Few talked about solid-state lighting -- known as light emitting diodes or LEDs -- except as futuristic technology that would probably come of age in 2020 and beyond. Most consumers considered them ridiculously expensive and bizarrely shaped gadgets for geeks.
This spring, a 25-year-old electronic chip maker based in Durham, N.C., changed everything.
Cree Inc. invaded the consumer lighting market with less pricey, USA-made quality LED bulbs that now have its competitors scrambling.
The bulbs, which are sold exclusively at Home Depot, go for $9.97 and $12.97 -- beating competitors whose household LED products cost between $15 and $50.
The less expensive of the two Cree bulbs uses just 6 watts but produces as much light as a 40-watt incandescent. Its higher-priced big brother uses 9.5 watts and replaces the standard 60-watt household incandescent.
Both throw light in all directions just like the old bulbs, turn on instantly, can be dimmed and last about 25 times longer than the incandescent bulbs. Like all LED bulbs, these do not contain mercury, which has been a concern about compact fluorescent light bulbs.
Cree estimates that they will cost an average household about $1 a year to use and pay for themselves in two years or less.
Read the rest here.
I saw the above article in the PD a few days ago. I thought it was neat for two reasons:
This is rather inspiring me to go looking for Cree LED light bulbs ... and maybe touch base with my contact at Cree and see if they're still using the tester I installed there!
I could grow tomatoes under these LED grow-lights. For Loren, they use CREE technology. They would be the most expensive tomatoes in the history of the universe.
The article states "Different stages of plant growth require different spectra. The initial vegetative stage requires a blue spectrum of light, whereas the later "flowering" stage is usually promoted with red–orange spectra" The fluorescents I am using are different color spectra. Some are in the range of cool white, and some are daylight, spectra 2700, 4200, and 6500. I had pepper plants under the warm zone 2,700 and they stayed compact and have peppers on them. What I wanted at this stage is better leaf and stem growth, which needs the higher k lights. Kind of novel, though.
CREE Daylight is 5000k. I think that might work! Time for an experiment! The wattage isn't that much less than the CFLs I bought, but it might be cooler which is still an advantage for the amount of light.
I learned today that California has energy efficiency laws (Title 20 and 24) that, among other things, require certain light fixtures to be "high efficacy" and incompatible with incandescent bulbs. (Most rooms in homes can have "low efficacy" installed light fixtures if there's a dimmer or a vacancy sensor. Kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, garages, etc. have more specific requirements.)
Portable lamps manufactured in or after 2010 must either be incompatible with screw-in incandescent bulbs, or be packaged with CFL or LED bulbs for all the sockets.
Out of the ~40 Cree bulbs I've had in operation for 3-4 years now, ~7 have went bad.
3 or 4 just had the glass bulb come off, but they still work. I may glue the bulbs back on, but so far I've been using them in out-of-the-way places where they won't get bumped.
3 or 4 have have went completely dead.
For that reason, plus the fact that while their competition has reduced prices to $3, Cree has remained at about $7, I don't buy Cree anymore.
Out of the ~40 bulbs of other brands I've been using for 1-3 years, only one has went bad.
A month ago, I found $1 LED bulbs at the Dollar Store. I purchase 14 of them, and so far, no problem. I've been using one of them 10 hours a day for a month now. The others have only been in operation 5 hours a day for a week. They claim to last as long as Cree, which is over 22 years at 3 hours/day. Here is a picture of those $1 bulbs in the box:
That's the "Dollar Tree" store.
I see that Cree now sells 60W and 40W for $4. They also have 75W and 100W for higher prices. I also spotted 75 and 100W LED bulbs at Lowe's store. Different brand.
I have eight dual tube four foot flourescent light fixtures in my workshop. Some are T-8's, others are T-12s.
New fixtures aren't needed. Bypassing the ballast in flourescent light fixtures allows LED installation at a cost of ~$12 for each lamp ($24 for each fixture of two lamps).
As the bulbs go out It at my place I'm going to replace them them with the LED's. Removing the balast, expecially in recessed flourescent tube light fixtures is much easier and inexpensive than replacing the entire fixture.
Chris, where do you get those $12 LED lamps, and do you know how bright they are?
The link ~$12 had them. Hopefully the following will help you find them.
Look at "see more product details" for more information.
I don't like the soft white color in a workshop, or kitchen. Other (K) colors may be available.
Thanks for the information Chris. My light is a little more white than that one (4000 compared to 3500), but there are others available as white as mine. So far I've seen some as white as mine that cost less than $10 each, but you have to buy 24.
The $12 ones take 1/3 of a second to come-on which can be annoying at first. I have some screw-in bulbs that take 1 second to come-on. It was annoying at first, but I've grown used to it, so it's not bad now.