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Continued: Newest LED bulbs look more like familiar incandescents

  • Article by: SANDY BAUERS , Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Last update: July 11, 2013 - 9:19 AM

Then LEDs came along. They cost more money and weren’t as bright. The light was bluer. They had fins and other odd shapes.

Watson has colorful pejoratives for those, too: Frankenbulbs. Robot bulbs.

And lots of luck trying to find one manufactured in the United States.

Cree makes the chips at its plant in Durham, N.C., and then ships them to Asia, where the innards that produce the filament-like light quality are added. Then it’s back to Durham for the rest of the assembly and packaging.

All this means U.S. lighting is headed in the right direction, said Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy, a national advocacy group.

“We have been saying since the passage of the light bulb standards in 2007 that consumers would get higher-quality products at lower prices and have a lot of choice in the market. This is evidence that that’s come true,” Callahan said.

“What we keep finding is that manufacturers innovate,” she added. “They step up. They not only meet the standards, but they also provide a superior product.”

The new Cree bulb, which is available exclusively at Home Depot, got the nod from the technology experts at the Electric Power Research Institute.

“It seems to do everything they said,” said energy efficiency program manager Brian Fortenbery. “These are pretty compelling.”

  • related content

  • Cree Inc.’s new LED bulbs are made to look like old-fashioned incandescents. The 40- and 60-watt bulbs are dimmable and can be used in enclosed fixtures.

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