Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cree 60W Replacement LED Bulb with 4Flow Filament Design (11 watt)


Everything old is new again. Case in point: Cree's new LED, built to imitate the incandescents of old as closely as possible. It's an understandable addition to Cree's lineup, given the recent changes to the lighting landscape. With phased-out incandescents gradually disappearing from store shelves, more and more consumers simply want to be able to find something familiar.
LEDs have been trying to imitate incandescents for years now. First it was light quality, with LEDs of all sorts quickly keying in on a satisfying, yellowy color temperature of 2,700K. Then, we saw bulbs with diodes strategically placed to mimic an incandescent's filament, along with designs that tried to hide the unsightly heat sinks.

Cree's new LED takes another step, ditching the heat sinks altogether in favor of a convection-based build -- Cree dubs it "4Flow." As the LED generates heat, it pulls cooler, ambient air into the bulb, venting out the hot stuff in the process.
The Good The Cree 4Flow LED sports an appealingly familiar design, and offers better brightness and dimming performance than its predecessor.
The Bad Cree shortened its trademark 10-year warranty down to 3 years for this bulb. It's also slightly less efficient than the original.
The Bottom Line This simple, low-cost LED is a strong performer with plenty of upfront value.
Part Number: Cree 11W LED with 4Flow Filament design (soft white)

Conclusion

Cree's new LED is better than the original Cree LED in many ways -- most notably its improved brightness and dimming performance. At $8, it fits right in with the $10 and under crop we've seen emerge, with competitors like the $9 Philips SlimStyle and the $5 Ikea Ledare. I could make a case for any of them -- but with its high efficiency and its 10-year warranty, the original Cree LED still seems like the best long-term value to me.
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