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Cree promises to deliver proper LED lightbulbs to the masses

by Danny Zepeda | September 17, 2016September 17, 2016 6:00 am PST

Light bulbs aren’t that exciting but they are a necessity that we all need. When normal bulbs go out, chances are you buy the cheapest replacement fluorescent bulbs, until those burn out and you begin the process again.

Unbeknownst to most people, there have been strides made in the light bulb world, and one of the companies pushing the boundaries of lighting technology is Cree. The company’s specialty is LED bulbs, and it’s just announced a whole new portfolio of bulbs to brighten up your place.

The question now is: how do LED bulbs improve on your old bulbs? Are they more expensive? Are they even worth the trouble? Before those questions are answered, one thing needs to change—your perception of light bulbs.

“You can do more and better with LED technology. Lighting is not just about shooing away darkness,” stated Al Safarikas, VP of Marketing at Cree Inc. in a recent interview with TechnoBuffalo.

According to Cree, light shouldn’t be muted and bland; it should be bright, vibrant and efficient, but that’s not what fluorescent bulbs deliver.

A 4-pack of the 60W Cree bulbs retail for $19.97. However, you can find comparable fluorescent bulbs for $15 in an 8-pack. So, why pay the $5 extra? Durability, efficiency and reduced prices.

Cree’s bulbs promise a 22.8-year lifespan based on 3-hour daily use formula, the 60W comparable bulb operates using only 9.5W and over the time of their lifespan you spend not buying new bulbs, you’ll save money.

Still, it should be noted that these bulbs are not perfect. They cost more upfront, and although they are dimmable, you need a special dimmer that’s compatible with it to use this feature. But Cree thinks you shouldn’t focus too much on these issues because they end up taking care of themselves with the benefits. I tend to agree.

“It’s an improvement to your home. When you shop for a durable, such as a sofa, or nice piece of furniture, you treat that decision differently to buying paper towels or toothpaste,” says Safarikas. If your light bulb can last over ten years, and possibly over twenty, viewing them as an investment is not all that crazy.

The longer lifespan means you won’t be buying light bulbs every year when they go out, thus returning on the investment of the initial premium price you paid for. This also makes the investment of possibly purchasing separate dimmers for them more bearable, since your lighting set up will last decades. You don’t have to buy the dimmers, but if you do, you unlock a feature that comes standard with all Cree LED bulbs. And if you’re investing in bulbs for the next ten plus years, it’s good to know you can use this feature whenever you chose to.

“The full promise of LEDs is to be better than what was,” explained Safarikas. With core features that come with Cree’s offering, it does improve over what is out there in the market.

Cree is not the only LED maker out there, but its promise of a better lighting solution is backed by its belief in its lights. Two competitors, LUX and Hyperikon, have comparable bulbs ($20), but compromise in one way or another (brightness, price) and each fail to match Cree’s 10-year satisfaction guarantee warranty. LUX’s 6-pack of LED bulbs ($20.99) come with a 30-day warranty and Hyperikon’s 4-pack ($15) come with a 5-year warranty.

Exceeding expectations is what Cree hopes will change the perception of lighting for the better. Its slogan is, “We believe in better light,” after all.

Cree is cornering the market with its wide selection of bulbs ranging from 40W soft white bulbs to 120W White PAR38 Dimmable Flood light, and the prices vary from $10.97 to $29.97. The company even offers a soft white Candelabra LED bulb that mimics the tone and brightness of a candle.

Cree has done its job to deliver a steadfast product that delivers an optimal experience. It’s now up to the consumer to invest the premium upfront cost and upgrade their lighting situation. There’s no reason why Cree’s LED bulbs shouldn’t be purchased on your next visit to the store.

Danny Zepeda

Born and raised in Southern California, Danny grew up on a steady diet Pixar, Star Wars and Steven Spielberg movies. Unbeknownst to him, this was...