100 Watt Bulbs 12/25/11

Published On: Dec 27 2011 12:50:42 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 10 2012 04:40:04 PM CST

People are buying up the last regular incandescent 100-watt lightbulbs. Consumer Reports tested your replacement options - CFLs and halogens, as well as a combination halogen-CFL bulb from GE. That bulb had trouble in the rapid-cycle test, where the light is turned on and off every two minutes. "With the six we tested, the CFL part burned out after only about around three thousand cycles - that's much faster than any other bulb." Consumer Reports also evaluated seven regular CFLs. They promise to last 10 to 12-thousand hours. And they say they produce 16-hundred lumens, the equivalent of a 100-watt incandescent.

Testers use this equipment to measure a bulb's brightness after it's been burning three-thousand hours. Celia Lehrman "With all the CFLs we tested, the brightness dropped - down to between 1,280 lumens and about 14-hundred lumens." If you look closely, you can see that the brand new bulb on the left is a little brighter than the one that's been burning three thousand hours. But when reading, panelists didn't necessarily prefer the brighter light.
Among 100-watt equivalent CFLs, Consumer Reports says your best choices are the ECObulb Plus from Feit Electric for around two dollars. And for even less, the Utilitech Soft White from Lowe's, and the EcoSmart Soft White from Home Depot. Celia Lehrman "Halogen bulbs don't last anywhere near as long and they won't save you very much money, but they did keep their full brightness in our tests." Consumer Reports recommends the 100-watt equivalent Philips Halogena Energy Saver for five dollars and fifty cents. A plus - halogens can be dimmed, unlike many CFLs, and they reach full brightness immediately. ."