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FireGryphon
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High CRI LED bulbs -- I need!

Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:43 am

Who here shares my desire for good quality lighting at home?

When the world moved from incandescent to energy saving bulbs I realized how cruddy the light was from CFLs and LED bulbs. I finally found Cree's TW Series which has the highest CRI of any commercially available LED bulb. Cree TW looks great, with a CRI of 93 so I filled my entire house with them. Unfortunately, Cree no longer makes the TW series and I need replacements!

Are there any equitable bulbs on the market that have such a high CRI (specifically the R9 metric)?
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Re: High CRI LED bulbs -- I need!

Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:03 am

Sorry I'm not here to add anything useful, but just subscribing to the thread to leech off the replies.

I too have a house full of LED bulbs that are 6+ years old and in need of good quality replacements. Some are already dimmer than I would like but thankfully LED's don't "die" like filament bulbs so they're still serviceable, providing the light of a 40W halogen rather than the 100W they originally started with.
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Re: High CRI LED bulbs -- I need!

Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:09 am

Chrispy_ wrote:
Sorry I'm not here to add anything useful, but just subscribing to the thread to leech off the replies.

What he said.
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Re: High CRI LED bulbs -- I need!

Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:37 am

I'm interested as well. Still trying to use lower-wattage incandescent in certain applications, but it's starting to get difficult. I've also got a couple Cree TW, but manufacturer interest in light quality seems to have completely disappeared since around that time.
 
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Re: High CRI LED bulbs -- I need!

Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:55 am

I'm more concerned with color temperature than CRI myself. The last round I bought were "Tiwin" brand on Amazon which work great. We've also been very happy with the Walmart brand
 
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Re: High CRI LED bulbs -- I need!

Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:41 am

Cree claims a 90+ CRI on some of their current products, e.g. this. Maybe try the specs on the manufacturer website first and then work backwards to store availability.

White LEDs have improved dramatically since the original Home Depot-spec Cree series (including TW) was released. It might be you're not seeing the CRI advertised because the entire stock has improved quite a bit compared to 5+ years ago.
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FireGryphon
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Re: High CRI LED bulbs -- I need!

Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:01 pm

ludi wrote:
Cree claims a 90+ CRI on some of their current products, e.g. this. Maybe try the specs on the manufacturer website first and then work backwards to store availability.

White LEDs have improved dramatically since the original Home Depot-spec Cree series (including TW) was released. It might be you're not seeing the CRI advertised because the entire stock has improved quite a bit compared to 5+ years ago.


No doubt some things are better, but there are still bulbs with a CRI of 80. Cree's current 'standard' offering in the white boxes is advertised at 90+ CRI. I have these in downlights in one room here and while the color quality is better than most junk bulbs, it's not at the level of the TW bulbs I have elsewhere.

Cree has a line called the Pro Series. It's also rated at 90+ CRI, but maybe it's different than the regular line. So far I can't find any place that carries a Cree Pro Series bulb.

Here's a great explanation of why all this matters in the first place. Nice products, too, but quite expensive. Time for some further research...
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Re: High CRI LED bulbs -- I need!

Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:13 pm

I've had good luck with the Phillips Soft White LED bulbs available on Amazon. They're not quite as good as the Cree TW, but still pretty impressive.

Also vastly cheaper than the Crees were, so I will take a "95 percent" solution.

Most Soft White bulbs have gotten a lot better in the five years since Cree stepped up the game, now that LEDs are mass-produced.
Last edited by defaultluser on Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: High CRI LED bulbs -- I need!

Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:15 pm

I used to stay with primarily halogen bulbs due to their color quality. But finally started switching them out to Soraa Pro CRI 95 bulbs. They're good LED lights; nearly as good as the halogen but using only about 25-30% of the power, so I'm willing to make that tradeoff. Saw the Waveform Lighting link from FireGryphon...seems similar to Soraa's approach.

edit: apparently I am not allowed to post links yet. Anyway just search "Soraa R9" and look up the Soraa Pro line of lamps to see what you think.
 
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Re: High CRI LED bulbs -- I need!

Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:20 pm

I replaced some lights with the Philips color-changeable lights, and they have a pretty respectable color gamut. I have always had trouble with pics in there, and decided to solve it the hard way.

Besides being cool and being able to change the lighting in the room via Alexa, it looks good in there.
"Alexa, set family room relaxing". "Alexa, set family room bright white". "Good night Alexa"... and all my Philips lights turn off in the house. This is a big deal as my family thinks light switches only work in the ON direction.
 
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Re: High CRI LED bulbs -- I need!

Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:56 pm

liquidsquid wrote:
I replaced some lights with the Philips color-changeable lights, and they have a pretty respectable color gamut. I have always had trouble with pics in there, and decided to solve it the hard way.


I had a classroom with about two dozen Philips Hue lights hanging from the ceiling. I used the app to control them all from my phone and make the room different colors. It was super fun. Some of the colors emitted UV light as well, and reactive objects in the room would glow. The whole thing was pretty neat, but the white color accuracy wasn't great.

My current questions to answer:

1. What's the difference between Soraa Pro and Home?
2. Has anyone used Waveform Lighting bulbs and written about it?
3. Will my wife let me buy a series of $20 bulbs to test them? :lol:
4. Do all these different kinds of bulbs emit different amounts of UV?
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Re: High CRI LED bulbs -- I need!

Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:54 pm

FireGryphon wrote:
... Cree TW looks great, with a CRI of 93 so I filled my entire house with them. Unfortunately, Cree no longer makes the TW series and I need replacements!

Are there any equitable bulbs on the market that have such a high CRI (specifically the R9 metric)?

I've been reasonably happy with the Feit soft white bulbs from Costco. They claim 90+ CRI, and my wife (who cares more about light color/quality than I do) seems to have mostly stopped complaining about the LED bulbs.

Chrispy_ wrote:
I too have a house full of LED bulbs that are 6+ years old and in need of good quality replacements. Some are already dimmer than I would like but thankfully LED's don't "die" like filament bulbs so they're still serviceable, providing the light of a 40W halogen rather than the 100W they originally started with.

I had several of the first-gen Crees die in a rather odd way: The glass bulb part simply decided it didn't want to remain attached to the base/electronics any more, and executed an ejection maneuver.
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Re: High CRI LED bulbs -- I need!

Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:29 am

I can make some fairly expensive suggestions which are high quality but you pay through the nose for the privilege.

These are, without a doubt, the highest quality Tungsten (warm) or Daylight (cool) bulbs you can get in terms of colour accuracy for domestic use in my experience

https://store.yujiintl.com/collections/ ... unit-2-pcs

Although they seem to be out of Daylight bulbs at the moment these are still demonstrably the highest quality colour accuracy E27 bulbs I've found for domestic use. Yes, I've used Philips, Cree, Osram, etc. Doesn't come close, although these are slightly less efficient. The Tungsten ones are really fantastic, it's obvious next to another bulb with a Macbeth chart. Yuji are legit, they're a phosphor company and their products end up (I suspect) in a lot of commercial film heads.

If they're not what you're looking for exactly, try these for expensive

https://www.quasarscience.com/products/ ... 7389686842

I haven't used these specifically but I have played with one of the other fixtures the company makes. Again, I expect these will be of superior colour quality based on the 4 foot fixture I played with but I haven't used these e27 units specifically. The company is legit, makes film fixtures (which are pretty sweet) and have good metrics on their other daylight and tungsten units.

I don't think either of those are dimmable if that's important to you.

The last one I throw in is

https://www.lifx.com.au/

I have half a dozen of these, no the colour accuracy isn't great (not bad, just not great) but they are fun and I like the light scheduler. The daylight end of the bulb are probably better than the warm side but I think they're about as accurate as a Philips. Yeah, RGB smart lights are kind of silly but I like playing with them.

None of these are cheap but you get what you pay for. Really, the standard is now much higher than it was 5 years ago. There are some other, more bespoke, bulb companies that make high TLCI bulbs but these (all three above) are the best I've come across that you can order simply online.
 
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Re: High CRI LED bulbs -- I need!

Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:05 am

CityEater

Thanks for mentioning the Yuji lights. I didn't know about them, and may have to try them out some time. While I do like the Soraa Pro lights, I did say they were "nearly as good" as my halogens but still not quite for some use. For example, I stay with my halogens in the kitchen because the color rendering of skin tones etc is just a bit better and more natural. Perhaps the Yuji-level or better lights will narrow that gap.
 
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Re: High CRI LED bulbs -- I need!

Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:33 pm

Found a bunch of CRI 95 rated bulbs on https://www.waveformlighting.com/high-cri-led which incidentally has a good breakdown of CRI ratings. No 1600 lumen bulbs but it had some 95 CRI 800 lumens for $10 each. That said I have not tried any of these to comment on the quality.
 
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Re: High CRI LED bulbs -- I need!

Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:11 am

Ya tough to find, even harder for independent reviews.

I'm fussy, I also want flicker free, no hum or buzz and dimmable for a decent price say $10 a bulb as upper price. I also find 4000K about 'nicest' white with leds.
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Re: High CRI LED bulbs -- I need!

Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:00 am

FireGryphon wrote:
4. Do all these different kinds of bulbs emit different amounts of UV?


I don't believe any of them do, but relatively short-wave blues in order to activate the phosphors. In the case of RGB bulbs, I don't believe there is any phosphor as white is accomplished via mixing, but they choose a short blue and a deep red to try to produce a more attractive spectrum.

Dayglo dyes will activate even into what you would perceive as a blue-green (depending on it's color). Yellow dyes (highlighters) will activate when someone farts nearby it seems. The dyes appear so bright because they condense a broad spectrum of light energy into a narrow one. Dayglo dyes are in about every kid product you can shine a blue/UV light on.

There was talk of using UV LEDs in order to be able to activate phosphors for a better color gamut. I don't know if this came to fruition.
 
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Re: High CRI LED bulbs -- I need!

Tue Apr 23, 2019 4:59 am

It probably varies from country to country, but I found that the LED bulbs they sell in IKEA around here are quite good value for money. I always go for bulbs with >90 CRI and warm/2700K temp and these fit the bill. Since they just specify >90, I cannot know whether it is actually 91 or 95, but the light they produce is generally quite pleasant to my eyes and not much different from some expensive CRI 97 ones that I bought elsewhere.
 
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Re: High CRI LED bulbs -- I need!

Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:53 am

demolition wrote:
It probably varies from country to country, but I found that the LED bulbs they sell in IKEA around here are quite good value for money. I always go for bulbs with >90 CRI and warm/2700K temp and these fit the bill. Since they just specify >90, I cannot know whether it is actually 91 or 95, but the light they produce is generally quite pleasant to my eyes and not much different from some expensive CRI 97 ones that I bought elsewhere.

Same, except I get mine at Costco. There's some sort of energy efficiency instant rebate (taken at the register, no mail-in rebate hassle) on them from the local electric utility, which brings the cost down to around a buck a bulb for the 40W and 60W equivalents. Hard to beat that.
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Re: High CRI LED bulbs -- I need!

Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:26 pm

At home I've got a variety of fixtures and use cases which makes shopping for bulbs a real pain.

There's one room that is used for painting and other artwork projects (so high CRI), and the preference is very bright (12W-15W), quite cold(Pedantic: actually hot 5000K+, preferably 6000K+) and in that room it has E12 sockets.
I've got a few other work spaces that need things like non-standard sockets and really bright lights in various bulb shapes. But it's actually a pain to shop for light bulbs, especially if you need more niche options.
Even knowing exactly what I wanted: E12 Socket, 5000K, 12 or 15W, 90+ CRI, it was really hard to find. I ended up having to get some corncobs off of amazon for that artproject room for example, and the CRI was a crapshoot.
Does anyone know a good place to shop across brands and options in a sane way that allows me to drill down but still has a nice wide selection?
 
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Re: High CRI LED bulbs -- I need!

Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:33 pm

I may just be crazy enough to buy a few of these bulbs and test them. Waveform Lighting looks good, but it’s product lineup is confusing. There are multiple bulbs that all seem to do the same thing, like produce full/daylight spectrum, and it’s unclear what the differences are.

That notwithstanding, are there any bulbs in WL’s lineup that people here are dying to know about, or a bulb from another company? No promises, and I can’t test scientifically, but I want to get a few and am willing to take suggestions.
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Re: High CRI LED bulbs -- I need!

Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:07 pm

I was planning to pickup a few of the Waveform bulbs myself, had been looking for High CRI LEDs as bulbs seem easier than getting into the hassles of using LED strips (due to requiring drivers etc). The Yuji and Waveforms seem to be well regarded, and Waveforms seemed best priced. Soraa was another I'd seen named, but they looked pricey and I couldn't see any easily available e27 bulbs without having to ship from Germany or somewhere in Europe. I think Cree has some high CRI bulbs also, but only available for US e26 sockets.

In short, pretty much everything I've seen has already been mentioned here in the thread.

I'm in New Zealand which uses the e27 bulb sockets (240v).

For general lighting bulbs are probably easiest, but if there's a specific application that requires uniform lighting or better coverage I reckon strips may be the way to go. Though there don't seem to be very many good solutions for mounting / diffusing the light around. Very much a DIY using diffusive film, or use aluminium extrusions with plastic diffuser covers type approach from what I've seen.
 
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Re: High CRI LED bulbs -- I need!

Tue Apr 30, 2019 5:51 am

blitzy wrote:
I was planning to pickup a few of the Waveform bulbs myself...


Cree used to market the TW series here in America but I read that it cancelled the series because of unfixable defects in the design, which is a shame.
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Re: High CRI LED bulbs -- I need!

Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:03 am

FireGryphon wrote:
Cree used to market the TW series here in America but I read that it cancelled the series because of unfixable defects in the design, which is a shame.

Wasn't the TW series based on the first-gen bulb design with the heatsink base? It worked great for a first-gen device that had to deal with excess heat, but the entire thing was an unfixable defect. I stripped a couple of those down to the bare bones, it had way too many parts configured in an expensive-to-manufacture arrangement.
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FireGryphon
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Re: High CRI LED bulbs -- I need!

Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:45 pm

ludi wrote:
Wasn't the TW series based on the first-gen bulb design with the heatsink base? It worked great for a first-gen device that had to deal with excess heat, but the entire thing was an unfixable defect. I stripped a couple of those down to the bare bones, it had way too many parts configured in an expensive-to-manufacture arrangement.


Yeah, the TWs I have all have heatsinks around their bases. I tried to disassemble one once and got discouraged because of how hard it was.

Whatever the technical problem with the TW bulbs was, the practical consequence is that the overwhelming majority of them fail. I have about three dozen of the 60W equivalent TW bulbs in my home and there’s maybe six that didn’t die since I started installing them three years ago. I have a dozen 40W TWs remaining; we’ll see how long those last.

I hope the extra price of the Waveform, et al bulbs means they are made better.
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