GE Bright Stik™ LED Light Bulbs Review




We’ve tested a few of the GE Bright Stik™ LED Light Bulbs situated throughout our apartment, and if they last as long as CREE predicts, they’ll pay for themselves at least six times over by the time they burn out. We’ve used one 10-watt (60-watt equivalent) unit as a night light for weeks now. This bulb has run in that time, constantly, with neither flicker nor failure, and cost us only $10 for a 3-pack at Home Depot this year.

These bulbs operate with SOME heating. But they don’t become nearly as hot to the touch as the incandescent bulbs. They run even cooler than the compact fluorescent lights.  Plus, these A19 LED bulbs run silently, without buzzing, even when dimmed. On radios, they’re also very quiet; generating no detectable interference on the most susceptible frequencies. While a bit more troublesome to clean up, when used in enclosed fixtures, dust exposure can be minimalized, preventing overheating and premature burnout.   General Electric has made these LED lamps significantly more affordable than the CREE models we’ve tested previously; currently about a quarter of the price per bulb.

 

Benefits, Features, Advantages, and Pros

  • Popular power size available. These bulbs come in 60 (10 watt) incandescent equivalent output. Note that this rating IS NOT the amount of power that this LED bulb actually draws from the mains. Rather, it expresses the amount of incandescent lamp light output that you get with this bulb.
  • Way more light per watt. For the Bright Stick 10-watt bulb (786 lumens), you get almost the same amount of light that a 60-watt incandescent light bulb emits (800 lumens). Yet you only pay for 10 watts draw!
  • Cooler operation. With so much more of the consumed power going into actually producing useful light, and less to wasteful heat, LED bulbs radiate far less heat. GE says that their Bright Stik bulbs can be up to 83 percent more efficient than incandescent bulbs.
  • Longer life. They rate these at 15,000 hours average life expectancy.
  • Smaller heat sink.  Less metal in these bulbs, owing to the greater efficiency electronics and LEDs themselves.
  • Durable construction. Stands up well to shocks and drops.
  • No warm-up time. You get full brightness almost instantly upon LED turn-on.  Instant on, Instant off.
  • Near flicker-free light. We detect no perceptible flickers, no matter the ambient room temperature. However, if you run this bulb from a dimmer, it will indeed flicker.  Non dimmable therefore.
  • Full brightness, even in the cold. Like incandescent lighting, but not like compact fluorescent lamps, LED bulbs operate efficiently even in very cold temperatures. You get full luminosity even when the room is freezing cold.
  • Less light output degradation over time. As incandescent and CFL bulbs accrue more hours of operation, the internal filament evaporates over that time, and the metal deposits itself on the inside of their glass envelopes. So, by the time the bulb burns out, its light output has significantly decreased due to the darkened glass that results from these metal deposits. However, General Electric LED bulbs do not experience this source of light output reduction. They retain much more of their new-state brightness, even when they’ve neared the end of life.
  • Decent color rendition index (CRI). Bright Stik light bulbs offer a CRI of 80.  So, particularly the “daylight” models serve as acceptable photography lighting.
  • No detectable radio interference. We can find no carrier waves from these bulbs on the AM radio or other medium- and long-wave radio bands.
  • Less dust accumulation. With the lower heat output of LEDs, these bulbs attract less dust and dirt, the fine dust particles that do accumulate, do not stick as much to these, as they did on incandescent bulbs.
  • Omnidirectional. The radiation characteristics of GE Bright Stik LED bulbs is very much like traditional incandescent lighting. They spread light around in nearly equal amounts in all directions except for directly underneath the bulb, toward the socket.
  • Frosted exterior. Softens shadows and helps spread the light more evenly.
  • Inexpensive. Though GE LED bulbs usually pay for themselves many times over throughout their entire lives, the initial cost of less than $4 per bulb makes the initial investment in them roughly equal to that of compact fluorescent lamps. Prices have fallen, with quantity deals like the 3-pac discussed here, have become widely available. Soon gone will be the higher single-unit prices.  Before too long, we expect home LED lamps to be cheaper than even the cheapest spiral fluorescent lamps.
  • Three year warranty.  This is shorter than the CREE brand, which offers a ten year warranty.  But still…, not bad.

 

Disadvantages, Cons, Problems, Limitations

  • Heavier than “Edison” light bulbs. Due to the internal support electronics and the modest yet additional-weight heat sink, these bulbs can weight a bit more than a traditional incandescent bulb.  However, with the minimal heat sinking, the Bright Stik bulbs are not much heavier at all.
  • Not Dimmable. This line of GE LED bulbs is not compatible with standard leading-edge type dimmers.  Of course, there would be a downside to these exceptionally bulbs, and that is that they do not function well when dimmed.
  • Should not be just thrown out. These bulbs, due to the electronics they contain, should be properly recycled.  Dispose of these just as you would any other electronic device.
  • Slightly less light output    than a 60-watt incandescent light bulb.  The Bright Stik LED produces 786 lumens while incandescent bulbs as well as other brands of LED equivalent bulbs produce 800 lumens.  This bulb is slightly less efficient than bulbs that provide 800 lumens at only 9.5 watts needed.

 

Our Rating

We’re pleased that General Electric has created a highly affordable yet highly energy efficient LED product. It’s now easy for the average consumer (our biggest population segment) to go green, without breaking the bank. With the three year warranty, sub $5 price tag per unit, and shock-resistant construction, we’ve found the GE Bright Stik LED bulbs highly durable, and given that warranty, we fear little over accidental failure due to excessive vibration. The bulbs provide a decently full, natural-looking daylight in most situations, or for the soft white version, an accurate, incandescent-looking illumination. It’s wonderful to see LEDs finally moving into mainstream lighting markets (they sure took their time getting there).  GE has done an outstanding job ushering this technology into mass consumer markets. by convincing many, by offering such a great product, that it really is worth the cost to upgrade from filament- and fluorescent-based lights to LED. We’d therefore, rate this product at 97 out of 100.

 

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References

Revision History

  • 2015-10-19: Originally published.