Cree LED Bulbs

Discussion in 'Environmental' started by brick, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    I picked up a few Cree LED bulbs since I happened to see them at Home Depot. $10 for a 40W-equivalent and $12 for 60W still seems a little pricey compared to CFLs (which used to be just as pricey) but I can justify buying a handful to see how they do. I'm partially curious and partially annoyed by the shorter-than-expected life of my CFLs, which have started failing in fixtures where they can't be anywhere near end-of-life. I think it's the ballasts that quit. They aren't in ceiling fans or on dimmers or anything like that.

    Anyway, my first impression of the Cree is pretty good. I replaced 5 dead CFLs and put most of the 800 lumen (60W-equiv) LEDs in my kitchen, which is the highest-usage room in the house. The effect is pretty close to that of an incandescent but not far off of the "warm white" CFLs that I have been using. I can run them side-by-side without having a noticeable mismatch. The glass stays very cool, but the fins around the base get too hot to touch after a while. The real question will be life span and/or whether or not the 10 year warranty holds up.
  2. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    They don't last anywhere near the rated life if they get too hot in an enclosed fixture, or with short cycles. The standard test assumes 3-hour average on periods, or only 3333 on-off cycles for a 10,000-hour rated bulb. The data on bulb packaging should, in my opinion, include some clue of how much life is reduced by short cycles. LEDs are better in that respect.
  3. essaunders

    essaunders Well-Known Member

    At least the LED replacements have been a little more forthcoming on the 'no enclosed fixtures'. Does make it hard to find options though.
  4. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    I picked up one of those Cree lights a couple months back. It's buzzing and flickering already. I thought the brand would be a sign of quality, but it seems even the best have issues at times.
  5. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    I've noticed a lot of LED bulbs on clearance at Home Depot and Lowe's lately. I think some new technology is coming down the line, and they're marking down the current stock to clear it out. Either that, or they're just discontinuing it for lack of sales. I would like to switch from CFL to LED, but it has to be a cost effective purchase. I'm not paying 2-3x what a CFL would cost to buy an LED bulb.
  6. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    If it's clearance it could be either.

    Home Depot is really pushing them. It's very noticeable that they now show lumens on CFLs as well, for example. They have a display showing light quality and cost and the CREE are displayed separately.
    It's tiugh to judge since with CFL the turnover rate is low and people could simply be working their way through cheap packets and biding their time,

    There's one Philips bulb sold for $8 because kt's sòoòooooo lasf year, as they've gone from 800/12.5lm/W to 830/11lm/W.
  7. oilburner

    oilburner Active Member

    I bought one of these to try the other day. It works fantastic right now. It comes on instantly and seems to be living up to the lumens claim. It replaced a 13 watt CFL, but I cannot remember what wattage that was rated for.

    Flourescents absolutely hate on/off cycles. I have one in my yard light and it last several years out in the heat and cold of Kansas. However, inside bulbs that get daily cycles last only a fraction of that.

    Cree is a major player in the LED market and I have many of them in my flashlights. I hope they last a long time so people will start buying them in bulk.
  8. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    Right. Similarly, my mother has had the same 10-watt helical CFL bulb in the automatically controlled post light in her yard for somewhere near 4 years in the heat and cold of Kentucky. At over 4000 hours per year, it must be well over its claimed life (which is based on 3 hours per on-off cycle, not the 11 or so this one averages). Flourescent and CFL specifications should include a rated number of on-off cycles.
  9. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    I also have some 10 watt CFL candelabra bulbs in my light post out front, which is controlled by a photosensor. They've been in there for years, and I think I only had to replace one that failed.
  10. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    I have a 15W CFL I use as a night light at work for the cats. I figured they're lasting around two years. The light is on 101.5 hours a week or roughly 10,500 hours over that two years.

    Obviously the more start ups you have the shorter the bulbs life expectancy.
  11. Just replaced the 4 recessed lights in my office at home with some Phillips LEDs on clearance at Lowes.
    Sometimes they dont all turn on, and I have to use the switch a couple times. Notice a little random flicker too.
  12. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    I've tried Phillips, GE, and Lights of America and they have all burned out or gotten so dim I had to remove them. For me, they were a waste of money. I think Cree will be substantially better.
  13. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I'm hoping that LED manufacturers will step up their quality. Otherwise , folks won't embrace the technology. Well , they WILL embrace it after the gubbamint outlaws CFL's and mandates LED's. Or buy a lot of candles.

    Can anyone recommend a good ceiling fixture designed for LED bulbs ? It doesn't matter to me if it is recessed or not. It will be over a dining room table that sometimes requires a LOT of light , and will be used with a dimmer at times. It would be nice if it would use some "standard" , easily obtainable LED's.
  14. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    15 months later I've lost the first Cree bulb of my first test batch. It was in a 6" open recess fixture over the sink facing downward. I thought I had caught it flickering occasionally for the last few months, but couldn't quite tell. I estimate it failed somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 hours. (We use those lights all the time.) 3CFLs that predate it in identical fixtures on the same switch are still going strong. The 3 other Crees in a chandelier-type thing over the island, also on the same switch, are still fine as well. Unfortunately I think I may have a flicker starting in another Cree that I installed later in a different room.

    I saw Osram LEDs for under $10 at Lowes the other day. Maybe I'll grab a couple of those next.
  15. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    I see that Amazon now sells Cree automobile direct replacement LED headlight bulbs.

    Has anyone have any experience with these new bulbs ?
  16. wick1ert

    wick1ert Well-Known Member

    I bought some made-in-china ones with CREE LEDs on them and put it in my motorcycle for a few months. They were a little bulky on the back end for the electronics and heat dissipating fins. They worked just fine, though. I was nervous using them in my motorcycle, because if the goes bad, I don't have any light at all. With a regular halogen one, if the low beam goes out, you can still use the high beam.

    For an automobile with 2 headlights and/or separate high beams, I think they'd be a good alternative to the HID kits.
  17. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    My main concern with any LED kit is glare. The yahoos who install HID kits in halogen reflector housings drive me insane. If the LEDs don't exactly mimic a halogen bulb's point source the result will be equally bad.

    In other news, I grabbed two soft white Osram Ulta LED bulbs in 800 lumen/8.5W draw (60W equivalent) to see how they do. I also took apart the failed Cree to see if I could pinpoint the problem. Nothing looks obviously blown or burned. I can post pics if anyone is interested but they're kind of boring.
  18. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

    I have order some of these:


    They are on their way. They use just 20W each and they claim 2000 lumens each. I have a pair for my Scion xA and a pair for our Leaf S (if they work well my spouse will hopefully consent). I like that these are passively cooled (no fan to break) and the power bricks look to be smaller than most.

    $85 is not too bad, but shipping is $15 for one pair and $25 for two pairs. Which seems a bit steep, but hey, I couldn't find these anywhere else.
  19. picked up a few Cree led light bulbs today. No flicker and no trouble turning on like the Phillips I mentioned earlier. Going to watch for sales to replace all of my lights.
  20. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    Another of the Crees failed last night. This time the adhesive that holds the glass globe to the base gave way, allowing the globe to fall to the ground from the downward-facing fixture where I had it mounted. I was sitting in the next room when it happened. It's a good thing because the dog was sauntering over to play with what probably looked like a ball that had fallen from the sky.

    The Osram LEDs don't seem to be faring any better. One of them, mounted in an an open fixture, reduces itself to ~30% brightness after about 10 minutes of use as if it's overheating or something.

    I'll still try an LED or two as technology evolves but I've gone back to buying CFLs for 25% of the cost. These $10 LEDs just aren't worth it.

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