 60W Replacement LEDGE Bright Stik LEDPhilips 60W Replacement LEDIkea Ledare LED (frosted)Cree 4Flow LED
Lumens (measured / stated) 874 / 800786 / 760821 / 800658 / 600777 / 815
Watts 10108.51010
Efficiency (lumens per watt) 8779976078
Yearly energy cost (3 hr. per day @ .11 kWh) $1.20 $1.20 $1.02 $1.20 $1.20
Color temperature (measured / stated) 2,779 K / 2,700 K2,830 K / 2,850 K2,701 K / 2,700 K2,632 K / 2,700 K2,619 K / 2,700 K
Color rendering index 8281808883
Dimmable (measured range) Yes (19.9 - 100%)No (N/A)No (N/A)Yes (6.3 - 100%)Yes (6.1 - 100%)
Dimmer switch flicker/buzz LightN/AN/ANoneLight
Lifespan 25,000 hours15,000 hours11,000 hours25,000 hours30,000 hours
Weight 2.90 oz.1.60 oz.1.80 oz.4.10 oz.1.90 oz.
Warranty 3 years5 years3 yearsnone5 years
Price $5 $10 (3-pack)$5 $5 $8

Designwise, the bulb is simple and inoffensive looking, sticking to the safe side of LED aesthetics. It's an omnidirectional bulb, which means that it puts light out in all directions. That makes it a good pick for most general lighting needs, and suitable for something like a bedside reading lamp, where downward cast light is especially important.

The bulb also claims a lifespan of 25,000 hours -- well over 20 years if you're using it for an average of three hours a day. That's better than you'll get with most of the LEDs you'll find priced at 5 dollars or less. The Philips 60W Replacement LED only promises 15,000 hours, for instance, while the GE Bright Stik offers even less at 11,000 hours.

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The packaging for soft white and daylight versions of this bulb are easy to mix up -- the same goes for dimmable and non-dimmable versions.

Ry Crist/CNET

Walmart backs the longevity claims with a three-year warranty for each bulb. That offers plenty of buying reassurance, given that it'll pay for itself in less than a year if you're upgrading from an incandescent. Other options do slightly better, though -- you get five years of coverage with the Cree 4Flow LED and the Philips 60W Replacement LED.

Something else worth noting: you'll want to be careful when you're making your purchase, as Walmart offers multiple versions of this bulb with confusingly similar packaging. Different color temperatures aren't color-coded using traditional orange and blue hues, and it's also easy to mistake the dimmable and non-dimmable versions. Make sure you double-check the packaging before ringing up.

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Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Performance

As said before, the Walmart LED boasts an impressive level of brightness, and puts out more light than any other 60W replacement bulb we've tested. That's especially true with the daylight version of the bulb, which puts out 974 lumens -- closer to the 1,100 lumen benchmark for 75W bulbs than the 800-lumen benchmark for 60W ones. If brightness is what matters most to you, then it's an obvious pick.

I was also happy with how each version of the bulb handles heat. LED light bulbs will see a gradual, imperceptible dip in brightness over the first 90 minutes or so of use. This is because of the heat that they produce -- just like with your phone or your laptop, performance decreases as heat increases.

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Ry Crist/CNET

LEDs typically use heat sinks, convection vents, or special designs to help compensate for heat buildup, and as whatever method the bulb uses kicks in to counteract the heat, the light bulb will hit what's called a "steady state," the level at which the brightness stops dipping. This steady state is where bulbs are rated for brightness, and where we measure them as well, so you don't have to worry about getting shortchanged on lumens due to heat buildup.

A bulb that manages heat well will hit that steady state in quick fashion, and it also won't lose too much of its initial brightness. I look for bulbs that hit their steady state in less than an hour, and ones that lose less than 10 percent of the initial brightness recorded when we first turn them on.

In the Walmart LED's case, both the soft white and daylight versions of the bulb leveled out after about 50 minutes, and in that time, both lost about 12 percent of their initial brightness. That's a solid B+ in my book, and good enough to say that you could probably get away with using these bulbs in an enclosed fixture that traps in heat without worrying about too significant a decline in brightness or longevity.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

I was less impressed, however, with the bulb's dimming performance. Neither version of the bulb that I tested was able to dim much lower than 20 percent on any of the dimmer switches I tested them on, which is not a good result. Ideally, a dimmable bulb should be able to get down below 10 percent, and preferably below 5.

Another problem: both of the bulbs flickered at those low settings. It was most noticeable with an older, rotary-style dimmer designed for incandescents, but it happened on a newer, LED-compatible Leviton slide dimmer, too. In fairness, it was barely noticeable on two of the other slide dimmers I tested, so your mileage definitely may vary depending on what hardware you've got hardwired into your home. For my money, though, I'd rather go out with a dimmable bulb that didn't flicker on any of our test switches -- the $10 Osram 60W Replacement LED comes to mind as a good example.

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Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The verdict

It's hard to find much fault with a functional 60W replacement LED that costs less than $5, especially one that offers as much brightness as the Walmart Great Value LED. That puts it right up there with the Philips 60W Replacement LED and the GE Bright Stik LED as a top LED value pick in the $5-or-less price tier.

The Walmart LED is dimmable whereas those other two are not, but I'm not sure that it's worth using with a dimmer switch at all, given that it doesn't dim very low and flickers at the lowest settings. For basic lighting needs, it's a great pick, but if you like the lights down low, I'd recommend spending a couple of extra bucks on a bulb that performs a little better.

7.8

Walmart Great Value 10W LED Light Bulb (60W Equivalent)

Score Breakdown

Design 7Value 10Performance 7