Cree cuts heat, bulk, and cost with vented LED bulbs

LED lightbulbs continue their downward price spiral into the mainstream, and latest to haunt incandescents is Cree's freshly redesigned 40W and 60W replacements. Looking far more like a traditional bulb than previous iterations, primarily because Cree has done away with what would normally be a bulk-adding heatsink, the old-fashioned shape actually hides a clever alternative approach to cooling which uses heat itself to keep things chilly.

Cree calls it "4Flow Filament Design" but, in reality, it's actually just taking advantage of fundamental principles of convection.

Slots for cross-flow ventilation work with the natural tendency for hot air to rise. In the process, that pulls cooler ambient air up through the bottom of the bulb, helping to keep the thermal equilibrium around the LEDs themselves.

The new plastic design cuts down on weight – under 2oz, in fact – and also makes the bulbs tougher and cheaper.

Both the 40W and 60W bulbs are available in soft white and daylight finishes, each supporting dimming and giving out omnidirectional light. According to Cree, they'll last for 25x longer than an incandescent too, and use up to 85-percent less power over that period.

The new bulbs are available online today, priced at $7.97 for the 40W or 60W Soft White, and $8.97 for the 40W or 60W Daylight. They'll land in Home Depot stores in November.