Walmart Private Brand Lightbulbs Win Consumer Reports Honors

great Value LightbulbsYou might think of Walmart as the place to shop for groceries and stock up on paper towels and detergent. And you wouldn’t be alone. Consumer Reports’ survey of 27,208 readers found that 28 percent shop at Walmart supercenters. If you’re one of them, check out the store’s Great Value LED and CFL lightbulbs. After 3,000 hours of testing in Consumer Reports lightbulb labs, they scored excellent and were named CR Best Buys, offering good value and great performance.

Great Value 60W Soft White A19 Dimmable LED, $10
60-watt incandescent
Watts used: 11
Our tests found: It casts a bright, warm yellow light evenly all around. Not all A19 LEDs can do that. A19? A fancy way of saying it’s a general-purpose lightbulb.
Claimed life: About 23 years when used 3 hours a day.
Use in: Lamps, enclosed fixtures, and outdoors if it won’t get wet.
Need to know: It doesn’t work with a timer, motion sensor, or photocell.

Great Value 14W 60W Soft White CFL, $1.25
60-watt incandescent
Watts used: 14
Our tests found: It gives off a bright, warm yellow light.
Claimed life: Around 9 years when used 3 hours a day.
Use in: Lamps, for sure, and Walmart says you can also use in fully enclosed fixtures and outdoors if the bulb is protected from moisture.
Need to know: Frequently turning CFLs on and off shortens their life, so choose your sockets wisely. CFLs take time to fully brighten especially when they are cold. This spiral CFL took about 26 seconds to reach full brightness at a room temperature of about 72° F. And like most CFLs this one isn’t dimmable. The bulb package didn’t state if this CFL can be used with a motion sensor, timer, or photocell, but most CFLs cannot.

Great Value 65W BR 30 Soft White Dimmable LED, $11
65-watt BR30 incandescent
Watts used: 10
Our tests found: This top-rated LED floodlight scored a 99 out of 100. It casts a wide beam, providing a bright, warm yellow light.
Claimed life: Nearly 23 years when used 3 hours a day.
Use in: Recessed and track lights. Can be used outdoors if it won’t get wet, according to Walmart.
Need to know: Dimmable, but doesn’t work with a timer, motion sensor, or photocell.

Great Value 90W PAR38 Soft White Nondimmable LED, $22
90-watt PAR 38 incandescent
Watts used: 17
Our tests found: This spotlight casts a bright, white light.
Claimed life: About 23 years when used 3 hours a day.
Use in: Hard-to-reach outdoor fixtures if protected from moisture, under eaves, for example.
Need to know: You can’t dim or use it with a motion sensor, photocell, or timer.

Like most LEDs and CFLs the magazine tested, these bulbs have a color-rendering index of 82 or 83. CRI indicates the light’s effect on how the color of objects and skin tones appear and ranges from 0 to 100. The higher the number the more accurate the light (incandescents have a CRI of 100). The magazines lightbulb Ratings include dozens of LEDs and CFLs from Home Depot, Lowe’s among others.

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.