Skip to main content

Cree introduces a new $8 LED light bulb that lasts 27 years

crees new led light bulbs last 27 years cree bulb
Image used with permission by copyright holder
The promise of LED light bulbs is that while you shell out $10 or $15 a pop, they will last longer than many of your relationships — a good 20 to 25 years. But the price tag is hard to swallow, so some manufacturers have been sacrificing lifespan to make more affordable bulbs. For a while, Philips was running a promotion where a two-pack of its bulbs cost $5. They only lasted 10 years, but $2.50 each is much closer to incandescent bulb prices.

But the familiar bulbs we grow up with only typically last around 1,000 hours. That means that $7 four-pack won’t last as long as a single LED, and these long-lasting bulbs are finally starting to come to a price point where the math is making sense to consumers. Cree just announced its making its own bulbs a little more attractive by lengthening their lives to over 27 years (30,000 hours), while still costing about $8. While it still looks like a regular bulb, the lifetime and performance are both improved, according to Cree. “It’s a better LED bulb,” Cree’s VP of corporate marketing, Mike Watson, tells Digital Trends.

“We’re putting a stake in the ground, holding ourselves and the industry accountable,” says Watson. “It shouldn’t be a surprise, in every case the top things people are looking for is better performance, more features, and longer lifetime more than price.”

The dimmable bulb will better display colors, says Watson, and customers can get their money back or a new bulb if they’re not satisfied with the product. The 40-watt replacement has an output of 460 lumens and 815 lumens for the 60-watt replacement. They’re available right now at The Home Depot for $6.

While $6 for an LED might still make you balk, light bulbs are pretty portable, so even if you don’t plan on staying in your house for the next couple decades, you can always bring them with you when you move.

Editors' Recommendations

Jenny McGrath
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Jenny McGrath is a senior writer at Digital Trends covering the intersection of tech and the arts and the environment. Before…
The best LED light bulbs for 2022
A person reading next to smart light bulb.

LED bulbs are the way to go for a "smarter" smart home. While some bulbs and bulb kits may be a bit of an investment upfront, the cash you'll save in the long run, combined with many of the great lighting features and added security your home will net, will make your lumens upgrade well worth it.

Whether you want to be able to match your lighting to your mood, use a “daylight” feature, or change colors on the fly, we found bulbs that serve your needs. If you need a multipack to transition from outdated light bulbs, we've got you covered. Read on for our favorite LED bulb options of the year.
Cree A19 Bulb
Best LED bulb

Read more
Get double the length at half the cost on these smart LED strip lights today
Govee smart LED light strips on floor.

When shopping for smart LED light strips, you should pay extra attention to how much length you’ll have to work with, because the last thing you want is to realize you’re coming up short on decorating whatever it is you intend on adorning with an LED light strip.

That’s why you really need to know about this deal on Govee’s smart LED strip lights. While most LED strip lights are on average of 30 feet in length, Govee’s model is nearly double at an astounding 65 feet. If you’ve ever tried decorating a piece of furniture, say like your home office desk, you know how much coverage is needed to cover corners and edges properly. Best of all, this Black Friday deal brings down the cost to $25 -- which is unbelievable given how most 30-foot options cost around the same.

Read more
How long does smart lighting last?
Wyze Bulb Color in lamp green

When you're spending a healthy chunk of change on a smart lighting system, you want to know that it will last. We're here to break down expected timelines for a smart lighting system and figure out which components are likely to fail first.
How long do smart lights last?
Smart lights use LEDs, which reports show last much, much longer than incandescent bulbs. LEDs can last 30,000 to 50,000 hours of output until brightness decreases to 70% of what it initially had. Meanwhile, CFL bulbs will go for 8,000 to 10,000 hours, while traditional incandescent lamps only last 1,000 hours. Applying a little math shows that you could run an LED bulb eight hours a day for 17 years, and even then, you'd only be dealing with a slight diminishment of bulb brightness. If you're really concerned about making sure your smart lights last long enough, you can always set a schedule so they're only on exactly when they need to be.
Do smart bulbs burn out?
LEDs will emit less light over time. Rather than burn out from overuse, it's much more likely that they'll become unusable due to a wiring fault or gradual decline in color quality before then.

The reason LEDs last so much longer than incandescent bulbs is because they don't rely on generating heat in order to create light. Incandescent bulbs send their voltage through a filament that gets hot until it starts emitting light as well, but over 90% of that energy is lost as heat. So there's a lot less stress on the materials at play in an LED, but it doesn't mean they produce no heat at all. Improper materials that don't account for the small amount of heat they do produce could result in a burnout. In that vein, LEDs that have been built with poor heat sinks are likely to burn out. Home wiring that's running at too high of a voltage could equally fry a smart light bulb. There are outliers, however, and in general, you shouldn't expect your smart lights to burn out in the same way as incandescent bulbs.
Do smart bulbs last longer than regular bulbs?
Smart bulbs do last longer than non-LED bulbs. One potential pitfall with smart lights versus "dumb" LED lights is software support. For example, Philips Hue light bulbs require a wireless hub to communicate with your phone. After a while, the mobile app stopped supporting voice commands to any Hue bulbs that were connected to the first-generation hub, requiring users to upgrade to the next generation. In these instances, the smart light bulbs themselves worked just fine, but the software backbone they needed had partially failed. Basic functions were still supported, but it should be expected that smart lights will lose some of their functions as software platforms evolve.
Do smart bulbs go bad?
At worst, smart bulbs become less useful over time. Diminishing light quality is likely to happen with any LED bulb, and it's unlikely manufacturers will provide software support for any given product for an indefinite amount of time.

Read more