Energy Efficiency

Published on September 18th, 2015 | by Joshua S Hill


Cree Delivers New And Better LED Bulb

September 18th, 2015 by  

Cree revealed this week “a better LED bulb” that it says “delivers an even better light with better performance, a longer life and more energy savings.”

Announced on Monday, Cree, the US-based lighting revolutionary, unveiled its new Cree LED Bulb in 40- and 60-watt-equivalent models, which goes against the current trend in LED bulbs. According to Cree, “some manufacturers seeking to cash-in on the technology’s popularity are driving LED bulbs to CFL-like performance, lifetimes and light quality”, which is why they’ve gone and done the opposite, creating a bulb that is intended to be better than their existing LED bulbs — providing better light, better performance, a longer life-span, and increased energy savings.

“As the LED leader, Cree is dedicated to designing the best LED lighting products that deliver better light experiences while exceeding customer expectations,” said Betty Noonan, chief marketing officer, Cree. “We believe that better light changes everything, and the newest Cree LED Bulb reflects our commitment to never compromise on performance.”

The specifics of the new Cree LED Bulb include a longer lifetime of over 27 years, or 30,000 hours, which is around six times longer than some LED bulbs (or around 52 times longer than the light bulbs in my house). The bulb also looks like a bulb should look, thanks to its proven 4Flow Filament Design. On top of that, the bulb has “a higher color rendering index of 83 to better display colors, true ENERGY STAR® compliant omnidirectional distribution for all-around light, and is fully dimmable with most standard dimmers and suitable for enclosed fixtures.”


On the technical side of things, the 40-watt-equivalent bulb delivers 460 lumens, while the 60-watt-equivalent bulb delivers 815 lumens in soft white (2700K) and daylight (5000K) color temperatures. The bulb casing is durable and shatterproof, and is rated at consuming up to 85% less energy across its lifetime. The Cree LED Bulb is also ENERGY STAR certified.

You can purchase the bulb from Home Depot online now, and in stores later this month. Hopefully the Cree bulb will similarly make its way around the world, because I want to try it out in Australia as soon as possible.

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About the Author

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (, and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at for more.

  • hsgdhxbx

    Do these light contain lead? Are they RoHS compliant.

  • azucho98 .

    Cree products are garbage. Previous bulbs (made in USA) had lifetimes much less than advertised and now the new bulbs are made in Mexico and China. They don’t believe in quality control or product improvement. I’ll never put their junk in my home.

    • Bob_Wallace

      There’s hard data somewhere that proves Cree bulbs don’t last as well as other brands?

      Just because something is made in Mexico or China does not mean it’s junk. Quality is determined by the manufacturing company. It’s very easy to produce junk in the US, Germany or Japan if price takes precedence over quality.

      And it’s hard to take someone seriously who up-rates their own comment….

      • azucho98 .

        I said they were junk when made in the USA, and will be worse when made in Mexico. As you say quality is determined by the manufacturing company. I was referring to Cree, who had no quality control when they were manufacturing in the USA. This will become worse with China and Mexico production due to communication issues. I saw first hand how many of their bulbs/lighting products/LEDs fail, and their attitude toward making a product that lasts.

        • Bob_Wallace

          ​That’s not data, it’s a limited observation​.

          • azucho98 .

            Its not limited observation. I SAW truckloads of field rejects roll in every week.

  • LogicDesigner

    I have had two different types of Cree bulbs in my home for a couple years now. One is a “TW Series” with a Color Rendering Index (CRI) of 93, the other is just a standard Cree light with a CRI of 80.

    If you just looked at the light of the 80 CRI you would probably would not realize anything was different. However, once you see the 93 CRI light you would see the difference. The 80 CRI makes the colors feel slightly more muted whereas the 93 CRI is more vivid. The latter, in my view, is a true no-compromises replacement for the traditional incandescent bulb.

    The 93 CRI cost me twice as much and after doing a quick search at the Home Depot website it seems that prices haven’t changed much. I guess whatever mojo they add to increase the CRI is pretty costly.

    While it is cool that this new Cree bulb lasts even longer, I am disappointed to see that it only has 83 CRI. I would recommend that people splurge and just get the 93 CRI bulbs. You won’t regret it.

    • Larmion

      IKEA LED’s form a nice middle ground. Most models have a CRI of 87 and a very reasonable price tag.

      In my experience, they are every bit as reliable as big name rivals (in so much as you can say that after just five years). They don’t handle dimming as well as their more expensive brethren, but other than that they have been excellent.

      Also, IKEA is one of the only major retailers to offer reasonably priced lamps in less common form factors like GU5.3 and GU10. The big brands only have budget offerings in the traditional E27 form.

  • Phil

    We had these sold recently at $5 aus each

    They perform better than a 60w incandescent IMO , and less cost than some CF globes. No idea of the actual lifespan , and they are not dimmable , but the cool white ones have a fabulous even quality of light.These must drop in price over time . Great news.

    • Brent Jatko

      Went to that link and looked at the bulb. It seemed to have a bayonet socket. Is that standard?

      • Phil

        We have both types in Australia ,ES and BC ( bayonet) and this range was available in both types through masters in Australia for a Limited time only . They also had a warm white , but i like the 4000k temperature as it’s not too warm and not too cold , it’s just right

  • Eric Lukac-Kuruc

    It is definitely not a good idea to promote LED lighting by only mentioning their incandescent equivalent wattage. How do you expect people to realize that there are real savings to be done?

    • Larmion

      What alternative do you propose?

      The only one that would be even easier to understand would be stating the amount of money saved on the packaging. That would be impossible though, as both electricity prices and the amount of hours a day the bulb burns vary hugely between two randomly chosen homes. False advertising lawsuits incoming!

      • Steven F

        I am looking at a LED bulb package and it states:

        “Estimated Yearly Energy Cost $1.20

        Based on 3hrs/day, $0.11KWH”

        As to lifetime it states:

        “Life 22.8Years
        Based on 3hrs/day”

        Looking further into the warrently it states the warrenty is based on 3hrs a day usage. If you eceed that welll the warrenty doesn’t apply. Also most warrenties require the purchase receipt to claim the warrenty. How may people keep 6 month old receipts?

        Leagally they are covered. Few lawsuits would succeed based on the warrenty limitations..

    • Steven F

      After 100 years of using incandescent bulbs that came in a very limited number of shapes most people are use to using watts. The only alternative is to go by lumens and the bulb style ID (GU10, PARXX, BARXX,AXX,EXX, and many others letter number combinations). Unfortunately the Lumen and bulb style are often not listed on the bulb.

    • vensonata

      It seems people do not get what we are saying: Give us the bulb wattage, not the “equivalent wattage” so we can compare this led bulb with the previous generation. Otherwise we cannot see if it is more efficient.

      • Steven F

        comparing wattage of two different LED bulb will not tell you which one is more efficient. The higher wattage bulb might actually be more efficient because it produces more lumens (greater light output) at a better CRI than the bulb with a lower wattage. You cannot make any conclusion on efficiency unless you look at CRI and lumens per watt. People that select a led based on wattage alone are often disappointed when then find it produces a blueish white light and is dimmer than they expected.

  • Peter Holland

    LEDs degrade over time, thus the ‘life time’ needs to be defined i.e. what’s the level of light maintains after a specific period. Newer COB types (chip on board) allow a greater density by dissipating the heat better. The author is a self-confessed Christian and therefore doesn’t trust in science by default. That’s not a personal insult – just a fact. I agree with the authors assertion that we causing huge damage to the environment, but wouldn’t be better to have somebody with a scientific knowledge doing this rather than somebody who simply follows the marketing from a company like CREE. Personally I think the edge lit ceiling panels that use surface mount LEDs around the periphery have a lot to offer. Why are we so hung up about the light bulb! Does anyone know what happened to remote phosphor?

    • Ronald Brakels

      You think that’s bad? In Australia we have Crows fans. (Talk about irrational…)

    • Larmion

      Alternative lighting designs using LED exist and are easy to find both online and in brick-and-mortar stores. Cree makes them too.

      But bulbs (and other traditional form factors like GU10 and floodlights) continue to dominate the market simply out of convenience.

      If I buy an LED bulb, all I have to do is screw out my old bulb and screw in the new one. It takes a few minutes at most and requires no tools or skill. Retrofitting a luminescent ceiling panel is going to take time and cost money on the other hand, as do all other uncommon form factors.

      Since most bulbs are installed in existing homes rather in new builds, traditional bulbs will rightly be the main focus of LED companies for the forseeable future.

    • LogicDesigner

      Such a sophomoric attack on someone’s faith undermines everything else you say.

  • tyoung

    A CRI of 83 is not much to brag about. I have some Cree downlights that claim to have a CRI of 90+

    • newnodm

      the new bulbs are $4.

      99% of the population couldn’t tell the difference between 80 and 90 CRI.

      • This.

      • Bob_Wallace

        I’d be surprised if anyone could tell the difference if the bulbs were located in separate rooms with a long dark corridor between them.

  • Riely Rumfort

    “Around 52 times longer than in my house”

    Why is the frequent writer of a clean tech site not sporting LEDs?

  • JamesWimberley

    ” … Cree, the US-based lighting revolutionary …” The invention of the LED was a revolution. But it wasn’t done by Cree. The last critical step before white LED lamps became feasible was the creation of a high-intensity blue LED by Shuji Nakamura in Japan in 1994, for which he shared a Nobel Prize in physics. After that breakthrough, combining red, yellow and blue into commercial white lamps became an ordinary technical challenge, which Cree and its competitors met. It’s a capable and innovative corporation, sure.

    The dissing of the competition means that Cree’s margins are coming under pressure from cheaper Chinese manufacturers. Is there any evidence that their bulbs don’t last as long? It’s been a problem with cheap CFLs.

    • Riely Rumfort

      I think they’re 5k hours less. But 15-20k is plenty for most people.

      I have 1 american superbulb(3.2w, 25k hours) was $41 at the time lol
      And 3 chinese 15k hour bulbs (7w) 15k hours 8-9 bucks. They’re also brighter though.

    • newnodm

      Shuji Nakamura is at UC Santa Barbara, I think.

      USA! USA!

      The new bulb is $4. So I think we are probably already at the bottom price wise.

      • JamesWimberley

        At the time he was working for a Japanese company. They offered him a ludicrous financial reward, so he sued and won – a very unusual step in Japan. So he doesn’t work for them any more.

        • Steven F

          He was also born in Japan.

      • Omega Centauri

        Yes. Retrogrouches can no longer hide behind the “the bulbs are too expensive” excuse any longer. I bought GE light sticks (2850K 60watt replacements) 3 for $10 just a month ago.

        • John Moore

          Are the GE lightsticks substantially similar to the other LEDs? I saw them for the price you mentioned, at Home Depot. Why are they so cheap? Is there any downside, or performance issues? If not, I will probably just start buying them.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Looks to be just a different shape. Isn’t dimmable if that’s important.

          • Omega Centauri

            Seem pretty decent, I bought 2packs (6bulbs). They have a much smaller profile than the usual Edison bulb, so they
            might work in apps where you don’t have a lot of space. 760lumens if I recall correctly.

          • Steven F

            I haven’t purchased any yet but the GE light Stik shape is similar to what many people are now calling led Corn bulbs. mot many manufactures make them but they are apparently a popular design and cost about the same as the GE product.. The only visible difference is that a frosted glass cover instead of a clear cover. GE might have just just licences the design. According to the Homedepot website the CRI is 78 which is low compared to many other brands which list a CRI of 80+. It is also not dimable. Using lower cost CRI LEDs and simplifiing the driver circuit by removing the dimming function probably accounts for the low cost.

    • Steven F

      most white led bulbs in the store don’t use red green and blue leds to creat white. light. RGB white light via LEDs has a very poor color rendoring index CRI.

      Most white LDs today use blue LEDs coated with a phosphor. The phosphor converts some bue from the LED to red, yellow,and gree while allowing acontroled amount of blue out. This provides much better spectrum coverage and much improved CRI. most white phosphor leds in the store have a CRI of 80 plus. I have seen these cree blulbs in the store and there CRI is list at about 93 . The best possible CRI is 100.

    • Steven F

      sorry double post

    • Alantar

      I’ve been testing the new LED bulbs for over 5 years now, and many of them – even reputable brands – have failed in 2 years or less. The LED itself may be good, but the other electronics fail, or the bulbs have sometimes actually fallen apart.

      The early CREE bulbs I purchased are all still working, though the casing (“bulb” part) has fallen off of three of them, and occasionally I have to push on the LED part to get it to reconnect in the base. For overall price and performance I consider CREE second only to EcoSmart, whose bulbs have performed quite well and are much cheaper.

      • Steven F

        I have converted my home to all LEDs. The biggest killer of LED bulbs is heat. If they get to hot the LED fails or the electric power supply inside fails. LED Lights in totally open fixtures (heavy use) last a long time. Bulb in totally enclosed fixtures that get limited use have also done well because they are never on long enough to get hot. One enclosure gets heavy used and is enclosed. one type of compact LED bulb does very well. However 2 bulbs of more conventional shape from the same manufacture failed quickly. I took ot apart and found plastic on a small transformer had melted on both).

        However spot lights such as GU10 and PAR bulbs are generally in partially enclosed fixtures with little air movement. These lights have limited space for the electronics and heat sinks making heat management difficult. Some have failed early while others have lasted a long time. One Very old GU10 bulb (probably has about 5 years of heavy use recently failed when one of its 3 LEDs cracked due to plastic disintegration (I had to take it apart to see it).

      • azucho98 .

        Cree makes junk – buy another brand. They ignore obvious problems with their products and they even ignore safety issues. Don’t put their crap in your home unless you have really good fire insurance.
        Cree also has problems with their LEDs color shifting over time. you probably will never see it in the bulbs because the electronics will die (as you said) well before the shift occurs. The glass dome was a problem from day 1 on the original 40 & 60W bulbs and is something they chose to ignore until the plastic one came out.

  • CU

    Sorry, but what kind of marketing is this including the disaster statement: “the 40-watt bulb delivers 460 lumens, while the 60-watt bulb delivers 815 lumens” Hey???????????

    • Kyle Field

      lumens vary even at the same wattage. For instance this 60 watt bulb puts out 855 lumens (

      Whereas this bulb puts out 540 lumens (

      It’s not linear, varies by manufacturer, technology, etc.

      Regarding “marketing”…this was likely a press release that readers (at least me, for sure) are interested in. Lots of good info that I want. In fact, I bought 16 CREE bulbs based on the previous generations’ announcement on this very site so…thanks much CT!

      • CU

        Hey!!!!: 460 lumen/40Watt = 11.5 lumen/Watt ; I would expect no about 100 lumen/Watt!!!!!!

        • Karl the brewer

          Could it be that the author means ‘equivalent’ to a 40 or 60 watt incandescent?

        • Zorba

          This article is not clear. Looking at the Cree site the 40W refers to “40W replacement”, actually about 6W.

          “Based on Cree LED Bulb 40-watt replacements at 6-watt, $0.11 per kilowatt-hour, 30,000-hour lifetime and average usage of 3 hours per”

          • Kyle Field

            LED and CFL bulbs are widely sold as 40/60/100w equivalent and NEVER run at those wattages. Lower usage is one of the main drivers for converting to these bulb types and the lower wattage is almost always advertised. The “equivalent” wording is referring to the relative amount of light output…

          • Zorba

            Yes, I’m aware of that. That’s what I was clarifying to those doing calculations based on the 40W figure, like CU arriving at 11.5 lumen/watt. This article should have referred to ’40W equivalent bulb’ not ’40W bulb’ to prevent these misunderstandings,

    • vensonata

      I had to read you twice. But then, aha! So we want to know how many lumens per watt for the new “more efficient bulb?” If they are 8 and 10 watts then the answer is, “not much”.

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