The Decent LED thread (high CRI/R9 LEDs)

As high CRI LEDs (over 90) seem so hard to come by, I thought I’d start a thread with some manufacturers/suppliers I’ve found while on the hunt for them.

Yuji LED (https://yujiintl.com/ and https://store.yujiintl.com/) manufacture high CRI LEDs. Very spendy but apparently some of the best.
Civilight (http://civilight.nl/en/products/) manufacture mostly high CRI LEDs with R9 of around 90, 11W bayonet version sold locally by Well Lit, see below.
Well-lit (https://well-lit.co.uk/) sell some very reasonably priced LEDs with CRI figures over 90. 95 CRI GU10s in 7W and 9W.
UltraLEDs sell some >90 CRI LED tape (https://www.ultraleds.co.uk/
Plumen sell some >90 CRI LEDs (https://ukshop.plumen.com/)

Integral and Philips have both announced very high CRI LEDs but so far I’ve been unable to find any for sale.

@mowcius - we are a new lighting company and will focus on high CRI and specialized spectral products. We haven’t announced our full product lineup yet, but we do have some CRI and CRI R9 guides that we hope you’ll find useful.

Hi @waveform, are you manufacturing your own lighting or partnering with another company to produce specific products for your markets?

I’d definitely be interested to hear what you will have in GU10, E27 and B22.

Do you know when you will have released any further information and how they will be available in the UK?

(@“Will at Bulb”/@“Andrew at Bulb”, is advertising like this permitted? So long as it’s relevant to the discussion?)

Hi @mowcius!

We are an ODM company that partners with factories to manufacture lights to our designs and specifications. Our mission is to address specific needs in niche lighting applications by providing lights that are tailored for that particular use case.

We’ll likely have a high CRI bulb in a standard A19 format and E27 base, in 2700K, 4000K and 6500K. We aim to have it available by April of this year.

Our launch market will be the USA but UK will follow shortly via Amazon or similar platform.

As far as CRI is concerned, there are lots of players out there, but it’s hard to find one that can maintain high CRI at higher color temperatures.

I would add SORAA to your list :slight_smile:

I would add SORAA to your list :)
Not sure how I missed them. They have a lot of products so I can see that digging around to find what I'm after might take a while!
Our mission is to address specific needs in niche lighting applications by providing lights that are tailored for that particular use case.
Do you know what kind of price point you're aiming for with any bulbs that could be considered for a residential application?

@mowcius , we’re still finalizing our price points but we’ll let you know with more details as we come closer to launch!

Probably on the other end of the scale, but Ikea sell some 90 CRI bulbs for home use.

@Kansai12, your comment caused me to investigate this more, and came across this page.

It seems that some of them are rather good (even in the red/R9 area), but you have to pick carefully.

@mowcius, on the plus side, those findings are of IKEA bulbs that are 3 years old.

I have to agree that you do have to pick carefully, as I have returned a few bulbs from them that I found to be rather inadequate, but this does mean that sometimes you will find a £4 bulb that does the same job as something costing triple or quadruple that price.

I currently have Well-Lit, Civilight, and Ikea bulbs in my home.

Has anyone tried the Phillips Master Ledspot Expert Color? Supposedly they have 97CRI. Seem to be around £8 per bulb for GU10 http://www.lighting.philips.co.uk/prof/led-lamps-and-tubes/led-spots/master-ledspot-expertcolor-mv

It’s a shame they’re only making MR16 and GU10 versions (http://www.lighting.philips.co.uk/products/product-highlights/expertcolor) as for most residential installations, these are the least useful lamp styles. Obviously marketed towards commercial applications but I’ll have to pick some up to try at that price.

I’d be interested to see recommendations along these lines that are also dimmable, and that - as well as being available in all six common domestic sockets (this place is unbelievable, I have all of them except small bayonet) - can work gracefully with non-LED-specific dimmers (of which I have three, none of which I fancy having to replace if it’s at all possible to avoid).

My experience with LEDs and CFLs that claim to be dimmable has been extremely variable so far and there doesn’t seem to be any easy way to determine or predict what types actually live up to the claims.

It’s bad enough that, having just found out that Halogens (up until now, promoted as mild energy savers thanks to their 30% better output per watt, and much better affordability than CFL/LED, which makes more sense if they only get limited use) are set to go the way of Incandescents from tomorrow onwards, I’m about to pull out my box o’ bulbs and, if I haven’t enough to last the next ten years, make a quick trip down to Asda and pick up a few extra…

In my experience, you’re going to really struggle with LEDs that can be dimmed with old style dimmers. They tend to be triac leading edge dimmers with a rather high minimum load requirement so unless you have around 10 LEDs being dimmed from one dimmer, they’re not going to want to work, let alone work well.

I’ve had positive results with Varilight V-Pro dimmers on most dimmable LEDs, but they are quite expensive.

Unfortunately as technology gets more efficient and more complex, the intricacies of it tend to increase, increasing the cost and lowering the plug-and-play nature of systems.

Hi @mowcius and everyone else on the thread:

Exciting news - we’ve released a new 10W A19 95 CRI bulb compatible with both US & European voltages (90 - 240 V AC, 50-60 Hz).

Here are our photometric test reports for 2700K and 3000K.

To @MarkP & @mowcius 's points regarding dimmability - these bulbs are NOT dimmable. We found it very challenging to engineer LED drivers to be legacy-compatible with a whole range of dimmers out there, across various configurations (e.g. total load / voltage range) with consistent dimming performance. Our biggest challenge has been achieving a smooth & consistent dimming curve from 100% to 0%. Rather than release a “dimmable” product with mediocre dimming performance, we’ve decided to stay with a non-dimmable spec for now. That being said, we’re hopeful we can soon reach a point where we can incorporate perfect dimming performance in a high CRI configuration.

They do look nice and not a bad price either, although shipping makes smaller quantities a bit expensive over here.
Any UK distributors likely in the near future?

Also, any plans to release B22 versions? Unless they’ve been buying all of their light fixtures from IKEA, most people in the UK will have B22 lamp sockets.

@mowcius : We’re working on establishing distribution/retail and will update as we progress. Unfortunately there are no immediate plans for developing a B22 base version.

We're working on establishing distribution/retail and will update as we progress
Keep me updated with UK distributors as I'd love to try some of these out in my house as well as for upcoming jobs. Selling high CRI lamps to clients is never very tricky, and in most situations switching to edison screw wouldn't be the end of the world.
As far as CRI is concerned, there are lots of players out there, but it's hard to find one that can maintain high CRI at higher color temperatures.

I would add SORAA to your list :slight_smile:

I've tried SORAA VIVID 7.5W 4000K 95 CRI (GU10 format). The colour was OK, but they flicker very badly at 100Hz. So you would not want to do photography, or shoot video (perhaps with a phone) under these lights. Also, the 100Hz flicker is low enough to cause problems for humans, while high enough that they may not realise where the problem is coming from.
I've tried SORAA VIVID 7.5W 4000K 95 CRI (GU10 format). The colour was OK, but they flicker very badly at 100Hz. So you would not want to do photography, or shoot video (perhaps with a phone) under these lights. Also, the 100Hz flicker is low enough to cause problems for humans, while high enough that they may not realise where the problem is coming from.
I notice regularly how bad the flicker is with some LEDs. This evening I noticed while out eating food, how much of a stroboscopic effect I got when moving my cutlery. It was quite disconcerting, although the colour of the LEDs was actually quite nice (generic LED filament bulbs).

I have some worse bulbs: KVA-MR16-GU10-45001 (KVA Lighting 4500K 5W dimmable 24 degree beam “HIGH CRI 85+”).
These completely blank out at 100 Hz. So the Flicker Percent (Modulation depth) is 100%. Oops.

The best GU10 I’ve found so far ar Philips ExpertColor 4000K 5.5W 25 degree GU10.
I’ve tried a few of these, and while I can see small changes in spectrum, they’re much more stable than halogen GU10s!

This is all at 240V AC, 50Hz, no dimming.

The really weird thing is that I’ve also tried Philips ExpertColor 4000K & 3000K 5.5W 36 degree GU10.
These do have easily detectable changes in output power & spectrum (worse for 3000K). I’d have expected the electronic design to be identical, certainly for 4000K 36 degree.

What I’m using to measure Flicker Percent is an SLR camera, using the focal plane shutter, and a high shutter speed to turn the camera into a kind of digital storage osciloscope, with a ~3ms timebase, and a bandwidth dependent on the shutter speed (typ ~1/2000s). In a dark room, I point the bulb at a piece of paper from a few inches, and point the camera, with a defocussed macro lens with a deep lens hood at the same piece of paper. I then shoot a burst of 20-30 shots, and examine the RAW images in RawDigger, which computes histograms and averages from the RAW camera images.

I’ll post again when I have some more data, and looked at the data more. I was surprised how much flicker I was seeing from a halogen GU10.