Cree Lighting has added to its line of LED-based replacement lamps, announcing a BR30 product in partnership with retailer Home Depot. The 9.5W lamp delivers 650 lm, and Home Depot will offer the lamps starting today at $19.97 for a 2700K warm-white version and at $21.97 for a 5000K daylight version.
The BR30 lamp for flood-lighting applications comes on the heels of the extremely successful launch of omnidirectional A-lamps back in March. Indeed, as we will discuss shortly, Cree used much of the technology and design developed for the A-lamp in the BR30 design.
While the A-lamp is the most ubiquitous lighting product in homes, Mike Watson, vice president of corporate marketing at Cree, said that the new BR30 lamp may actually save consumers more energy. Watson said that BR30 lamps are often used in areas such as kitchen downlights that are used for longer periods than A-lamps. Moreover, he pointed out that there are often two, four, six, or even eight BR30 lamps on a single circuit. So the ability to replace what is typically a 65W lamp with a 9.5W alternative is very significant.
Watson also said that Cree was focused on producing a BR30 lamp that looks identical to legacy lamps in the on and off states. He said, "It enables consumers to change one bulb at a time if they want." If the LED lamp varied in appearance, many consumers would be compelled to change every lamp in a group of downlights. Again, the ability to change one lamp at a time could lead to greater conservation benefits for consumers.
The 80% market
Unlike in the case of the A-lamp when Cree immediately offered lamps in two flux output levels, the BR30 comes only in the 650-lm version with an 80 CRI for now. Watson said there could be a need for additional light levels but added, "This is the 80% application for the home." The lamp will come with the same ten-year limited warranty offered on the A-lamps and is rated for 25,000 hours of usage.
The new lamps are dimmable using legacy phase-cut dimmers. Watson said the design is meant to be Energy Star qualified and that testing is in progress. He said the lamp meets the Energy Star light distributions, lumen profile, and efficacy requirements.
The new lamp uses a filament tower that's very similar to the one used in the A-lamps and apparently the same driver electronics with the base of the lamps being almost identical. The BR30 does use smaller Cree XB-G LEDs, presumably matched to the lumen requirements of the lamp designs. The filament tower shines light into the reflector chamber that directs light to the bulged optic, which is made from glass and covered in the same shatter-proof silicone that Cree used in the A-lamp.
Watson said adding the BR30 lamp was another step in Cree's ultimate goals, and stated, "We want to drive 100% adoption of LED lighting." Watson said that the company remains committed to the commercial market as a bigger opportunity at the moment, but said the recent consumer push acknowledges the importance of that market segment.