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#3795804 - 07/20/15 08:48 AM LED Bulb Failure and Cree Customer Service
Pop_Rivit Offline


Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 6367
Loc: Midwest
In January/February of 2014 I converted nearly the entire house to LED bulbs, many of which were Cree bulbs. I've had no issues whatsoever until this morning when one of the Cree TW series bulbs in the master bath failed to light completely. There was no warning, it just came on at about 5% of what it should be. I moved another bulb to the socket and it lit normally, so the issue was with the Cree bulb. Out of the 80 or so bulbs purchased this is the first issue, so I'm still quite pleased with the decision to convert to LEDs.

I emailed Cree a short time ago, and within an hour I had a response that a replacement bulb was being sent via FedEx and that the existing bulb could be disposed of. They didn't ask me for proof of purchase, no quibbling, nothing but a "we'll make it right" attitude.

Who says customer service is a thing of the past?

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#3795805 - 07/20/15 08:51 AM Re: LED Bulb Failure and Cree Customer Service [Re: Pop_Rivit]
HerrStig Offline


Registered: 08/24/11
Posts: 9560
Loc: Boston, MA
Have you had some bad thunderstorms of late?

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#3795843 - 07/20/15 09:28 AM Re: LED Bulb Failure and Cree Customer Service [Re: Pop_Rivit]
webfors Offline


Registered: 06/06/06
Posts: 4942
Loc: Great White North.. eh
Nice! That's the type of customer service that puts a smile on my face.
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#3795846 - 07/20/15 09:32 AM Re: LED Bulb Failure and Cree Customer Service [Re: Pop_Rivit]
NHGUY Offline


Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 5043
Loc: USA
I had a Cree 100W LED fail a few months ago,and Home Depot took care of it,just had 2 more (a 100W and a 3 way) fail this past week.I'm done with Cree.Going to get cheapo China sourced EBAY LEDs for low bucks if they don't last any less..

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#3795879 - 07/20/15 10:04 AM Re: LED Bulb Failure and Cree Customer Service [Re: Pop_Rivit]
razel Offline


Registered: 06/28/03
Posts: 486
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Own 6 CREE EcoSmart branded downlights that are almost 3 years old now. No failure issues, but I am unsure of these newer, cheaper 'race to the bottom' models. Failure with these cheaper ones is expected though.

As for LED bulbs in general, check out the 2 for $5 Philips 60w LEDs @ Home Depot on special until end of this month. I was impressed! 800lm @ 7-8 watts, spreads light out just like a regular bulb. It's the closest to incandescent performance and looks with no LED funny business. They aren't dimmable but do behave well with dimmer switches. Purchased 16 of them. Only 2 buzz, but it was the light fixture, even regular incandescent bulbs buzz in it. They even work great in a fridge. They are rated to well below freezing.

I didn't bother to get the CREE even though I like the quality. The older bulbs are too heavy, large and their newer plastic cardboard ones aren't available in TW yet.


Edited by razel (07/20/15 10:09 AM)

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#3795883 - 07/20/15 10:05 AM Re: LED Bulb Failure and Cree Customer Service [Re: Pop_Rivit]
Win Offline


Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 4448
Loc: Arkansas
Cree is expanding into RF power and power conversion. They just bought one of our local research labs:

http://www.cree.com/News-and-Events/Cree-News/Press-Releases/2015/July/Cree-Acquires-APEI
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#3795899 - 07/20/15 10:22 AM Re: LED Bulb Failure and Cree Customer Service [Re: Pop_Rivit]
rshaw125 Offline


Registered: 08/18/04
Posts: 3258
Loc: Raleigh ,NC CSA
Bought some from Costco. One was bad out of the box and one stopped working after 2 weeks. Feit brand. Will be calling Feit for replacements. If that does not work back to Costco.
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#3795908 - 07/20/15 10:31 AM Re: LED Bulb Failure and Cree Customer Service [Re: Pop_Rivit]
madRiver Offline


Registered: 07/11/15
Posts: 3537
Loc: New England
I have had 3 failures of CREE of 10 bulbs. Not a great rate for <9 months.

I was very discouraged if you read the related box they want the bulb mailed with original receipt to get a replacement. (Obnoxious really). The Home Depot I believe(or Lowe's) cannot recall gave me replacements no questions asked when I shared this with them.

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#3795911 - 07/20/15 10:37 AM Re: LED Bulb Failure and Cree Customer Service [Re: rshaw125]
R80RS Offline


Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 991
Loc: Wisconsin USA
Originally Posted By: rshaw125
Bought some from Costco. One was bad out of the box and one stopped working after 2 weeks. Feit brand. Will be calling Feit for replacements. If that does not work back to Costco.


I've had a lot of problems with Feit bulbs, even their incandescents. I stay away from the brand entirely now.
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#3795952 - 07/20/15 11:24 AM Re: LED Bulb Failure and Cree Customer Service [Re: Pop_Rivit]
Triple_Se7en Offline


Registered: 12/04/04
Posts: 8758
Loc: 1/2 hr. north of Detroit
Originally Posted By: Pop_Rivit
Out of the 80 or so bulbs purchased this is the first issue, so I'm still quite pleased with the decision to convert to LEDs.



You have 80 bulb plugins in your house?
Congrats on getting Cree to respond and offer free service.
Now don't ever try that again with the other 79 bulbs. They are-on to you now. What you sold them in words, only works once.

All kidding aside, what is the warranty on those bulbs?

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#3795959 - 07/20/15 11:36 AM Re: LED Bulb Failure and Cree Customer Service [Re: rshaw125]
HTSS_TR Offline


Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 19528
Loc: Lake Forest, CA
Originally Posted By: rshaw125
Bought some from Costco. One was bad out of the box and one stopped working after 2 weeks. Feit brand. Will be calling Feit for replacements. If that does not work back to Costco.

LED bulbs are much more expensive than CFL bulbs, especially when local power company subsidized CFL bulb to the tune of 9 cents each, buying LED bulbs at Costco is the safest way, they have lifetime warranty and the have record of all your purchases in their system.

I liked to convert CFL to LED the last few years, but waited for reliability report before dumping hundreds dollar into it. I have many CFL bulbs I bought at 9 and 19 penny each, it would lasted me another 5-10 years. I stay with CFL for now, since we have on average less than 3-4 light on a night for less than 4-5 hours each. Spending several hundreds for LED bulbs doesn't make sense in my case.
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#3795971 - 07/20/15 11:53 AM Re: LED Bulb Failure and Cree Customer Service [Re: Pop_Rivit]
Rhymingmechanic Offline


Registered: 08/13/04
Posts: 1325
Loc: VA
It's good to hear Cree's customer service lived up to the title.

I had two of the early 60W equivalent Crees start flickering after about a year in service. I tried Home Depot first and got them exchanged.

I noticed the guidelines for enclosed fixtures got a little more specific on the new packages. The 60W equivalents prohibit mixing with other types of bulbs in enclosed fixtures. The 75W says the same or maybe limits you to one bulb per enclosed fixture, and if I remember correctly, the 100W is not to be used in totally enclosed fixtures.

The two flickering bulbs were in an enclosed ceiling fixture in my kitchen. I was hoping they would do better than CFLs in that location--I had two or three CFLs in enclosed fixtures (including at least one Feit) flame out with spectacularly noxious smoke.

To be clear, the Cree electronics didn't fail that way, and the replacements are doing fine in the same fixture. I'm also using them in lamps without any problems.

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#3796002 - 07/20/15 12:34 PM Re: LED Bulb Failure and Cree Customer Service [Re: Pop_Rivit]
gathermewool Offline


Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 5987
I've got 12 Cree bulbs, all between 6 months and ~ 14 months old and haven't had any issues, but it's good to hear their customer service is easy to deal with. They produce very nice light and use very little power.

The fins for the heat sink do get too hot to touch for more than just a second, but even after being on for days they never get hotter, and if half a dozen bulbs are on for extended periods, they all feel approximately the same.

If any one is interested I'll use a IR gun and temp probe to see how hot they actually are after extended use.

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#3796017 - 07/20/15 12:47 PM Re: LED Bulb Failure and Cree Customer Service [Re: HTSS_TR]
Nate1979 Offline


Registered: 04/08/13
Posts: 3504
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: HTSS_TR
Originally Posted By: rshaw125
Bought some from Costco. One was bad out of the box and one stopped working after 2 weeks. Feit brand. Will be calling Feit for replacements. If that does not work back to Costco.

LED bulbs are much more expensive than CFL bulbs, especially when local power company subsidized CFL bulb to the tune of 9 cents each, buying LED bulbs at Costco is the safest way, they have lifetime warranty and the have record of all your purchases in their system.

I liked to convert CFL to LED the last few years, but waited for reliability report before dumping hundreds dollar into it. I have many CFL bulbs I bought at 9 and 19 penny each, it would lasted me another 5-10 years. I stay with CFL for now, since we have on average less than 3-4 light on a night for less than 4-5 hours each. Spending several hundreds for LED bulbs doesn't make sense in my case.


I'm with you. I have a whole box of CFL's to go through before even considering LED's.

Every time there is a thread about some new deal on LED's and the so called payback vs a CFL people like to tout the lifetime but often forget the reliability. Clearly reliability is not there yet for LED's (based on the multiple failures mentioned in this thread) and this is a critical factor when making a high purchase cost vs high operating cost for payback.
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#3796022 - 07/20/15 12:52 PM Re: LED Bulb Failure and Cree Customer Service [Re: R80RS]
Benito Offline


Registered: 05/27/15
Posts: 1287
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: R80RS
Originally Posted By: rshaw125
Bought some from Costco. One was bad out of the box and one stopped working after 2 weeks. Feit brand. Will be calling Feit for replacements. If that does not work back to Costco.


I've had a lot of problems with Feit bulbs, even their incandescents. I stay away from the brand entirely now.


Not impressed with Feit CFLs. Widely differing life spans on bulbs installed on the same switch.
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