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

Cree 3 way bulbCree has introduced a three-intensity, selected by flicking the wall switch, LED replacement for incandescent bulbs.

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.

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2 Comments

  1. steve bush
    July 14, 2014 15:51

    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
    http://www.earthled.com/products/switch-switch-3-way-led-light-bulb#.U8PreLEelzQ

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

  2. Steve Kurt
    July 08, 2014 01:30

    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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