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Cree launches new LED light bulb that lasts nearly three decades

By Shawn Knight ยท 20 replies
Sep 15, 2015
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  1. Switching to LED light bulbs is one of the easiest ways to make your home more energy efficient. Even though you’re likely to make your money back – and then some – on the investment, it can be a tough sell as it may take years of use just to break even.

    In an effort to make their offerings more attractive, some LED bulb makers have been sacrificing lifespan in order to drive down the cost of entry. Philips, for example, ran a promotion earlier this year in which it offered a pack of two LED bulbs for just five bucks.

    The catch? They were only rated to last 10 years.

    Cree’s latest bulb aims to address lifetime concerns at a moderate price. It features an improved lifespan of more than 27 years (30,000 years) based on average usage of three hours per day. The Cree bulbs put out 460 lumens for the 40-watt replacement while the 60-watt equivalent generates 815 lumens. Both are available in soft white (2700K) and daylight (5000K) color temperatures and are fully dimmable with most standard dimmers.

    Cree said its new LED bulbs will be available later this week via Home Depot’s online store before arriving at retail locations across the country by the end of the month. Pricing starts at $7.97.

    Permalink to story.

  2. jacaseyclyde

    jacaseyclyde TS Rookie

    I'd say "more than 27 years" is a bit of an understatement if it's rated for 30,000 years ;) Gonna guess you meant 30,000 hours
    MoeJoe likes this.
  3. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe TS Guru Posts: 638   +345

    Proof reading without one's morning coffee spells trouble.
    Let's see how long it takes for them to fix it ...
    jacaseyclyde likes this.
  4. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Maniac Posts: 408   +198

    Absolutely detest the life time units, complete farce for 3 hours a day. If you have a light bulb in a place where you need a light bulb, there is a good chance it will be on more than 3 hours a day (bathroom and stores are an exception).
    madboyv1 likes this.
  5. I'd have to agree.
    I think you meant storage places, like closets?
  6. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,445   +349

    If it makes number people happy, at 8 hours a day this bulb will last just north of 10 years, which makes a far more likely usage rate (At least on the higher usage side).
  7. wfdiver

    wfdiver TS Rookie

    There is only a 5 year warranty. Should be a 15 year warrently at least if it last 27 years.
  8. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,162   +3,260

    They will likely be out of business before then anyway, so I don't see how it makes any difference.
  9. toocooleds

    toocooleds TS Rookie

    It should be noted that the US DOE long-term testing of 60W-equivalent LED bulbs on the market has so far shown the CREE entries to be among the WORST performers in terms of lumen maintenance - that is, they are losing brightness over operating hours faster than predicted. At their current rate of degradation, they will fail to meet the standards - unlike almost every other brand being tested. The most common cause of unexpectedly rapid loss of brightness in LEDs over time in use is excessively high temperatures in the LED chips themselves.
    It's a risky game suggesting to consumers that ANY LED bulb in standard A19 size which uses 10 Watts of power will be fine in a fully enclosed fixture. In reality, heat trapping around the bulb in such fixtures causes premature degradation of the LEDs and a shortened lifetime for the electronic power supply in its base. It's very unlikely that will last even 10 years in a fully enclosed fixture. But they know consumers have lots of enclosed fixtures, so there is a strong incentive to change the labeling and hope it doesn't come back to bite them later.
    Also, the 30,000 hour rating assumes that tiny power supply in the base will not fail in that time, even though a single substandard component or sufficiently severe voltage surge (e.g. from nearby lightning strike) could easily kill the bulb long before that.
    30,000 hours is actually pretty much industry standard lifetime rating for LEDs, including Philips. What CREE is claiming here is nothing more than marketing games with consumers, who are still easily confused and misled about LED bulb technology. It's a good idea to look closely at such claims in product press releases before reporting them as actual advantages over competitors which don't really exist.
  10. Paulp

    Paulp TS Rookie

    Over the last decade I have tried many LED bulbs both commercial and residential. None of them have had the listed life expectancy, most last much longer than regular bulbs but some were actually worse.

    Typically the cause of failure is the power supply or circuit boards the led's are mounted on and the led's remain good. In large exownsive 400 watt replacement bulbs for wharehouse and factory lighting the problem was the dust in the air would eventually plug the venting and the led itself would disintegrate from the heat. In a dusty enviroment this could be in as little as a month.

    The smaller home use type bulbs have improved greatly and the better ones now do give a substatially greater life span. The cheap ones you find in some of the desk lights will still begin failing after a few months and often are not readily replaceable. The ones manufactered in china and tiawan tend to be cheap and short lived.
  11. MPstupid

    MPstupid TS Rookie

    Cree can say and advertise whatever they like. GE and Phillips as well. When a 30 year bulb burns out after 6 months of heavy use, the customer returns it to Home Depot and gets another or their money back. They (we-full disclosure I am a manager at HD) take it back and take the loss not Cree. The manufacturer sets unreal expectations for the consumer and the retailer has to pay and we as managers get the verbal bashing from the upset customer.
    Dondeziner likes this.
  12. runbuh

    runbuh TS Rookie

    I don't see this report anywhere, including the DoE CALiPER site (but it could be right in front of my eyes). Could you provide a link?
  13. runbuh

    runbuh TS Rookie

    You don't do that with us (outdoor power equipment supplier). Anything returned by the customer comes back to us, and you make us pay the shipping. Anything you don't sell is shipped back to us, and you make us pay the shipping.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  14. David Legg

    David Legg TS Rookie

    We started converting to LED lighting in our home about five years ago. We have been fully LED now for over a year, except for the oven light and one flouredcent ceiling fixture. We have had only three bulb failures in all that time, and only one that went bad within a year.
    We have been slowly upgrading our lamps to Cree because I like the quality of light better, and giving away the older ones to friends who want them.
    I also use three gen 1 Crees for terrarium lighting for some tropical exotics, and the bulbs have been running 24x7 for the last 18 months with no problem.
    Needless to say, we have been very happy with LED.
    kjressler and cliffordcooley like this.
  15. kjressler

    kjressler TS Rookie

    I installed a CREE 60W equivalent, 5000K LED in the post light in my front yard in August 2013. The light is controlled by a photocell, so it runs on average 8 or more hours a night. It has performed flawlessly since I installed it. Brightness appears to be the same today as it was new to my non-scientifically trained eye. This was the first commercially available CREE Daylight bulb at the Home Depot. Sure beats replacing 4 or 5 incandescent or 3 or 4 halogen bulbs per year due to the buffeting they take from the wind, and the light quality is so much better.
  16. DanaH

    DanaH TS Rookie

    I have a closet that I would like to leave the light on 24/7. So this 27 year light bulb would become a 3 and 1/3 year light bulb. But still way better than what I'm using now. :)
  17. James Boyd

    James Boyd TS Rookie

    This reminds me of when I bought CFL bulbs that has essentially the same rating. They work great... When they work at all. But they most certainly do NOT last for 27 years. So whoever said that Cree was just playing the standard marketing card for new light bulb technology was right on the money. They say that because the Feds let them say it. Just like most products now days, if they told us the truth about them, perhaps we would not be so quick to buy them. Does the VW scandal ring a bell?
  18. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,499   +2,295

    I was walking though Lowe's in Wilmington DE, over 18 years ago. The day I was there Lowe's was changing its primary bulb supplier away from Westinghouse, to Sylvania, (IIRC). The offered the Westies for 25 cents each for PAR-38 floods!! I bought a many as would fit in my motorcycle's tiny saddlebags, (about a dozen I think), and headed home with my bounty.

    I have 8 high hat fixtures between my living room and dining room. I use dimmers heavily as nobody needs 720 watts of lighting in a 30 X 15 area.

    I still have several of those bulbs left and working in the ceiling where I stuck them 18 years ago, and haven't bought any since that day!

    Long life 90 watt (equivalent) GE floods are now $20.00 a pair in Home Depot today..

    So, I decided I was going to be energy responsible and buy Cree 90 watt equivalent LED bulbs. OK, so they're 25 bucks a pop. Bought 2 and popped them in. One burned out inside of 6 months! Pure garbage. At that rate, I could have bought 100 of those bargain incandescent floods that day in Lowe's.

    Home Depot has a ton of back stock on the original Cree bulbs. (The ones with the porcelain bases which whine like hell). It seems like they're going to be there for a while.

    I bought 3 of these new "4-Flow" bulbs for the bedroom. The only reason for that is, you can dim the LED's whereas you couldn't the CFL lamps that were in there,.. The Cree bulbs are being given a $2.00 rebate from our electric company, so the take me home price is down to $2.97. It would seem the Cree company has plenty of bulls**t to go around, since they've managed to get themselves so heavily entrenched with our local utility.....
  19. Bruce Reynard

    Bruce Reynard TS Rookie

    Unfortunately, it doesn't work this way in practice. Lifetime ratings testing is done using multiple on/off cycles for a MAX of three hours per day to get the lifetime they quote. In the real world, leaving the bulbs on for reasonable lengths of time (6 to 8 hours) causes much more internal component heat failure, resulting in greatly reduced lifetimes.

    I have about 10 of the lights in my house running on the earlier generation of these Cree bulbs (I don't remember how long they're rated, but probably around 10 years) and I've replaced half of them at least once, some of them more than once. I've only been using them for about 2 years. Home Depot has been pretty good about taking them back, but a few of them that burn up on the inside (black spots) they won't take back.

    It's far too expensive to use these bulbs. They are simply not economically viable.
    madboyv1 likes this.
  20. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,499   +2,295

    FWIW, and off topic be as it may, HID lighting bulbs (sodium and metal halide), actually last longer being left on.

    This is from a GE publication on the use of high intensity discharge lighting in the greenhouse. They found it was cheaper on bulbs to physically move the lighting banks to another area, as opposed to turning them on and off.

    I wrote away for the publication almost 40 years ago and can't find it. This is going to have to be an unsubstantiated rumor for now but, leaving HID lights burn, doubles their lifespan. (in hours of course, obviously not against the calendar).
  21. Epiphiana

    Epiphiana TS Rookie

    These new LED bulbs that supposedly last 27+ years are made in China or Mexico. Aside from the poor manufacturing and the fact they will NOT last as long as they are supposed to, it's more money sent to countries that are slowly destroying the United States. China have been deliberately manipulating their currency to make their exports cheap, they steal US jobs, and they are building their military fast as to catch up with the United States in full accordance to their ancient book titled The Art of War. They're already #2 in the world and supposedly now have a nuclear missile launching capable submarine that could reach the United States. As for Mexico, they're a gateway to bringing drugs, crimes, and rapists... And that's a statistical fact. People upset with that supports it. Cree is just doing what they can to stay competitive. It's not entirely their fault. Their USA made bulbs supposedly don't last as long as the new bulbs, but are better in helping preserve our nation. They're just bulbs...

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