Cree CR6 v. LR6

lennymMay 13, 2010

In another forum one of the on-line retailers wrote:

"To make the new CR6 less expensive Cree removed some performance and options when compared to the LR6 . Due to a much smaller heat sink, the CR6 is rated to last 30k hours as compared to the 50K hour LR6. The CR6 will not be as bright either. It is rated at 575 lumens vs 650 for the LR6. That's probably going to mean Cree will make a claim that it is just shy of a 60W incandescent as compared to the current claim of 65W for the LR6 which I think is at least 10% on the conservative side. No big deal but, in spite of its reduced brightness the CR6 is a 12W light and Cree recently reduced the LR6 spec down to 10.5W. The LR6 has optional trim rings available and a really well designed eyeball model. These options are not going to be available for the CR6.

Bottom line: The CR6 could be thought of as the CREE LITE ! It will be a nice addition to Cree's product line but the current LR6 or LR6C may well be worth the $16 dollar premium ... and it's available today."

Any comments here from the point of view of domestic (perhaps mostly kitchen) use?

As I understand it the CR6 will not require optional trim rings. That raises the cost differential. Do LR6 users generally get the rings? Is the appearance acceptable without the rings?

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Thanks Lenny for posting this information. We are building a home and DH has decided to use the Cree LR6 throughout the house. Perhaps even the exterior!

We were considering buying from a local lighting company but found an online retailer in another state that offers the LR6 for $83 with free shipping. Locally they would be $6.00 more a piece plus tax. I'm all about buying locally but to me this is too good a deal to pass up. We are already over budget and this is about a $330 savings.

We have 10 ft ceilings and would want a brighter light. I believe the LR6 comes with a standard white trim and you can purchase others if need be.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 8:38AM
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Sherwhy, You should be able to find on-line retailers selling for just under $80 with free shipping.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 9:16AM
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Lenny, that is a great price. Care to share the name of these online retailers?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 9:41AM
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Interestingly, Cree in the latest news bumped up the lifespan of the CR6 to 50k hrs.

The light is claimed to be more efficient than the LR6, therefore not requiring such a big heat sink.

The dimmable range is 5% to 100% compared to about 20% to 100% for the LR6.

Est price is under 60.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 10:41AM
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wamhomecenter, directbuylighting, polar-ray just to name a few and Google will give you many more.

Actually, according to the above the LR6 is more efficient giving more light with less wattage.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 11:10AM
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I saw the CR6 at Lightfair. It's a nice looking unit. Cree has taken out some of the bells & whistles which the LR6 has, but overall it's a good fixture.
If the LR6 is out of your budget, this is a good choice.

It's scheduled to ship the end of June/ beginning of July.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 4:16PM
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Lightguy: Which bells and whistles are missing from the CR6? I have been calling all over to find out when they will be available and have been told "hopefully by late June early July". I was planning on installing the standard LR6 housing and wait for the CR6 lighting unit. I want them, not because of the cheaper cost, but because of the better dimming. I love the fact that they dim to 5% as opposed to 20% for the LR6.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 5:27PM
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According to CREE, they should be available this month (MAY '10)

May 11, 2010 09:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time
CreeÂs New CR6Â LED Downlight Redefines Residential Lighting

DURHAM, N.C--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cree, Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE), a market leader in LED lighting, announces general availability in late May of its new 6-inch LED downlight specifically designed for residential and light commercial use. Designed for both new construction and retrofits, the Cree CR6Â is expected to retail for under $60.

"For the first time, there is cost parity between energy-efficient LED downlights and toxic CFL downlights"
The CR6 is now ENERGY STAR® qualified and, at up to 64 lumens per Watt, boasts the highest luminaire efficacy of any residential ENERGY STAR-qualified downlight.

Featuring award-winning Cree TrueWhite Technology, the CR6 provides consumers with warm, beautiful light without sacrificing energy efficiency. The CR6 is a direct replacement for a 65 Watt 6-inch incandescent downlight and is dimmable to 5 percent with most standard incandescent dimmers. Delivering 575 lumens and using just 10.5 Watts, the new fixture is designed to last 50,000 hours and features a 5-year warranty.

"For the first time, there is cost parity between energy-efficient LED downlights and toxic CFL downlights," said Gary Trott, Cree vice president, market development, LED Lighting. "Factor in the longer lifespan, beautiful color quality and higher efficacy, and the Cree CR6 makes choosing LED downlights a no-brainer."

The Cree CR6 LED downlight will be shown at CreeÂs booth #149 during the Lightfair 2010 show this week in Las Vegas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Latest CR6 news

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 6:30PM
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One of the big things is that all of Cree's products have a color temperature sensor in the unit to continually measure the output and adjust the lamp according if something should change. This is great if you install LR6s in your kitchen now and in a few years add some to your living room. With this technology, the living room lights will be the exact same color temperature as your kitchen lights- since over the years the color might shift a bit.

Is this really necessary for a residential application? Depends on the cost difference. If it's a $10.00 difference, then sure. If it's a $30.00 difference (times the total number of units) then it might not be worth it. It's not as if the color shift will be glaringly obvious if you don't have that many lights. It's more important in a commercial application if you have hundreds of cans you can see. If the colors start shifting, even a bit, it's obvious.

The efficacy of the CR6 is lower: 54 vs 62. Again, nothing too huge. Based on the look of it, the LR6 will give you a wider beam spread than the CR6. Although based on a good lighting layout, this shouldn't be a factor. Overall, it looks like a good unit. And if you install the housing (RC6) now, you're safe.

Although don't count on the May release date. Cree told me that any orders I make will ship in that June/ July time frame. But if you're not in a rush, it's no problem. If you are and you're forced to go with the LR6, you're getting a better unit anyway.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 7:51PM
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Just to be clear, are you saying that the CR6 doesn't have the color temperature sensor?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 8:40AM
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Correct. This doesn't mean that the color temperature is going to go bad or it'll look horrible, just that it doesn't have Cree's 'active color maintenance'. And as I mentioned earlier, it's probably not a bit deal- especially since Cree is the only company which does this to begin with. And all the other big name LEDs on the market aren't going funky.

I did get a good look at it today. The light source portion of the CR6 is smaller than the LR6. The only problem I found is that if you look at the fixture, it is much harsher on the eyes than the LR6. Even though the LR6 puts out more light, it's easier on the eyes since the light is spread out more. But, the CR6 does recess the light more than the LR6, so it might be a wash. And the beam spread is narrower with the CR6, but still plenty wide.

The Home Depot version of the CR6 will have a 3 year/ 35,000 hour warranty and the lighting distributer warranty of the CR6 will have 5 year/ 50,000 hour warranty.

It's a nice light. And if you need a budget LED, this is the way to go. Cree did a nice job with it. The LR6 is better, but it costs more. And with a standard ceiling and good lighting plan, you won't regret the CR6.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 4:30PM
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So, has anyone installed the LR6 and had concerns / regrets due to the dimming (or lack thereof - 20% vs. 5% for the LR6)? I'm about to replace our den lights, and am torn between the CR6 and LR6. What did you install, cindyp1345?

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 8:41PM
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I installed the CR6 (HD version) in my kitchen, but ordered an LR6 just in case the CR6 lights weren't bright enough. They were fine - and I did not like how the lens on the LR6 was so close to the opening. The CR6 lens is more recessed and I felt the LR6 may produce more glare. I was also afraid of the dimming issues I read about with the LR6, but never tested it.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 8:57PM
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We installed LR6 lights in our kitchen/dining/living room spaces, all contiguous. Only the living room LED's are on a dimmer. Yes, the dimming is limited, but it doesn't bother me as we do not use that function all that much. If I want "mood" lighting, I have other options. We do love the LR6 light, and have been pleased with the performance over the past 18 months since moving into our new house. Thanks to Lightguy for all of his postings!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 8:34PM
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I know this is an old thread, but am looking for some advice. Before I type up the question, can someone respond that the thread is still active so I don't waste my time posting into a black hole. Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 5:42PM
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Threads are not dead until they reach a 151 message count

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 6:46PM
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Great! I have a bunch of recessed cans in my kitchen that are only 5" deep at the outside and 5 7/16" at the center. I purchased Sylvania RT6 LED lights before knowing the cans were shallow. I was able to use them in my attic, so it wasn't a loss. It's a shame I can't put them in my kitchen because I really like the look of the RT6. I did find the all-pro LED retrofit and does work in my kitchen cans, but I don't care for the look (of the actual product and the light). Also, they take 2-3 seconds to turn on if the dimmer is not at 100%. I wanted to ask you all if you know of any other brands/models that work with shallow cans?

Also, in my basement the cans I have do not accept torsion springs so I was going to try the Cree CR6. Plus, the cans in the basement are 2-3" above the ceiling panels, so even after I made some modifications for the torsion springs the sylvania's would not stay tight to the ceiling tile. They just kept dropping. I think this problem will be resolved with the CR6 because of the way they fasten to the can. I think they would stay in place even though the lights would not be pushed all the way into the can. Does my explanation make sense? Thoughts?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 2:13PM
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The depth of the can has to be ~ 6.5" for the CR6.

Alternatively you could try the Lighting Science Glimpse LED. For example

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 3:38PM
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Thanks David! My message wasn't clear, sorry. I have different cans in my basement and they are plenty deep. The only issue I have with my basement is that the drop ceiling tiles are about 2-3 inches below the bottom of the can. I think this was done so they can still be lifted up to get them out. I order 6 Cree CR 6 today, so I am hoping they work.

I checked out the Glimpse. They would definitely work, but I'm not sure I like the look of them. Will do some more research and look for more pictures online. How do they connect? Is there an edison base adaptor?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 12:36PM
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As long as you fully extend the 3 prongs on the CR6 and give it a final clockwise twist, the CR6 will hold tight to the ceiling.

You should be able to view the Glimpse @ Home Depot. There is an edison base adapter which should come with the light.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 4:05PM
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I just finished construction of a new home with a lot of LED lighting. I used the CR6 as my budget light while installing the 'higher-end' LR6 in common areas.

In total, I installed about 30 CR6 retrofit in Halo 6" cans and about 15 LR6 in the CREE can with CREE trim. I splurged the extra cost for the LR6 cans and lights in the most important rooms (library, kitchen, etc) thinking I really wanted the best there.

Unfortunately, the very poor dimming curve of the LR6 in comparison to the CR6 makes me regret that decision. I can not really tell the difference in light quality between the two when they are on, but as they are turning on and off, the LR6 is much worse.

I use a Vantage Controls lighting system and the dimming is terrible with the LR6 - I am looking into ripping them out and replacing with CR6 if you can believe it.

In retrospect, I wish I had used the CR series everywhere - to be more specific, I used a lot of CR6's but I think the CR4's look the best. In general, it seems new construction is moving more towards the 4" form factor than the 6" and both CREEs give off the same amount of light (the LED chip appears to be the same in both models).

If I were starting again (even though the CR6's are now a total bargain at ~$25 at Home Depot and the CR4's are still $50), I would do the entire house in CR4 edisons with halo 4" cans. They are a nice light that both I and my wife (who is very particular) like, the light is warm (~2800K), energy efficient, and easy to install.

For What It's Worth,


    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 7:28PM
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There's an 800-lumen version of the CR6 out now too (as well as the earlier 575 lumen).

I always liked the CR6 better for that reason as well (and the much lower price, and lighter weight/easier installation). Only real advantage of the LR6 now is 3500K availability and slightly brighter 1000L available. Don't get why their more expensive lights dim only to 20% rather than 5% like their budget range.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 6:49AM
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The LR6 is an earlier generation.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 4:32PM
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Cree recently expanded the warranty on the LR series (and many of their other lamps) to 10 years. The CR is still 5 years, or 3 years for the Home Depot/Ecosmart versions.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 8:22PM
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