Cree bulb has low-med-high at the flick of a switch

Cree has introduced a three-intensity, selected by flicking the wall switch, LED replacement for incandescent bulbs.

Cree 3 way bulb

Called ‘3-Way Cree’, the firm says it has “three light levels distinctly visible to the naked eye”.

That said, the values are 3, 8 or 18W (320, 820 or 1,620 lm – which it equates to 30, 60 and 100W).

Form my experience, I think it has missed a trick here – these values are noticable, but are only 1:2 steps in power which will be perceived as less due to the eye’s log(ish) response.

At least 1:4, imho, would be better – 6, 25, 100W equiv – far more useful in the home – but would not look so good to the uninitiated when buying in a well-lit shop (retail store to US readers).

Switch flicking is a great way to change bulb intensity – simple to implement in existing infrastucture and not consuming vampire power.

Although it is probably not so great for multiple bulb installations if they get out of synch.



  1. Heck Mr K, I hadn’t even heard of three way light bulbs.

    Thanks for that contribution.

    I just did a quick google – and I see they are available in the US but not, as far as I can tell, in the UK.

    A incandescent Wallmart example has:
    580, 1250 and 1830 lm

    and I see there is already an LED three-way bulb –
    300, 800 and 1,100 lm

    Both have a big step then a little step – maybe this is the technology – A, B or A+B?

  2. Seems like a neat concept and avoids some of the compatibility issues associated with dimming. The power steps are roughly 2 to 1, so the eye should notice a difference. Granted, it’s not going to look like a lot, but when making the sudden change from one level to the next, it should be visible.

    Given that 3 way incandescent bulbs have existed for many decades, one would assume that Cree tried to make the power steps similar to the incandescent 3 way bulbs.

    I wonder if the bulbs could be programmed to power up at either high power or low power?? That would be pretty slick!

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