Ultimate LED Bulbs - Ultra High CRI - The Honorable Quest

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fneuf
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Ultimate LED Bulbs - Ultra High CRI - The Honorable Quest

This is it.

I'm overly tired of the "CRI averagish" LED bulbs I have home (looking at you LIFX, Osram, Philips and your 80ish values) and what is commonly offered in retail / online stores (...for the ones that do know what is CRI, geez). I'm no steampunk, I do not want to get back to incandescent bulbs nor do I want to consider halogen right now.

At a time we can have über great Optisolis (Ra 99 & Rf 98 R9 99, R12 95) in our hands, why can't we have über great bulbs hanging from our ceilings?

 

And so for the nth time I've browsed the web for great bulbs. Seems we're still shy of long results, even if it's better now : there are real results.

And here they are, so far, in a regularily updated table (now containing more than 80 entries) thanks to our wonderful participating community:

>> Click here to access the complete and UP TO DATE table <<

Note:

  • Not all light sources are made equals
  • Not all light sources holds their manufacturer claims
  • The "BLF Bulb Quality factor" that helps ordering this table follows this formula:  Qf = [(Ra *1)+(R9*3)+(R12*3)+(Rf*2)] / 9
    • It serves one aim: litteraly assess the quality of the light emitted by each bulb
    • It is built upon two industrial standards: the CRI from the CIE 13.5 norm, and the newer IES TM-30 regarded as the future standard
      • It is purposedly putting an emphasis on current struggle points of LED technology
  • The "CRI_grade" is another initiative to rank lights, this time on a discrete scale (à la energy efficiency norm), with an alternative formula
  • This is a community topic, everybody is welcomed to provide new bulb constestant, values and suggestions

We expect to create here a small bible of respectable references that will be useful to the community and everyone online.

Do you share this urge to find quality lights? What have you found so far?

 

Let the hunt begin !

 

Reference :

  • Remarquable manufacturer of High CRI LEDs dies:
    • Nichia : Optisolis
    • Yuji : VCT
    • Osram : Oslon square
    • Citizen : CitiLED
    • Luminous : Salud (only the 3000K flavour)
    • Seoul Semi Conductor / Toshiba : SunLike

Rise and Shine my precious...

Edited by: fneuf on 11/19/2019 - 06:06
patmurris
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Thanks for this thread! I’m definitely interested in pursuing the same quest although i’m just getting started.

I recently bought some Philips LEDspot ExpertColor GU10 – they are supposed to be 90+CRI, to use in a bathroom… but have yet to set them up and see.
Maybe this is not enough for what you want? Been there, done that?

One thing i’m wondering about is how appropriate it will be… or where/when and in what places of the house…
Low CRI and color temp can be desirable at times? More relaxing?
These are questions i never wondered about before.

Bob_McBob
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patmurris wrote:
Low CRI and color temp can be desirable at times? More relaxing?

Do you find low pressure sodium lamps desirable and relaxing? I can’t think of any good reason to intentionally choose a low CRI lighting source when there is a good alternative.

patmurris
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Bob_McBob wrote:
patmurris wrote:
Low CRI and color temp can be desirable at times? More relaxing?

Do you find low pressure sodium lamps desirable and relaxing? I can’t think of any good reason to intentionally choose a low CRI lighting source when there is a good alternative.

I was thinking of candle light for instance.

BurningPlayd0h
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patmurris wrote:
Bob_McBob wrote:
patmurris wrote:
Low CRI and color temp can be desirable at times? More relaxing?

Do you find low pressure sodium lamps desirable and relaxing? I can’t think of any good reason to intentionally choose a low CRI lighting source when there is a good alternative.

I was thinking of candle light for instance.

Candle light has a more limited spectrum than high-CRI light of a higher color temp, but it’s still 100 CRI because its a blackbody light source. The CRI rating uses a blackbody source as the baseline for a 1000 score.

iamlucky13
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Also check the Soraa Radiant and Vivid product lines. I’m not sure if there is any difference in the A19 form factor bulbs from each line other than one is sold through retail outlets and the other is marketed to lighting installers. Both are CRI over 95 and R9 over 95. Currently, they are only available in 2700K.

I’d say the go-to budget brand for high CRI A19 bulbs is Hyperikon, available mainly from Amazon. They’re not class-leading, but they’re quite good. The Energy Star certification data for them shows CRI=93 and R9=59 for the 2700K sample tested.

My favorite thing about Hyperikon is they offer multiple color temperature choices: 2700K, 3000K, 4000K, and 5000K. Do note, however, they also have an 80 CRI product line, so double check the specs before buying.

By the way, bulbs that have an Energy Star certification should be able to be found on the Energy Star site to get information like CRI, efficacy, and dimming range.
https://www.energystar.gov/productfinder/product/certified-light-bulbs/r...

Some manufacturers do not submit bulbs for Energy Star testing. Waveform does not seem to, for example.

fneuf
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patmurris wrote:
Thanks for this thread! I'm definitely interested in pursuing the same quest although i'm just getting started. I recently bought some Philips LEDspot ExpertColor GU10 - they are supposed to be 90+CRI, to use in a bathroom... but have yet to set them up and see. Maybe this is not enough for what you want? Been there, done that? One thing i'm wondering about is how appropriate it will be... or where/when and in what places of the house... Low CRI and color temp can be desirable at times? More relaxing? These are questions i never wondered about before.

Aren't you mixing those two concepts :"CRI contribution to atmosphere" vs "CCT contribution to atmosphere"?

iamlucky13 wrote:
Also check the Soraa Radiant and Vivid product lines. I'm not sure if there is any difference in the A19 form factor bulbs from each line other than one is sold through retail outlets and the other is marketed to lighting installers. Both are CRI over 95 and R9 over 95. Currently, they are only available in 2700K. I'd say the go-to budget brand for high CRI A19 bulbs is Hyperikon, available mainly from Amazon. They're not class-leading, but they're quite good. The Energy Star "certification data for them":https://www.energystar.gov/productfinder/product/certified-light-bulbs/d... shows CRI=93 and R9=59 for the 2700K sample tested. My favorite thing about Hyperikon is they offer multiple color temperature choices: 2700K, 3000K, 4000K, and 5000K. Do note, however, they also have an 80 CRI product line, so double check the specs before buying. By the way, bulbs that have an Energy Star certification should be able to be found on the Energy Star site to get information like CRI, efficacy, and dimming range. https://www.energystar.gov/productfinder/product/certified-light-bulbs/r... Some manufacturers do not submit bulbs for Energy Star testing. Waveform does not seem to, for example.

I saw the Soraa brand a few days ago, but did'nt deepen it as I thought they produced 100-120v bulbs only. Thanks to you I've been a bit more torough on that now. As I understand it, I also think Vivid products seems to be similar to Radiant. Perhaps the newer rebranding of the Radiant marketing name for the same tech.

The Hyperikon is unfortunately too law on the R9s for my taste and aim. I've however included it in the table for the moment, despite better possibilities. It can help some of us.

 

The Energy Star search engine is great, just too bad you can't exploit their tag on R9 data, it would have been close to perfection.

 

I've updated the first table with your proposals.

Rise and Shine my precious...

maukka
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I tested the E27 socket Waveform A19 Centric Home bulbs in three color temperatures and found them to be excellent.

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Thanks for your feedback, hadn't realized you also tested bulbs maukka.

2700K is not so great with R9, the 4000K version is good on R12 at ~82, the 5000K is a bit shy at ~76.

Moreover your tests demonstrate at 17,95$ they are of great value.

 

The 4000K is very tenting, but unfortunately I can't decently source it in Europe for now. And the shipping fee on their own shop is a bit discouraging at 47$...

Still they offer international shipping when the cart reach the 500$. Might have to buy a bigger house to sort that out innocent

Rise and Shine my precious...

maukka
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I feel you. It’s very difficult to find certifiably good E27 LED bulbs in Europe for a reasonable price especially in small quantities. It would be nice to order every single promising one from Amazon, but no thanks.

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I see one possibility here : European GB FTW! cool

 

Their references are somewhat confusing. I see at list 3 product ranges, but exploded in multiple variants (that is normally great but it's a bit difficult to get a hang off and navigate in, as some specs seem "on point" close (or undisclosed?)) :

For instance you tested 4007.27, 4007.40 & 4007.50 but 4007.xx bulbs are not supposed to exist on their current website.

Or the 4003.65 is listed two times on their website, one marketed for jewelry rendition, the other "full spectrum". The 4005.65 for Birds or not, etc. One 4005.50 is D50 calibrated, the other does not?

 

Otherwise, would you be interested to test those if I were to send one to you? They are claiming CRI 98 / R9 93 / R12 90 (see graph) and that is all great but I don't find independant test. And this seller shop, (which history all check-out and trace back some 17 years ago (via H2i Technology)) could be linked to a strange marketplace platform. It could all be legit, but as always : caveat emptors prevails.

Rise and Shine my precious...

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I have the Philips GU10 ExpertColor all over my house now, in 2700K and 3000K, they have a perfect smooth beam and are over 95CRI and slightly below the BBL. I can not foresee needing anything better apart from hoping that a similar light quality can be had for the same price (I payed about 7 euro per bulb) in unidirectional bulbs.

maukka
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Any idea if the 4000K ExpertColor is as good?

maukka
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fneuf wrote:

Otherwise, would you be interested to test those if I were to send one to you? They are claiming CRI 98 / R9 93 / R12 90 but seem to be linked to a strange marketplace platform.

Sure, I’ll gladly test one.

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maukka wrote:
Any idea if the 4000K ExpertColor is as good?

I have no idea. I dared to try a Yuji 4000K remote phosfor bulb once in the house, and my girlfriend felt like she was in hospital instead of at home. So apparantly 4000K is not for us.
fneuf
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Did you also had the opportunity to test some Yuji's?

Rise and Shine my precious...

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fneuf wrote:

Did you also had the opportunity to test some Yuji‘s?


I never checked that bulb actually because I have had it long before I got my spectrometer. I could if you are interested.
fneuf
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In one, simple but effective, word : YES

In two, honest and heartwarming, words : YES, PLEASE

laughing

 

Which of Yuji's reference have you got on hand?

Rise and Shine my precious...

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fneuf wrote:

In one, simple but effective, word : YES


In two, honest and heartwarming, words : YES, PLEASE


laughing


 


Which of Yuji’s reference have you got on hand?


It must be YJ-BC-RP-6-40, it is a couple of years old already but it looks like that one.
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Surfing Hyperikon's website I have found a better promising bulb, in the name of the "Hyperikon 212000401" an A21 17W 120v (sic) solution, still ranging from 2700 to 5000K and advertised at CRI 92.

However, searching detailled data/tests on it, the 4000K version seems to be tested at "17" for R9 (source, indiecinemaacademy)... Meeh ? And EnergyStar tests on the supposedly same (if HyperA2190-40, A21-40, and 212000401 are the same) 4000K version R9 at 63...While the 5000K should be at R9 90 and CRI 95.

Oh, well.

 

EDIT : browsing indiecinemaacademy pages, have found the Quasar Science S-LED bulbs (95+CRI). Unfortunately, I can't find detailled info or other tests yet. And well, 120v again.

Rise and Shine my precious...

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Hyperikon are great. I should do a review of them, I have spectrometer data. fneuf, the R9 of the 4000k are all between the low 70’s and high 60’s on all of mine. CRI Ra was in the 90’s as promised. And they are cheaper than anything else similar.

fneuf
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That would be great for NA, CA and Japan members here Joshk!

Do you intend to say that every 4000ishK bulb will struggle with R9 ?

Rise and Shine my precious...

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I hadn’t noticed the thread-starter was from France, but yes, many members are from NA/CA.
I’m not sure where you are going with the R9 generality, but I will post all the data.

fneuf
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I just might have over-interpreted your "the R9 of the 4000k are all between the low 70’s and high 60’s on all of mine" sentence.

By "all of mine" do you mean all your 4000K Hyperikon's or all your 4000K LED lights?

Rise and Shine my precious...

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Yes, I was talking about the R9 of my 4000k Hyperikon.
My Cree, for example, cost $20 per bulb and have an R9 of about 15.

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Hyperikon’s Amazon pages are filled with pictures of lights that fried themselves, I assume from overheating. I haven’t seen anywhere close to that many proven failures from any other brand and combined with the cheap price it makes me really wary.

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I haven’t had any failures yet, but they are only 6 months old so far. So idk.

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BurningPlayd0h wrote:
Hyperikon’s Amazon pages are filled with pictures of lights that fried themselves, I assume from overheating. I haven’t seen anywhere close to that many proven failures from any other brand and combined with the cheap price it makes me really wary.

For a while there were Cree-branded light bulbs that were awful

Anyway, cool info. I didn’t know, is E27 standard in Europe? E26 is the standard size in the US.
All of my bulbs are sadly CRI80.

EDC Rotation: ZL SC62 | Jaxman E2L XP-G2 5A | Purple S2+ XPL-HI U6-3A | D4 w/ Luxeon V | RRT-01 
EagTac D25C Ti | DQG Slim AA Ti | UF-T1 by CRX | Olight S1 | Klarus Mini One Ti
L6 XHP70.2 P2 4000K FET+7135 | Jaxman M8 | MF02 | Jaxman Z1 CULNM1.TG | Blue S2+ w/ ML Special
In-progress: Supfire M6 3xXHP50.2 
Others: Nitecore EC23 | Nebo Twyst | Streamlight ProTac 1AA | TerraLux LightStar 100

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fneuf wrote:

Surfing Hyperikon’s website I have found a better promising bulb, in the name of the “Hyperikon 212000401“ an A21 17W 120v (sic) solution, still ranging from 2700 to 5000K and advertised at CRI 92.


However, searching detailled data/tests on it, the 4000K version seems to be tested at “17” for R9 (source, indiecinemaacademy)… Meeh ? And EnergyStar tests on the supposedly same (if HyperA2190-40, A21-40, and 212000401 are the same) 4000K version R9 at 63…While the 5000K should be at R9 90 and CRI 95.


Oh, well.


 


EDIT : browsing indiecinemaacademy pages, have found the Quasar Science S-LED bulbs (95+CRI). Unfortunately, I can’t find detailled info or other tests yet. And well, 120v again.

It looks like the test data from Indie Cinema Academy is not the high CRI bulb, but Hyperikon’s standard CRI version.

Are you looking specifically for 240V bulbs?

In the US, 120V is almost universally standard.

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fneuf wrote:
Do you intend to say that every 4000ishK bulb will struggle with R9 ?

No, but warmer CCT’s do require a stronger red component to match their black body reference. This is difficult to achieve, especially without a hit to efficiency.

So even though a 4000K might have more red in its spectrum than a 5000K bulb, it could have a larger gap to its reference.

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Scallywag wrote:
Anyway, cool info. I didn't know, is E27 standard in Europe? E26 is the standard size in the US. All of my bulbs are sadly CRI80.

Same old story everywhere I believe : the fun with standards is there are many.

B22 (Swan's bayonet mount) had an original strong grip on UK (and Commonwealth) and France. But France always used both B22 (and a bit of B15) and E27 (and a bit of E14).

Now B22 mostly remain in usage in UK, India and Australia. France is "converting" (don't know of norms fixing that decision, seem to me it's a market general decision) to E27 since some years (decades), but you will still find some bayonet in old houses/rooms. The majority of Europe uses E27.

I don't have the full history of that, so it looks like a fully purposed mess. For instance I don't know why E26 and E27 both exists same time.

From their sole purpose (electric contact) they are mechanically interchangeables. So maybe it could have to deal with the 110 / 220v standard, because I think E26 is mostly in use in countries which adores 110v, whereas for E27 its 220v believers.Or could it be another cryptic example of metric vs imperial units (where 26mm would be the closest translation of some imperial measure). But this is pure speculation.

iamlucky13 wrote:
It looks like the test data from Indie Cinema Academy is not the high CRI bulb, but Hyperikon's standard CRI version. Are you looking specifically for 240V bulbs? In the US, 120V is almost universally standard.

This could explain the really poor result at 17. Hyperikon's reference are not clear everywhere.

Well, well, well. Standards. Here we go again Smile

Helpfully I have a map for that specific question:

World Voltages standards

Easy isn't it ? Well, we can still dig in and find more fun. More detailled map:

To each his own, standard, I guess Smile

One of the great point of LEDs vs Incandescent or Halogens is that many manufacturers have cleverly took the opportunitu to build worldwide converters (90-250ish) in their bulbs. But not everyone of them.

 

iamlucky13 wrote:
fneuf wrote:
Do you intend to say that every 4000ishK bulb will struggle with R9 ?
No, but warmer CCT's do require a stronger red component to match their black body reference. This is difficult to achieve, especially without a hit to efficiency. So even though a 4000K might have more red in its spectrum than a 5000K bulb, it could have a larger gap to its reference.

Very interesting! I've also been recently presented an interesting article (sorry, it is in french) around the design choices of LED manufacturers to achiever High CRI in their chips

Rise and Shine my precious...

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