It wasn’t way back that LED floodlights would price you $15 and even $20 per bulb. Thankfully, that is not the case, with quite a lot of respectable, dimmable choices that will not price you any greater than $5 every. The most affordable of those: the GE Fundamental 65-watt Equal Floodlight LED, accessible now at Lowe’s in a six-pack that prices $17. That comes out to lower than $three per bulb.
That is clearly a terrific worth, however mild bulbs aren’t throw-away purchases any extra. In contrast to their incandescent predecessors, LEDs are designed to final for years, and through that lifespan they’re going to have an on a regular basis affect on the way in which your own home seems to be and feels. It isn’t sufficient for a bulb to be low cost — it needs to be good, too.
Thankfully, the GE Fundamental LED exceeds this commonplace. It is as brilliant as you’d count on a 65-watt alternative floodlight to be, it is environment friendly sufficient to pay for itself in power financial savings in lower than six months, it dims nicely with out flickering and it holds its personal towards warmth buildup, too. That is not simply good — that is excellent.
That mentioned, it is not good. With a projected lifespan of 6.eight years per bulb, the GE Fundamental LED will solely final about about 30 % so long as most of its LED rivals. On prime of that, GE’s two-year guarantee is way shorter than the 10 years that you’re going to get from my prime decide within the class, a wonderful floodlight LED from Cree which solely prices about $2 extra per bulb.
Nonetheless, the GE Fundamental floodlight LED is a high quality mild bulb at an unbeatable worth with comparatively few compromises. It is nicely value contemplating in case you have a bunch of floodlights in your house that want changing and you don’t need the fee to get out of hand.
The GE Fundamental LED (left) is loads brilliant, however the Cree floodlight LED (proper) is slightly brighter, and slightly extra environment friendly, too. The distinction is slight.
Brightness and effectivity
As normal, let’s begin with the specs, starting with brightness. GE claims that this bulb places out 650 lumens, which is precisely what you need from a 65-watt alternative floodlight like this one. I measured it at 659 lumens utilizing our lighting lab’s spectrometer and integrating sphere setup.
That is a advantageous end result, although not fairly as brilliant as rivals like Cree or Sylvania. For one thing even brighter, you may additionally think about in search of an 85- or perhaps a 100-watt alternative floodlight, as a substitute.
GE will get you these 659 lumens of sunshine from an influence draw of eight.5 watts. That comes out to a really sturdy 77.5 lumens per watt. However once more, Cree and particularly Sylvania are every in a position to do higher, topping out at over 80 and 90 lumens per watt, respectively.
Nonetheless, mix GE’s effectivity with the low price of shopping for in, and also you’re wanting on the quickest payback interval of any LED floodlight I’ve examined up to now. How fast? Use a GE Fundamental floodlight LED to interchange a 65-watt incandescent floodlight and run it for a median of three hours per day, and you may knock about $7 off of your yearly power invoice. Purchase them on New Yr’s Day, and your bulbs will every have paid for themselves by June.
Subsequent bulb I’m testing: This GE Fundamental Floodlight LED, which sells in a 6-pack at @Lowes. One in all your most cost-effective dimmable choices, simply $2.84 per bulb. It dims nicely, too, all the way down to a median minimal of 1.7%. No seen flicker on this Lutron slider, or on the same Leviton swap. pic.twitter.com/YG4wg1gJlT
— Ry Crist (@rycrist) January 29, 2019
Once I first noticed the GE Fundamental floodlight LEDs at Lowe’s, I figured they should be nondimmable to come back at such a low price. Nope, they’re dimmable all proper — they usually’re fairly darned good at it, too.
We check dimmability by dialing every bulb down on three completely different switches: two sliders from Lutron and Leviton designed to be used with LEDs, and an previous Lutron rotary dial meant for incandescents solely. Electromagnetic interference from dimmer switches like these could cause poorly made LEDs to flicker and buzz, however that wasn’t an issue with the GE Fundamental LED — it dimmed completely nicely on all three of my switches, no flickering or buzzing in any respect.
It has a superb dimmable vary, too, with a median minimal setting of 1.7 % throughout all three switches and a median most of 99.eight %. Ideally, you need your bulb to remain above 95 % of its regular brightness at a dimmer swap’s max setting, and under 5 % on the minimal setting. So once more, flying colours right here for GE.