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Cree's new LED is an incandescent look-alike (pictures)

This $8 LED is designed to simplify the lighting aisle.

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Ryan_Crist2.jpg
Ry Crist
Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a writer, a text-based adventure connoisseur, a lover of terrible movies and an enthusiastic yet mediocre cook. A CNET editor since 2013, Ry's beats include smart home tech, lighting, appliances, broadband and home networking.
Ry Crist
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Cree 4Flow LED

North Carolina-based manufacturer Cree has a new LED light bulb for sale -- its simplest, cheapest bulb to date. Click through for a closer look.

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2 of 8 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Light specs

The new Cree LED is shaped exactly like the sort of classic incandescent you'll see over cartoon characters' heads when they get an idea. It glows at a familiar,  yellowy color temperature of 2,700 K, putting out 815 lumens from a power draw of 11 watts.

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A cooler design

Cree was able to get rid of the bulky heat sinks altogether by incorporating a convection-based design that vents out hot air and replaces it with cooler ambient air.

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Even light output

Cree's new bulb is omnidirectional, meaning it puts out light evenly in all directions.

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Side by side on the shelf

Cree will continue to sell its original LED right alongside the new one. The original costs an extra $2, but is slightly more efficient, and comes with a longer warranty.

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Side by side in our lab

Here they are in our light box. That's the original Cree LED on the left, and the new 4Flow LED on the right. The new bulb is slightly brighter.

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Flicker-free

Cree's 4Flow LED dims down to 5.6 percent brightness, and does so without buzzing or flickering.

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Price

Cree's new bulb will sell for $8 at Home Depot, pitting it against low-priced LEDs like the Philips SlimStyle and the Ikea Ledare. Read my full review to see if it's the right light for you.

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