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Why is LED lighting better than incandescent bulbs? Most of the energy emitted from incandescent bulbs is converted to heat instead of light. That’s why you’ll burn yourself if you try to touch an incandescent bulb once it’s turned on.


LED lighting is about 85 percent more efficient than incandescent bulbs. Since LEDs consume significant less energy, they don’t emit as much heat. That’s why you typically won’t burn yourself if you try to touch an LED light once it’s turned on.


LED lights are also designed to last about 50 times longer, which means less ladder-climbing maintenance and less waste.


*We do not recommend touching lights to see if they are hot or not. Instead, watch this chocolate bunny demonstrate the heat difference between incandescent and LED lights.


Why is LED lighting better than fluorescent lighting and CFLs? LEDs don’t contain hazardous materials, such as mercury. Since fluorescent tubes and CFLs contain mercury, they must be properly disposed of in order to prevent mercury from poisoning landfills.

In addition, most fluorescent lights cannot be dimmed and many can flicker. Some people are sensitive to this flicker and experience headaches, migraines and eye strain. LED lighting uses solid-state technology, which allows effective dimming in many applications and eliminates flickering.

Fluorescent lights can also take several minutes to achieve full brightness and even longer in cold environments. LED lights are also instant-on and can withstand extremely cold conditions – such as those in freezer cases or on the streets of Siberia.


Moreover, high quality LEDs produce better light that shows color more effectively than fluorescents. (More on that below).


What type of light quality can I expect with LED lights? You should be satisfied with the light quality coming from any light - LED or otherwise. The best way to ensure this is to know what color light you want and how to ask for it. If you want warm light, look for lighting that is close to 2700K. If you want a more neutral light, look for something closer to 3500K and if you want a cooler light, look for 5000K or more. But that’s not all… You also need to be aware of color rendering.


The ability to make colors look true – that is to have a tomato look like a tomato – is called color rendering. The color-rendering index (CRI) characterizes light sources in view of their ability to produce “natural light” and can be between 0 and 100. The closer an LED light comes to 100 on the color rendering index (CRI), the more naturally colors are rendered, and the light is perceived as more pleasant. The CRI of fluorescent tubes is often around 72. Cree LED lighting fixtures have a CRI of between 92 and 94.


How long can LED lights last? With the right design, LED lights can have a lifetime of 50,000 hours and more in continuous operation. Depending on how many hours-a-day they are operating, that can be from 6 to 7 years to as many as 20 to 30.


Unlike other lighting technologies LEDs do not completely fail - they grow dimmer. At the 50,000 hour mark, Cree’s LED lights are designed to provide at least 70 percent of their initial light output. Many different factors (such as fixture design and operating conditions like temperature and current) determine the actual lifetime of an LED.


Aren’t LED lights too expensive? A main challenge with LED lighting is that it costs more upfront, but really, it’s no different from requiring insulation in homes and buildings. It can pay for itself over time with energy savings and lower maintenance costs. Keep this in mind when you initially invest in LED lights.


Besides, how do you define expensive? Is it purely the up-front cost of a light or do you factor in the cost of the energy to run that light and, if you’re a business or government, the cost to change the light bulb? And if you’re building a new building, installing LED lighting is often just about the same cost as traditional technology—and you’ll start saving money, through reduced energy consumption, the minute you flip the switch.



Ultra-Efficient Lighting

Compared to conventional technologies, Cree LED Lighting products can deliver the same amount of light using as little as 10 to 15% of the power.  This huge reduction in energy consumption can enable consumers to save hundreds of dollars over the life of each light.

The Value of Cree LED Lighting

A Cree LED Lighting product, like the LR6TM downlight, can replace a 65 watt light while using only 10.5 watts.  In its 50,000-hour lifetime it will consume about 525 kilowatt-hours, costing about $63.  During that time, it will never need to be replaced.

The Cost of Incandescent Lamps

A typical 65 Watt light lasts for 2,000 hours. To match the light output and longevity of a Cree LED Lighting downlight, traditional lighting would consume 3,250 kilowatt-hours, and need to be replaced about 25 times, costing over $465.  

It's a simple story...saving over $400 in electric and relamping costs, for every downlight you replace.