We have a couple of the soft white CREE LED dimmable 60w light bulbs in the A19 form factor. So here, we detail our overall good experiences with this energy saving CREE light source.
CREE 60w Soft White LED Light Bulb Intro
If they last as long as CREE™ predicts, they’ll pay for themselves long before they burn out. We’ve used two 9-watt (60-watt incandescent equivalent) units as kitchen counter lights on and off for several years now. These bulbs have run in that time, at least ten hours per day. They have yet to burn out. Plus, they cost us only $11 apiece at Home Depot in 2014. But a conventional incandescent bulb would have gone out several times in that same period. Plus, it would have cost way more to run besides.
The bulbs are a bit harder to clean when used in fixtures. But you can cut dust buildup by placing the bulb in approved holders. This keeps the dust away in the first place. That prevents overheating and premature burnout.
But though still somewhat pricey, these CREE™ bulbs are fast becoming the lighting choice for small and large homes. Finally! They make a light bulb that you may never replace again. That’s not only awesome for the home owner, but better for the planet as well.
Like the 5000k bulbs, these 2700k bulbs sport a heavy metal heat sink, as shown in the pictures. So they run with some heating. But they don’t get nearly as hot as the older filament bulbs. Yet you should still be careful handling them. Take care not to touch them when they’ve been operating for over a half-hour. The heat sink does grow too hot to handle after a little while. Even these 60-watt versions still can get too hot to touch, especially on the heat sink.
Benefits, Features, Advantages, and Pros of the CREE 60w Soft White LED Bulb
Popular 60 Watt Power Size
These bulbs come in 40, 60, 75, and 100 watt sizes. We’re reviewing the 60-watt soft white version here. Note that this rating IS NOT the amount of energy that this LED bulb draws from the power line. Rather, it states the amount of equivalent incandescent lamp light output that you get from this bulb.
Soft White Light Output
The color temperature of this CREE™ LED bulb is 2700k. This is the sort of light you get from a standard incandescent light bulb, at full brightness. In fact, we looked at this bulb and an incandescent one side-by-side. But the difference in light hue was almost indiscernible.
We often hear the “stark,” “harsh,” and “clinical white” descriptions that about the cool white, 5000k LEDs. But this 2700k version is much warmer. So it creates a cozy feel about it. This creates an inviting, intimate feeling space. So it’s great for living rooms and bedrooms.
The CREE 60w Soft White LED Offers Way More Light per Watt
For the CREE™ 60-watt bulb, you get the same amount of light that an incandescent light bulb emits. Yet you only pay for 9 watts! This CREE™ gives 60 watts of “incandescent” light, while drawing just 9 watts.
So much more power produces useful light in LEDs. Less of it goes to wasteful heat. So, LED bulbs run cooler than incandescents. Indeed, CREE says that their bulbs are up to 82 percent more efficient than incandescent bulbs.
They rate these at 25,000 hours average life expectancy.
Does not break easily when dropped. The globe part appears to be made of a thick glass or very heavy plastic. And of course, you have that hefty heat sink just above the base.
The CREE 60w Soft White LED is for Indoor and Outdoor Use
Suitable for Damp Locations
Instant-On Full Brightness
You get full brightness almost instantly upon LED turn-on. No need to “warm up” this bulb.
Near Flicker-Free Light
At full brightness, we detect no perceptible flickers or blinks, no matter the ambient room temperature. Even when dimmed to very low output values, flicker is a bit noticeable but by no means severe.
The CREE 60w Soft White LED Does Full Brightness, Even in the Cold
Like incandescent lighting, but not like compact fluorescent lamps, LED bulbs operate efficiently, even in very cold temperatures. These CREE™ units are no exception to that rule. you get full luminosity even when the room is freezing cold.
Less Light Output Decrease Over Time
As incandescent bulbs run for more hours, the hot filament inside evaporates. Some of its metal then migrates to the inside of their glass. So, by the time the bulb burns out, its brightness has dropped a fair amount. This is due to this darkened glass.
Yet LED bulbs do not experience this source of light output loss. Instead, they lee[ much more of their new-state brightness, even when they are near their end of service life.
The CREE 60w Soft White LED Bulb is Dimmable
This line of CREE LED bulbs works well with standard light dimmers. It stays silent no matter how dim you set them. No buzzing from these bulbs, although they can flicker sometimes.
More Constant Color Rendition Index (CRI) While Dimming
CREE dimmable LED bulbs do not change color nearly as much. Even when you dim them to 10 percent, you still get just a warmer white (2700 K). With these bulbs, you get just less bright but same-colored light. The spectral output remains constant, no matter how dim you make the bulb.
Cree™ LED bulbs run silently, without buzzing, even when dimmed. On radios, they’re also very quiet; generating no detectable interference on the AM shortwave frequencies most vulnerable to interference.
Less Radio Interference
Even during dimmed operation, any switching interference often seen when dimming incandescent lamps, is way lower with LEDs. Why? Because LEDs draw less current through the dimmer. and are likely less inductive. So, no spiral shaped filaments to buzz.
Gets Less Dirty
With the lower heat output of LEDs, these bulbs run cooler, and so attract less dust and dirt. The fine dust particles that do accumulate, do not stick as much to these, as they did on incandescent bulbs.
The radiation characteristics are very much like traditional incandescent lighting. They give off light in nearly equal amounts in all directions except for directly underneath the bulb. Yet they’re brighter around the sides than the top. Not a big deal though for most lamp fixtures.
Softens shadows and helps spread the light more evenly.
Ten Year Warranty
The CREE 60w Soft White LED is Easy to Find
Home Depot, 1000 Bulbs, and numerous other stores and online vendors carry the CREE™ brand of LED bulbs.
Disadvantages, Cons, Problems, Limitations of the CREE 60w Soft White LED Bulb
Cleanup can be Hard
Due to the tackiness on the globe part, dust can be harder than simply wiping off, to remove. Also, the heat sink fins can accumulate dirt, when you deploy these bulbs in dusty places. Too much “clogging” of these channels can spell early bulb failure. Why? Because when dirty, the sink does not dissipate the heat as well. So the bulb runs hotter, and this means sooner failure. So better heat sink design may ease bulb cleanup and lengthen its service life.
May Not Fit in EVERY Light Fixture
The extra width of the heat sink may keep this bulb from fitting well into some light fixtures.
NOT for Use in Enclosed Fixtures
This bulb may overheat or cause heat damage to an enclosed fixture if operated inside it.
Heavier than Incandescent Light Bulbs
Due to electronics inside and the large heat sink, these bulbs can weigh several times more than an incandescent bulb.
Do Not Throw the CREE 60w Soft White LED Bulb Into the Regular Trash
These bulbs, due to the electronics they contain, should be properly recycled.
CREE bulbs pay for themselves a few times through their lives. But the cost of roughly $10 per bulb may still put off many buyers. Yet the price is getting lower. Over the past few years, prices have indeed fallen. So, we expect the prices to continue dropping.
Suggested Improvements for the CREE 60w Soft White LED Light Bulb
Get Rid of the Heat Sink
Removing dust and debris from the small heat-flow channel spaces between each fin can be grueling. Wider channels, or no channels, would allow for more complete and probably more frequent cleaning. Hopefully however, increasing LED efficiency will reduce the need for such heavy metal radiators in future generations of this product.
Remove Exterior Tackiness
This would facilitate rapid bulb wipe down.
Lower the Price
Many 60w LED bulbs these days cost less than half of what you pay for the CREE™ bulbs.
Our Rating for the CREE 60w Soft White LED Lamp
We’re pleased that CREE makes an affordable yet highly energy efficient 60w replacement light bulb. Neat that it looks almost just like an incandescent bulb, but eats way less power. It’s now possible for the average buyer to go green, without going broke. With the decade-long warranty, sub $10 price tag per unit, and shock-resistant construction, we’ve found the CREE™ bulbs highly durable. Plus, given that warranty, we fear that we’ll break them.
It’s great to see LEDs finally entering the mainstream lighting arenas. We believe that CREE™ has done a second-to-none job bringing forward this technology into mass consumer markets. They’ve shown that it really is worth the cost to upgrade from older lights to LED. So we rate this CREE product at 97 out of 100.
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References for CREE 60w Soft White LED Bulb
- CREE™ LED Bulbs Official Product Web Site
- Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) on Wikipedia
- Where to buy CREE™ 60 Watt Soft White LED Light Bulbs
- 2019-08-18: Added key phrase targeting for ‘CREE 60w Soft White’, removed ad code, and added more tags and links.
- 2018-02-27: Updated the tags list and title, and added some content.
- 2017-02-15: Originally published.