People are buying up the last regular incandescent 100-watt lightbulbs because they
are the first to be phased out under new government regulations. No more will be
imported or produced after January 1, 2012.
Consumer Reports tested your replacement options, CFLs and halogens, as well as a
combination halogen-CFL bulb, the GE Energy Smart Hybrid Halogen-CFL.
There was a problem with the combination bulb. With all six tested, the CFL part burned
out after only about around 3,000 cycles. That's much faster than any other bulb.
Consumer Reports also evaluated seven regular CFLs. They promise to last 10,000 to
12,000 hours. And they say they produce 1,600 lumens, the equivalent of a 100-watt
Testers measured the brightness after the bulbs had burned for 3,000 hours. With all
the CFLs, the brightness dropped down to between 1,280 lumens and about 1,400
lumens. However, when panelists tried reading under the bulbs, they didn't necessarily
prefer the brighter light.
Among 100-watt equivalent CFLs, Consumer Reports says your best choices are the
Feit ECObulb for around $2. And for even less, the Utilitech Soft White from Lowe's and
EcoSmart 100W Soft White ES5M8234 from Home Depot.
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 Consumer Reports’ tests. Consumer
Reports recommends the 100-watt equivalent Philips Halogena Energy Saver, for
$5.50. A plus: Halogens can be dimmed, unlike many CFLs, and they reach full
Consumer Reports calculates that CFLs can save you $100 or more over the lifetime of
the bulb. Halogens will only save you about $3. For more bulb buying information, click