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04/08/2011

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Christopher Yaun

Burning Down the House

I installed an ECOSMART (HomeDepot/Cree), 9 watt, A19 in the hanging fixture between 2 existing curlyque flourescent bulbs over the kitchen counter. The yellow banana, red cell phone, green plastic candy box and an orange placed directly under the LED were much more pleasing to look at than under the curlyque.

Only problem is the $17 price tag. I'll be buying a bunch more as soon as the price hits $8 each.

Heather says she enjoyed the light from the LED while cooking during yesterdays rain.

Kate Stephenson

Marc,
I took notes from your post and used them to stare at the LED display at Home Depot for a very long time (they kept asking if I needed help, I politely declined). In the end I purchased 3 "40 watt equivalent" ecosmart bulbs to test out in the Yestermorrow library. I really like the bright light quality, especially for reading. Efficiency Vermont is running a commercial rebate right now for LEDs that pretty much covers the whole cost of most bulbs, so I'm looking at where else we can try them out (since most of our buildings use flourescents already that have hard-wired ballasts, there are very few to switch out).
I was also interested to read the article in this month's Fine Homebuilding which talks about the new Lutron dimmers for LEDs and CFLs, which I might test out at my house.

dana

A gold-flash Halo optometrics aren't really designed to optimize the output a 23W twisty CFL. A better comparison would be a 12-16W R30 vs. your new Cree CR6s.

A couple issues with the $30 box-store CR6s are:

The color temp isn't super-consistent unit to unit- some are redder/lower temp than others, not by a huge amount, but noticeable.

On many dimmers they flicker, but with newer Lutrons they might flicker at only a couple of levels, but otherwise dim smoothly. Incandescent dimmers are maladapted for running electronic ballasts, so I don't fault the Cree design for this- quite the contrary, I'm impressed that it works as well as it does with SCR wave forms on the incoming power! The Cree CR6 works far better on dimmer control than any Edison base CFL or CCFL out there.

Like the LR6, they're fairly low-glare compared to the competition, and lower glare than some R30 CFLs of similar output. At the box-store price point they're a good value particularly for high CRI dimming applications, but for non-dimming fixtures R30 CFLs may still beat them on lifecycle cost & luminous efficiency. If and when the L-prize PAR 38s arrive on the market it'll be another story entirely- more than twice the light per watt, for a similar initial price point (and cheaper thereafter), if any LED manufacturer is willing to step up to the plate on that one.

Marc Rosenbaum

Thanks very much for this post! Do you have a LED lamp in the range you suggest that you prefer? I'd like in some applications to have up to twice as much light output as this 10.5W Cree lamp. And do you have a recommendation for a screw-in LED lamp for a pendant fixture that doesn't have too narrow of a beam spread (over an island)?
Thanks

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