Picture of the Cree™ 100w LED daylight 5000k dimmable A21 light bulb, operating In living room lamp.

CREE LED Bulb 100w Review, Daylight White, 5000k

We have several of the daylight white CREE LED dimmable 100w light bulb around our home. Indeed if these last as long as other LEDs we’ve tested, they’ll pay for themselves many times.

We’ve used two 18-watt (100-watt equivalent) units as nightstand lights in the bedroom for years now.  These bulbs have run in that time, at least two hours per day. They have yet to burn out. Yet  they us only $13 apiece at Home Depot in 2013.  But a conventional light bulbs would have stopped working at least a few times by now!

Picture of the bulb, in its original carton, front view.
CREE daylight LED light bulb 100W, carton front view.

These bulbs are a bit harder to clean up, when you put them in enclosed fixtures. But you can cut the dust build up by using the bulb in only approved enclosures.  This not only helps keep the dust off of them. But it also prevents overheating and early burnout.

But though still somewhat pricey, these CREE™ 100-watt LED light bulbs are fast-becoming the sensible lighting choice.  At last, they make a light bulb that you may never have to replace again.  It’s good.

Picture of a CREE LED Light Bulb, 100 Watt, back of original carton.
CREE LED Light Bulb100 Watt, Carton Back.

These bulbs sport a substantial metal finned heat sink just above their bases.  So they indeed operate with SOME heating.  But they don’t become nearly as hot to the touch as the incandescent bulbs. But still though, be careful handling them when hot. When they run for over a half-hour, the heat sink does grow a bit too hot to handle.

They 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.

Picture of the Cree™ 100w LED daylight 5000k dimmable A21 light bulb, held in hand.
Cree™ 100w LED daylight 5000k dimmable A21 light bulb, held in hand.

Benefits, Features, Advantages, and Pros of the CREE Daylight LED 100w Bulb 

Popular 100 Watt Brightness

These bulbs come in 40, 60, 75, and 100 watt (reviewed here) incandescent equivalent outputs.  Note that this rating IS NOT the amount of power that this LED bulb actually draws from the mains.  Rather, it expresses the amount of incandescent lamp light output that you get with this bulb.

The CREE 100w LED Bulb Features Cool, Daylight White Light

The color temperature of this CREE™ LED bulb is 5000k. This is about the sort of light you see from the sky on an overcast yet bright day.

Much More Light per Watt

For the CREE™ 100-watt bulb, you get the same amount of light that an incandescent light bulb emits.  Yet you only pay for 18 watts!    The 100-watt equivalent CREE™ gives a hundred watts of “incandescent” light, while drawing only 18 watts.

Cooler Operation

With so much more power making useful light, and less to heat, LED bulbs indeed give out far less heat.  CREE™ says that their bulbs are up to 82 percent more efficient than incandescent bulbs.

The CREE LED Bulb 100w Offers Long Life

They rate these at 25,000 hours average life expectancy.

Durable Build

Does not break easily when dropped.

No Warm-Up Time

You get full brightness almost instantly upon LED turn-on.

Near Flicker-Free Light from the CREE 100w LED Bulb

At full brightness, we detect no perceptible flickers, no matter the ambient room temperature.  Even when dimmed to very low output values, flicker is a bit noticeable but not severe.  Further, how much the bulb flickers is also a function of the quality of the light dimmer itself.  If your dimmer is cheap, or produces a very choppy power waveform, you’ll get more flicker.  But these LED bulbs minimize that effect while still being dimmable.

Full Brightness, Even in Winter Cold

Like incandescent lighting, but not like compact fluorescent lamps, LED bulbs operate efficiently even in very cold temperatures.  The CREE™ units are no exception. you get full luminosity even when the room is freezing cold.

Less Brightness Drop as Bulbs Age

As incandescent bulbs accrue more hours, the filament inside evaporates. Then the metal deposits itself on the inside of their glass envelopes.  So, by the time the bulb burns out, its light output drops due to the darkened glass.

But LED bulbs do not have this light output loss.  They keep much more of their new-state brightness, even when they near end of life.

The CREE LED Bulb 100w is Dimmable

This line of CREE™ LED bulbs works with common dimmers.  No buzz when dimming either.

More Constant Color Rendition Index (CRI) While Dimming

Now with incandescent bulbs, their color output changes as you dim them. It goes from bright white to yellow, to orange, and finally to deep red the dimmer they get.  But CREE™ dimmable LED bulbs do not change their color as much.  Even when dimmed to 10 percent, you still get mostly daylight (5,000 K).  S So with CREE bulbs, you get just less bright but same-colored light.

Less Radio Static when Dimming

Tthese LED lamps draw less current through the dimmer than incandescent bulbs. So any switching interference from the dimmer, is way less with LEDs.

Less Dust Build Up

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.

Nearly Omnidirectional

The radiation characteristics is very much like traditional incandescent lighting.  They give off light in nearly equal amounts in all directions except for directly underneath the bulb, toward the socket. Plus, they do radiate light more from the sides than from the top.  Not a big deal though in most lamps.

Lightly Frosted Glass and Plastic Envelope

Softens shadows and helps spread the light more evenly.

Ten Year Warranty on the CREE LED 100w Light Bulb

Picture of the Cree™ 100w LED daylight 5000k dimmable A21 light bulb, operating In living room lamp.
Cree™ 100w LED daylight 5000k dimmable A21 light bulb, operating In living room lamp.

Disadvantages, Cons, Problems, Limitations of the CREE 100w Daylight LED Bulb

May Not Fit in EVERY Light Fixture

The extra width of the heat sink near the base may make this bulb too big to fit some fixtures.

Heavier than “Edison” Light Bulbs

These bulbs have some support electronics inside.  This along with the massive heat sink means that these bulbs can weigh more than an incandescent 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 set up these bulbs dusty places.  Then, too much “clogging” of these channels can overheat the bulb. This can spell early failure. Why? Because when dirty, the heat sink does not coll the LED chip as well.  So improved heat sink design (wider and fewer channels) may ease bulb cleanup problems, and thus, make them last longer.

Should Not be just Tossed Into the Trash

These bulbs, due to the electronics they contain, should be properly recycled.

Initially Expensive

CREE bulbs usually pay for themselves several times over throughout their entire lives. But the cost of over $10  per bulb still turns away many consumers.  However, over the past few years, prices have fallen, with quantity deals becoming widely pushed.  So, we expect the higher single-unit prices to be temporary.

Picture of this A21 bulb, operating In living room lamp, with the shade removed.
Cree™ 100w LED daylight 5000k dimmable A21 light bulb, operating In living room lamp, with the shade removed.

Suggested Improvements for the CREE Daylight LED 100w Bulb

Get Rid of the Heat Sink Fins

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 Outer Tackiness

This would facilitate rapid bulb wipedown.

Lower the Price

Many 100w LED bulbs these days cost less than half of what you pay for the CREE™ bulbs.

Our Rating for the CREE Daylight LED 100w Bulb

We’re pleased that CREE™ has created an affordable yet highly energy efficient product.  It’s now possible for the average consumer (our biggest population segment) to go green, without breaking the bank.  With the decade-long warranty, sub $12 price tag per unit, and shock-resistant build, these bulbs are highly durable.  And given that warranty, we fear little over accidental failure from too much vibration.

Further, the bulbs provide a decently full, natural-looking, 5000k daylight in most situations.

It’s great to see LEDs finally moving into mainstream lighting markets (they sure took their time getting there).   We believe that CREE™ has done an outstanding job ushering this technology into mass consumer markets.  They’ve convinced many that it really is worth the cost to upgrade from filament- and fluorescent-based lights to LED.  We thus rate this bulb at 94 out of 100. But if the price per bulb drops a few more dollars, our rating will rise.

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References for CREE Daylight LED 100w Bulb

Revision History

  • 2019-08-18: Added key phrase targeting for ‘CREE Daylight LED 100w’, removed ad code, and added more tags and links
  • 2018-02-28: Revised tags and title.
  • 2017-02-14: Originally published.