Consumer Technology

Published on October 4th, 2013 | by Nicholas Brown


Cree LED Bulbs Now Energy Star® Certified, Can Save You $100s

October 4th, 2013 by  

Earlier this year, Cree released two groundbreaking LED bulbs which were both efficient and reasonably bright.

One is the same brightness as a 40 watt incandescent light bulb (that is a brightness of 450 lumens, the same as a 14 watt CFL). The other model is equivalent to a 60 watt (800 lumen) incandescent bulb. The second one has a rated power consumption of 9.5 watts, translating to an efficiency of 84 lumens per watt, which is well beyond that of the average LED bulb (which is in the 40-lumen-per-watt range, and is far more expensive).

These LED bulbs have now received Energy Star® certification from the US Department of Energy. This certification is not only an indicator that they are highly efficient bulbs, but this also means that you can get an instant utility rebate for them. The 60 watt incandescent equivalent can cost as little as $4.97 after the utility rebate.

Cree LED Bulb - From

Cree LED Bulb.
Image Credit:

“ENERGY STAR qualification can enable the Cree LED Bulbs to be purchased with an instant utility rebate delivering consumers a quality LED bulb for under $5,” said Chuck Swoboda, Cree chairman and CEO, in an email to CleanTechnica. “Cree’s already affordable bulb combined with utility rebates makes switching to LED lighting an easy choice for consumers.”

It was also noted that the average US home has 30 light bulbs in it, each using an average of $7 of energy per year. With the Cree bulbs using just about $1 of energy per year, that’s about $180 in annual energy savings from switching from incandescents to Cree’s LEDs.

From the email: “According to ENERGY STAR, if every American home replaced just one light bulb with a light bulb that’s ENERGY STAR qualified, we would save enough energy to light 3 million homes for a year, save about $600 million in annual energy costs and prevent 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year, equivalent to those from about 800,000 cars.”

Apart from that, if the 25,000 hour lifespan rating is accurate, the reliability of these bulbs was not compromised. Maybe these really are no-compromise bulbs!

You can only buy these LED bulbs through Home Depot for now.

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Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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About the Author

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is:

  • Tim

    I love these 9.5W (60W equivalent), 800 lumen WARM WHITE bulbs. The color is great and they come on instantly. They should last about 15-20 years. Well worth the money.

  • The 40 watt equivalent model draws ~6W, so it is roughly 75 lumens per watt. Which is not too shabby. Even at $12-13 each, that is not bad. I’m thinking they are not dimmable, since they do not mention it.

    I really like a Sylvania A15 dimmable 450 lumen bulb, that uses 8W and costs $20. It also radiates only over the top hemisphere of the bulb. The light temperature is great, and the quality is great.

    • John

      I have the Cree installed. Both the 40w and the 60w equivalent. I am very impressed with both the color rendition and the brightness and they are dimmable. To top it off they use considerably less power than CFL bulbs and they don’t contain mercury! I highly recommend them!

      • They should mention in the specs they are dimmable, then. That is an even better deal, then.

  • Marion Meads

    “The 60 watt incandescent equivalent can cost as little as $4.97 after the utility rebate.”. I looked at the link to Home Depot as the only place to buy these bulbs for now.

    How come that the ACTUAL COST of these bulbs at Home Depot are $12.97 (for soft light) and $13.97 each (for day light type) INSTEAD OF $4.97 as claimed by the article? Am severely disappointed!!! So how do I get the price of $4.97? Where do we get rebates?

    • mds

      That price is “after utility rebate”. Not all utility areas are providing rebates. Find a friend in an area with utility rebates and have them buy for you.

      • Marion Meads

        The author should at least show one city or utility area where there is a Home Depot and a utility with rebate so that the resulting price is $4.97. As it is, this is sensationalized vapor ware pricing. Do you know of any utility providing rebates for this light?

  • Shiggity

    Make sure you check the K rating (color temperature). The warm yellowish light is 2700K that most people are used to. The blueish tint / pure white light is 4000K and higher. They are offered in a range of different K ratings.

    • Bob_Wallace

      I’ve got one of each. The difference is quite noticeable. Probably don’t want to mix them in the same room.

      Put them in different rooms and most people won’t notice any difference.

      We adapt.

      • Omega Centauri

        I’ve got mostly LEDs in my house. The 2700K are way too pink for my taste. Most of these bulbs are offered in 3000K, which is pretty decent. I suspect the bulbs I’ve bought from Lowes are the same bulb in different packaging. Last I looked the 450Lumen bulbs were $9, and the 800Lumen bulbs were $12. I’ve mixed 450/800 in the same multibulb fixture and you have to stare really hard to notice. So it is possible to upgrade your illumination by replacing just one or two bulbs.

  • dynamo.joe

    Number of people reading this website that still use incandescent bulbs for all/most of their lighting needs? Zero.

    Still a good deal. But I think it’s a little disingenuous to only give the savings possible for conversion from incandescent bulbs and not mention the smaller projected savings for conversion from CFL.

    • Bob_Wallace

      I’ve got a couple of the “60 watt” Crees. I checked the draw of one with my Kill-A-Watt. Pulls 8 watts.

      I also checked a “100 watt” FEIT CFL. It’s suppose to pull 25 watts but I measured 27.

      Extrapolating from a 60 LED to a 100 LED the draw would be about 13 watts. If that simple math holds for actual LEDs then they will pull half or less as much power as CFLs.

      • CFL’s contain a coil that reduce cos φ. Perhaps your Kill-A-Watt is not accurately measuring real power.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Would you explain that to “the guy on the street”?

          Hang on while I run out into the street. (It’s almost four miles away.)

          • Ivor O’Connor

            Ame-nl is obviously a geek. I have a brother like that. He’s just saying the kill-a-watt may not measure inductive or capacitive loads accurately. As opposed to simple resistive loads.

    • sambar

      If you do that, also mention that the Cree has better color rendition, longer life, is dimmable, doesn’t have high rate flicker and doesn’t suffer poor output in extreme cold outdoor conditions than a CFL..

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