"Cree's new LED floodlight is a bright bargain"
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Cree's new LED floodlight is a bright bargain
Brian Krist here with the second gen Cree BR30 LED floodlight.
Now this is a new bulb from Cree that takes the existing BR30 floodlight and adds some subtle improvements, and cuts the cost down from $20 to $10.
That's a pretty significant cut.
That first gen bulb was more expensive than all of these good competitors you see here.
And the new version of the bulb costs less than them.
Now, if I turn the bulb on here, you can see it has a nice yellowy glow at 2,700k.
You can also get a version with a whiter color temperature of 5,000k for a dollar more.
It's a little brighter than last year's model, about 50 lumens brighter.
It's 700 lumens or so.
And it's also more efficient.
It's got a power draw of nine watts as opposed to nine point five watts before.
Now those are pretty incremental steps forward.
It's a very slight improvement over last year's model.
But again, that price is half of what it used to be, so I like that a lot.
However, it also has some of the same weaknesses as last year's bulb.
Last year's bulb wasn't very good at dimming, it flickered a bit on the dimmer switches we tested, this one had the same problem.
As flicker goes, it's definitely very light, but if you're a stickler it might bug you.
Last year's bulb was also not the best in terms of heat management and this bulb is almost the exact same.
Look at this graph.
It shows how the light levels off after about an hour or so.
You can see the two Cree bulbs, that red line and that blue line Are perfectly mirrored right there at the bottom.
That's not a bad result.
Anything north of 85% at that steady state is a good result.
But other bulbs like the GE Reveal and the Green Creative Cloud LED did a lot better.
Something else of note is that along with cutting the price in half, Cree cut the warranty in half.
Last years' bulb gave you ten years of coverage, this bulb only gives you five.
That's still good but not as good as before.
So if you like that long term protection, you might be disappointed.
All in all though you have to be happy at the fact that this is the cheapest major manufacturer floodlight on the market today.
And right at the Home Depot you can grab one right now for $10, that's as low a price as you'll find.
I like that a lot because if you need a bulb like this you probably need more than one.
You probably have a lot of recessed fixtures in your home, and need to upgrade a whole bunch of bulbs, and a low price point is gonna be very enticing.
If you have dimmer switches, maybe consider splurging on the GE Reveal BR30 LEDs.
I couldn't get that to flicker, no matter how hard I tried, but this bulb is still pretty good for basic lighting setups.
And worth the cost.
For more check out the full review at cnet.com, and hit me up on Twitter with any lightbulb questions you've got.
For CNET Appliances, I'm Ry Crist.
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