Cree LED bulbs are helping me use less electricity each month #sponsored

{ 8 comments }

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Each month my electric company (Duke Energy) sends me an energy report to let me know how my electricity usage compares to similar homes in my area. Ever since they began sending these reports, my house has always been shown to use more electricity, which translates into paying higher bills. Even after switching most of the light bulbs in my home from incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs, I didn’t notice a big difference in my power consumption. Then I signed on with Cree to help promote their LED bulbs. They sent me a few bulbs to test and I liked them so much that I have been buying additional bulbs for all my fixtures. I’m finally beginning to see some positive changes in my power consumption which has me motivated to completely convert over to LED bulbs.

Note: Images can be clicked to view a larger size.

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Here are the Cree LED bulbs that I’ve been using in my home. I’ve used the BR30 bulb on the left for the can lights in my basement and I’m using the 4Flow bulbs on the right for everything else. Both bulbs look like traditional bulbs and fit in all the same light fixtures, but they use significantly less electricity while providing more than ample light.

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My latest Cree LED bulb switching project has been the hanging light fixture in my the main level of my house. We don’t use this light much during the week, but on the weekend mornings, it’s turned on from 8 am – noon when we’re eating breakfast and web surfing while sitting on the couch. This is the way the fixture looked before I switched the bulbs.

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As you can see, three of the incandescent bulbs were burnt out. Yes, we’ve been too lazy to drag in a step ladder to change out the dead bulbs. But it’s time to get unlazy.

I removed all the bulbs, washed the glass light shades and dusted the fixture.

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Then I reassembled everything with five new Cree LED soft white 4Flow bulbs. A quick flip of the light switch and wow, what a difference. Obviously five bulbs are going to be brighter than only two bulbs, but each Cree 4Flow bulb puts out more light than a traditional 60W incandescent bulb and only uses 11W.

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4Flow bulbs are made with shatterproof plastic, are mercury free, dimmable and are rated for up to 25,000 hours compared to just 1,000 hours for an incandescent bulb. Although these LED bulbs are more expensive than traditional incandescent or even CFL bulbs, they use 85% less energy and will save you money on your electric bill for months and years to come. I’m already seeing this happen for me. My next project is my office, otherwise known as Gadgeteer HQ, which currently has a mixture of LED and CFL bulbs.

CREE bulbs can be found at Home Depot. Prices vary depending on bulb type, but the soft white 4Flow replacement bulbs are about $7.97 each.

Source: The samples for this article were provided by Cree. Please visit their site for more info or shop Home Depot for Cree bulbs.

Posted in: Articles, Home and Kitchen
{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Bryan August 15, 2015, 11:09 am

    Duke offers subsided pricing on LED and CFL bulbs, at least in my area. Those Cree 4Flow 6W bulbs, for example, retail for around $8 and I can order them through the website Duke provides for $3. Saving ~$5 a bulb probably wouldn’t make sense if you’re just ordering 1 or 2 but if you’re refitting a house it could make a huge difference. I picked up some great Phillips reflector LED bulbs there, saved about $7 each, and needed 8 of them for my kitchen recessed cans.

    I’ve bought some cheapo LED bulbs before and they take a while to turn on after you flip the light switch. They also are not generally dimmable. The better ones like Cree and Phillips seem to come on instantly and are dimmable. I prefer them a lot to the CFL bulbs I replaced.

    The URL I use for ordering them from Duke is http://www.duke-energy.com/residential-savings-store/ though, as I mentioned, it may be a regional thing so YMMMV.

    • Julie Strietelmeier August 15, 2015, 11:14 am

      Bryan, your comment had me really excited so I used that link you provided and while I am eligible, it’s only for CFL bulbs and not Cree LED bulbs. 🙁 Bummer! I guess it’s full price for me.

      • Bryan August 15, 2015, 12:47 pm

        I thought the subsidy might vary from place to place but I wasn’t sure. The site can be a bit tricky to navigate so it’s possible that you just didn’t get to the same place I did…. I’ll describe my navigation of the site just to be on the safe side.

        After clicking the link http://www.duke-energy.com/residential-savings-store/ I clicked the green “visit the savings store” button in the video near the top of the page.

        I was taken to a window that prompted for phone number or account number and the last four of my SSN.

        After I provided phone number and my last four, I clicked the submit button and was taken to a window that offered, what I think are 15 free CFL bulbs. Here’s where it was tricky though….. there was a little gray “no thanks, skip to step 3” link next to the big green continue button. I clicked that link and that’s what got me to the store where I could buy the subsidized LED (and CFL) bulbs. If you overlooked that little gray set of words hiding there next to the big green continue button, you’d never find the page I used.

        That window looked like this –> https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2985051/Duke.PNG

        • Julie Strietelmeier August 15, 2015, 4:12 pm

          I didn’t click through the no thanks link. Once I followed your exact instructions, I can buy Cree LED bulbs at a great discount. Thanks Bryan!

  • Steve F August 15, 2015, 3:46 pm

    I bought a new refrigerator and cut my non-air conditioning bill by ~40%. You may want to look into a new one if the one you have is more than 5 years old.

  • Lynn Lopez August 17, 2015, 9:03 am

    @Julie, I realized you just replaced the bulbs in your fixture, but I would be curious to hear about how long they last. I know they have a 10 year warranty, but when I went to the Home Depot site to check them out they had only 1.6 stars out of 5 in the reviews. It seems that Cree seems to be having a quality issue with the bulbs burning out and not lasting that long. I was all ready to jump on the replacing band wagon and now I am not so sure. The issue seems to have cropped up with their last release of bulbs. Check out the reviews there and let me know what you think.

    • Julie Strietelmeier August 17, 2015, 9:17 am

      I can’t speak of the longevity at this point since all of my bulbs are less than 1 year old. I guess we’ll have to wait till 2025 before we know for sure 😉

      Regarding any problems with quality, I would hope that Cree would honor their warranty and replace the faulty bulbs.

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