For those looking to try out the durability of LED lightbulbs in their homes but don’t want to fork up $200 for the fancy smancy Philips Hue, Cree has always been our top alternative pick. The LED bulbs are sold individually, and while they do not boast Internet-connected disco color controls, they are dimmable and boast more than 20,000 hours of use. Since Cree’s launch into market three months ago, the company has been selling three variants of its A19 bulb: A 40-watt equivalent version, and two models of the 60W-equivalent bulbs in “Warm White” and “Daylight LED.” Now, Cree is adding the BR30 bulb to its line up, offering 65W-equivalent of lighting, also available in the two shades of white.
We’ve noted before that Cree does an interesting job attempting to convert the market toward LED bulbs, especially by keeping them looking like regular incandescents. The BR30, however, is starting to take on that futuristic aesthetic. Like the Hue and LIFX, the Cree BR30 has a flatter head designed to give more directional lighting. Those looking to replace spotlights or task lighting spots will find this model more useful in giving that space the ultimate focus. If you’re environmentally conscious, you’ll also be happy to know the bulb is mercury-free.
The BR30 shines at 650 lumens at 9.5W, amounting to roughly 68 lumens-per-watt. Add that to 25,000 hours of use and you’ve got a lightbulb that’s going to last a long, long while. Unlike omnidirectional lightbulbs, like traditional bulbs and even the A19, Cree expects users to leave the BR30 on longer – in ceiling lights rather than table lamps, for example – so it was important for the company to truly boost that life span while keeping power consumption to a minimum.
The Cree BR30 is available now for $22 a bulb.