Cree 4Flow Daylight LED review: Cree's daylight LED: Not the brightest bulb, but decent on dimmer switches

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MSRP: $5.97

The Good The daylight version of Cree's 4Flow LED is almost indistinguishable from an incandescent when it's turned on. It also performs well on a variety of dimmer switches.

The Bad The bulb isn't as bright as advertised, and it isn't as efficient as the competition.

The Bottom Line This is a good daylight pick if you need to dim the light, but if not, you've got better options.

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7.8 Overall
  • Design 9
  • Value 8
  • Performance 7

Review Sections

If you're a fan of daylight-toned light bulbs and the neutral, hot white light they provide, then you might consider the Cree 4Flow Daylight LED. At about $6 a pop, it's one of the more affordable dimmable LED options on the market. On top of that, the unique design does an excellent job at imitating incandescents, especially when the bulb is turned on.

Dimmable 60W replacement daylight LEDs

Cree 4Flow Daylight LED Philips 60W Equivalent Daylight LED Philips SlimStyle Daylight LED Sylvania 60W Equivalent Daylight LED Walmart Great Value 60W Equivalent Daylight LED GE 60W Equivalent Daylight LED
Lumens (measured/stated) 625 / 815 738 / 800 670 / 800 738 / 800 709 / 800 711 / 900
Watts 10 9 10.5 8.5 10 11
Efficiency (lumens per watt) 63 82 64 87 71 65
Yearly energy cost (3 hours of use per day) $1.20 $1.08 $1.26 $1.02 $1.20 $1.32
Color temperature (measured/stated) 4,561 K / 5,000 K 4,645 K / 5,000 K 4,758 K / 5,000 K 4,781 K / 5,000 K 4,562 K / 5,000 K 4,575 K / 5,000 K
Dimmable range 5.0 - 100% 9.9 - 93.2 % 13.4 - 94.9% 2.1 - 96.1% 18.4 - 99.5% 13.4 - 92.5%
Dimmer switch flicker/buzz Very light Very light Light Moderate Moderate Light
Lifespan 30,000 hours 25,000 hours 25,000 hours 25,000 hours 25,000 hours 30,000 hours
Weight 1.9 oz. 2.3 oz. 2.2 oz. 3.0 oz. 2.9 oz. 3.8 oz.
Energy Star Certification Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Warranty 5-year 5-year 3-year 5-year 3-year 10-year
Price $6 $8 $5 $8 $4 $5

Still, there are some notable compromises here. For starters, Cree's daylight LED isn't as bright as advertised, coming in at 625 lumens rather than the stated 815. And, while it's far, far better than an incandescent, it was still less efficient than any of the other LEDs I tested.

The 4Flow LED has an ace up its sleeve, though, and that's its dimming performance. Of all the daylight-toned 60W replacement bulbs I tested, Cree's was the best on dimmer switches. I was barely able to detect any flicker on any of the switches on our dimming rig, and the bulb dialed all the way down to an average of 5 percent brightness while still hitting 100 percent at max settings. That's exactly what you want from a dimmable LED.

The price is appealing, too. Consider the fact that a 60W incandescent will add about $7 to your yearly energy bill, while this Cree bulb will add just over a buck. With an upfront cost of $6, that means it really isn't any more expensive than that incandescent, especially not in the long term, where it'll continue saving you money (and energy) for years to come.

That's enough for me to look past the shortcomings and call this my dimmable daylight LED of choice. That said, if you don't need a bulb that dims, you're better off going with something that costs a few dollars less. The $4 Walmart Great Value Daylight LED and the daylight version of the GE Bright Stik LED, which costs about $3 per bulb, both jump out as good alternatives.

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