The Light at the End of the Tunnel? The Best Light Bulb for Designers

I must admit, when the government began fazing out incandescent light bulbs a few years ago, I began stockpiling them in my basement.  Incandescent light bulbs were at the top of my Christmas list at the end of the year when 100-watts were discontinued.  I still have a few dozen left, but my supply won’t last forever.

incandescent light bulbs

 

I am extremely sensitive to light.  I have hated overhead lighting since childhood and still only use it to light the room long enough to turn on the lamps.  The buzz of office lighting and those large kitchen fluorescent fixtures have always driven me to distraction.  Always a fan of warm, incandescent lamp lighting, I was sad when I no longer had the option of choosing what kind of light bulbs I could purchase.  The other options were cold, blue LEDs (light emitting diodes) or the never-bright-enough and harsh CFLs (compact fluorescents).  Compact fluorescent light bulbs work by flickering at a rate that is imperceptible to most, but can induce migraines and even seizures in those who are particularly susceptible.   I get myopic migraines a couple of times a month, and I have a very hard time spending time in the room lit by CFLs.  Plus, there’s the problem of the mercury content, which requires extra special care in disposal and if broken in your home.

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The Decorologist

 

And maybe even more important to to some of us, artificial lighting can change the way we perceive color – paint color, in particular.  I’ve worked in homes where simply changing out the type of light bulbs made the paint color look so much better. My light at the end of the tunnel just may be the game-changing Cree LED.  Cree sent me a box of 75-watt replacement light bulbs to review for my readers.  I replaced the incandescent bulbs in all the lamps in my living room to test out the Cree LEDs. But first, I replaced only one in a couple of pairs of lamps so that I could really see the difference between the Cree LED and my precious, warm incandescents.  

cree led light bulbs

Cree LED light bulb

 

The revolutionary bulb looks and lights like traditional incandescent bulbs (forget that tacky corkscrew CFL!) but uses 82% less energy and lasts 25 times longer.  And there’s no dangerous mercury to have to worry about in the disposal process.  What’s special about this particular LED?  It turns on INSTANTLY (another reason to resent CFLs is the wait time to achieve full wattage) and is omni-directional and dimmable.  The high-performance bulb is illuminated by Cree LED Filament Tower Technology and provides a compact optically balanced light source within a real glass bulb to deliver the warm light we want and need to make our rooms more beautiful and pleasant to spend time in.  

Screenshot 2014-03-03 10.27.18

non-weird shape and non-weird light – thanks, Creebulb.com!

 

I tested my new bulbs this weekend, and I am thrilled with the quality and color of the light. And no headaches. And guess what?  Cree is going to send a set of four 75-watt bulbs ($100+ value!) to one lucky Decorologist reader.  They should last up to ten years in your living room and give you the quality of light necessary for your beautiful space, without the headaches of CFLs.  In the photo below, the Cree is on the right and the incandescent is on the left.

cree led light bulb review

can you tell the difference between the incandescent and the Cree LED

 

Only blog subscribers are eligible, so sign up here for my free email if you haven’t already.  Just leave a comment below with your thoughts about the light bulb controversy and share this post on Facebook to be eligible to win!  Find out more about Cree LED light bulbs at Creebulb.com, and they are available at Home Depot.

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Jil Sonia Interiors
6 years ago

I too have been stockpiling incandescent light bulbs as well. I have absolutely been cringing about this change coming! I too am very sensitive to light and I even complain about the LED Christmas lights as they don’t throw enough light. I’d love to try a new Cree bulb ! PS My husband is a Cree Native, so of course he loves the name and says it’ll be a great bulb due to the name! lol

Dena Crim Bost
Dena Crim Bost
6 years ago

I get migraines as well and despise CFLs – and the innumerable blinking LEDs on emergency vehicles. Arrrgh. These bulbs look fantastic!

Natalie A
Natalie A
6 years ago

Wow! Those look pretty good!

Jessica Johnson
Jessica Johnson
6 years ago

Ok, first I am jealous of your 100 watt stockpile, but this looks promising!!! I can’t stand the corkscrew CFLs so I am glad you found us the perfect alternative!! Lighting is SO KEY!! thanks Kristie!

Vanessa C.
Vanessa C.
6 years ago

That might explain some of the migraines I get. I have CFL bulbs in all of the lamps around the house. Would love to give these bulbs a go.

Nancy McNulty
6 years ago

My husband has totally been stockpiling! Great points in this article and will be sharing via our home-related client networks. Good lighting hope is great news! I was dreading this change over too.

Cyndia Montgomery
Cyndia Montgomery
6 years ago

Thanks for this post. We have been using CFLs successfully but always planned to move to LED when they became more affordable.

Cathy Jo
Cathy Jo
6 years ago

Wow nice light quality and longevity! I hope the technology continues to improve. Lighting is a huge part of living comfortably in our homes.

Marie G
Marie G
6 years ago

Wow, these new light bulbs seem like the perfect solution. I hate the CFLs. They make everything look so cold and sterile.

Cory Ahern
6 years ago

I am right there with you on this!! I hate the buzzing of the cfl’s, and am so frustrated trying to find good bulbs! I have so many I don’t use, they just aren’t sufficient for my eyes. I would love to try these! Budget is tight, tho – not something I can do at this time – I priced them out, and bought 1 at ikea, to see if it would work; it was dimmer than I like, tho, as they don’t have this high of a wattage. It’s nice to see here that they give true light –… Read more »

Karla
Karla
6 years ago

This is so exciting! I have been so frustrated over the lightbulb issue. You are a wealth of information!

Gail
Gail
6 years ago

Maybe the light color/quality is acceptable, but the price is outrageous, at approximately $20.00 per bulb. Couldn’t find any info on their testing to back the claim that it would last 10 years. Wish our government had not stepped in to “help” us with this one, by mandating new regulations on light bulbs…

Taryn
Taryn
6 years ago

So happy to know about this great option! The light in your room looks lovely, and that is quite the bulb life-expectancy! I’m impressed!

Karin Hensley
Karin Hensley
6 years ago

You and my man on the same page re light bulbs!! Look forward to trying one of the bulbs!!

Melanee
Melanee
6 years ago

Oh, my husband would love these!!

Lija
Lija
6 years ago

I love the LED lights we have in our home! In addition to all the great attributes you wrote about above, we’ve also noticed a savings in our electric bill that we’re pretty sure are due to replacing the incandescent floods in our kitchen with LED flood lights. And the kitchen stays cooler in the summer as well. I’d love to win 4 more to use elsewhere!

Ellen Kennon
6 years ago

Thanks so much for this valuable tip! Can’t wait to try them!

Julie
Julie
6 years ago

I also like the traditional “old school” light bulbs and am sad that they are getting phased out. It would be awesome if these new lights were comparable!

Susie T.
Susie T.
6 years ago

Thank goodness you found something that works! I REFUSE to do the corkscrew thing and have quite a hoard of incandescent bulbs in my closet. I’m excited about the Cree!

Brenda
Brenda
6 years ago

My husband and I have stood in front of light bulb displays countless times debating this topic. He wants energy savings and I just want light that looks like incandescent bulbs. I’m so glad to hear of a solution that will make us both happy! Thanks for sharing the news about Cree.

Kristin Chassey
6 years ago

I am always looking for a better light bulb! I am so glad you did a review 🙂

Kelly
Kelly
6 years ago

I am sensitive to mercury and have been waiting for a safe alternative to the new light bulbs, thank you for sharing this! It would be great to have these in my home, my husband and I are currently buying up all really cool lamps at thrift stores that need bulbs! We are a bit addicted!

Kay Kennedy
Kay Kennedy
6 years ago

Thanks for the suggestions, here and in your other articles. I have learned so much.

Dawn
Dawn
6 years ago

I was SO sad about the ugly new energy efficient lights, and so this is AWESOME! My husband is an electrical contractor and Realtor, Knowing information about this new light bulb is WAY beneficial for us! Thank you for sharing!

Carrie
6 years ago

I’ve stockpiled a few incandescent bulbs as well and bemoaned the wretched alternatives. But these look fantastic!

Cindy Hall
Cindy Hall
6 years ago

You have made my day!!! I am also jealous of your stockpile. I love a 100 watt bulb with a dimmer. Dimmers everywhere. Lighting is everything to me. Over head lights give me a headache so at times I’ve even had to wear a visor! The only time I use overhead is in my sewing room and I use Ott Lights for true color in my quilts. I have a friend that does not own one single lamp in her house. She keeps all the over head lights on all the time. When I’m there, I feel like I should… Read more »

Rachel
Rachel
6 years ago

I have been going CRAZY with our lighting! I can’t seem to find bulbs with the right lighting and have spent a fortune in the process of buying bulbs. I’m very sensitive to light as well and I would love to get a chance to try these! Thanks for the info

Heidi Nyline
6 years ago

Could it be? I have been buying lightbulbs and stock piling them too. I can’t wait to try these. Thanks Kristie.

Andrea Brooks
Andrea Brooks
6 years ago

As a lamp addict myself and a huge proponent to my clients, I feel your pain!!! These look so promising I’m dying to try them for myself! Fingers crossed!!

Suzy
Suzy
6 years ago

As a fellow stock-pilist and hater of the corkscrew light, I welcome this — but is that price correct? More than $100.00 for four light bulbs?

Suzy
Suzy
6 years ago

Thanks, Kristie! Great job discovering these!

Sherry
Sherry
6 years ago

You seem to have all the answers. Can’t wait to try this one.
Thanks,

Lynne
Lynne
6 years ago

I have been using up my stock pile of incandescent bulbs and have slowly been replacing with the awful CFL’s. I am thrilled with your information and can’t wait to try the CREE LED’s. I’m floored by the cost though. Wow!

SSR
SSR
6 years ago

Lovely!

Teresa
Teresa
6 years ago

I am so glad to hear of this option. It sounds like the investment will be worth it. Thanks for sharing the Cree option.

Karen M.
Karen M.
6 years ago

I too get migraines and have been frustrated at the color of the light from the newer lightbulbs. Been searching for the perfect lightbulb. Sending my husband to buy the light bulbs isn’t working as he has no clue as to the type of warm vs. cool light!

Roben Gamble
Roben Gamble
6 years ago

My husband is a gaffer and absolutely hates the lighting in our house. He actually will keep the room dark rather than deal with our inadequate lamps. These look promising!

Lori Carroll
Lori Carroll
6 years ago

Wow the Cree LED really gives light so similar to the incandescent bulb. I had wished that I stock piled bulbs but after seeing your article I’m ready for the Cree lights. Thanks for posting

Sondra
Sondra
6 years ago

I for one am really looking forward to trying these new Cree light bulbs! I have to say they look pretty darn good in your living room. I also think that they will be able to help in home staging so my house looks better than the competition! Thanks for the heads up Kristie!

Lisa
6 years ago

We just had an energy evaluation done in our home, and they replaced all the lightbulbs with horrible extraordinarily bright ones that were energy efficient. I could not even keep them on, they gave me such a headache. I am SO glad to read about your experience with these lightbulbs that are so similar to incandescents in color! I was praying something comparable would come on the market and I’d love to try these!

Ashley Fawkes
Ashley Fawkes
6 years ago

I’m excited about these new bulbs. Lighting has just been a big disappointment since CFLs. I hate the light they emit, the buzzing and the waiting for them to warm up so that light is emitted. I think it is money well spent to have decent lightbulbs again. I can’t wait to try the new bulbs!

Susan W.
Susan W.
6 years ago

I never realized the CFLs could cause migraines in sensitive people… I wonder if this is part of my migraine issue? Those bulbs would be worth every penny if it meant cutting back on my headache medications!

Jacqueline
Jacqueline
6 years ago

I would love to try the bulbs! Thank you. Also shared on Facebook!

Jane
Jane
6 years ago

My husband has been stockpiling the incandescent bulbs and he is sure the LEDs can’t match up. So I am very pleased to read your review. I will definitely look for the CREE bulbs!

jackie
jackie
6 years ago

I miss the good old regular light bulbs and scoop them up whenever I can. But its becoming more difficult to find them. I hate the corkscrew ones! Ugly and…have you ever tried to put a lampshade on one of those suckers! I will try these out per your strong recommendation. Thanks for the post!

RSC
RSC
6 years ago

Thanks for doing the research and sharing the information.

AlisonByDesign
AlisonByDesign
6 years ago

I’m totally with you on the loathing of CFLs and cold blue LED lighting. The top of my staging proposals always advise on “Whole House” improvements, and changing light bulbs to warm incandescents is key! Thanks for the hot tip:)

Alicia
Alicia
6 years ago

I would love to try the Cree bulbs! Walking in to a room lit by CFL makes me grind my teeth 🙁

deb
deb
6 years ago

I’m all for saving a buck and being energy efficient, but it seems laughable that to save the environment we have to use light bulbs that could potentially be deadly in our homes! 🙂

applehillcottage
6 years ago

Yes, yes and yes to all you said. We are putting vintage lighting in the cottage and NOTHING looks worse than a vintage light with a stupid squiggly bulb. Plus, the light they give off is HORRIBLE.
We’ve gotten a couple of Cree bulbs, and I’m relieved that there will be a sensible alternative.
(And just look at how many stockpilers there are!!!) Great post.

LIsa Hassler
6 years ago

I was thinking that I would have to resort to candle light. I can’t stand CFL! Thanks for the post.

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