Ultra High CRI LED Lightbulb
The world's highest CRI filament LED bulb
bring ultra high cri into your home, you'll thank me
Finally found my "grail" bulb and I'm sharing it with you!
I didn't design this bulb but I've personally spent 18 months testing everything on the market in search of perfection. I gave up on first generation "domed" bulbs.
Filament bulbs are the next generation, and this filament bulb is absolutely the best there is. There, I did all the work for you! No need to waste your own time and money trying to navigate all the BS and hype out there.
Quick Stats (TL;DR)
- Highest CRI available on the market (Ra 95+ with 15 step index)
- Highest R9 available (85+ renders accurate reds)
- 2700K CCT (preferred by designers for in-home lighting)
- 500-600 Lumens @ 8W (45W incandescent equivalent)
- 300 degree light distribution matches incandescent bulb
- A19 size (standard light bulb) and E26 Base (120V US Compatible)
- Dimmable: 10%-100% (may require LED compatible dimmer)
- 30,000 hours lifetime
- 3 year warranty
- Lowest blue light emissions of any bulb we tested
- 8 filaments reduces shadowing compared to 4 filaments (other bulbs)
This will be a pre-order: right now, just a preview.
I wanted to give you the opportunity to try these bulbs for yourself NOW so I talked the manufacturer into allowing me to run a pre-order. They have been awesome to work with and take lighting as seriously as I do. Pshhh, nerds.
The only catch is that I have to order a minimum of 500 bulbs, so don't leave me hangin' here. If there is enough response, they are willing to make other output levels and color temperatures...but this is it for now. Frankly, I think these are perfect for your home and here is why.
What did I learn from testing so many bulbs?
My #1 takeaway: specifications (and manufacturers) don't tell the whole story.
If you compare two bulbs that have exactly the same specifications in output, color temperature, and CRI...the light they produce can still be vastly different to your eyes.
I tested several "High CRI" bulbs that just didn't look good...because they have some significant weakness in one (or more) parts of the color spectrum. The 8 step (R1-R8) CRI specification most companies use is obsolete. R1-R8 only covers pastel colors, not saturated colors or earth tones. So you can still get a high rating (and advertise it) even if the light is deficient overall.
We use the "extended" 15 step (R1-R15) CRI measurement instead of the industry standard 8 step. This means you get High CRI in pastels (R1-8) and saturated colors (R9-13) and earth tones (R14-15).
Yes, "good" is my subjective opinion but it's also scientific fact...if you know what factors to measure. I've been working with light for the last 10 years and I have darned good idea of what is "good" and what is not. I also know how to test a light source to modern standards. These bulbs simply produce superior light quality that looks natural.
Ultra High CRI (95+): Most High CRI sources are still only 90-92 CRI
CRI is a measure of color reproduction accuracy. Sunlight is a perfect 100. These bulbs are rated at 95+ and the ones I tested were all 96 or 97. Don't trust any manufacturer that omits R9 values and/or doesn't show you the 15 step CRI chart. (see ours below)
ANSI minimum indoor lighting standard is 80...which is fine, but it's not great. You spend a lot of time in your home and "fine" is not an admirable standard for something you spend so much time living with. You deserve great and this is it.
High R9 (true red) values: Many "High CRI" sources score a 50 or lower on true red. Ultra High CRI is only achieved with high R9. Not using the extended CRI measurement is how companies get a high rating but still perform poorly in the real world. R9 is especially important for skin tones and many natural things like food, wood, etc.
The human “super power” is distinguishing color...why use lights that limit that? We tested High CRI against low CRI at a couple of trade shows. We showed them two lights that were identical, except for CRI...and 97% of people picked High CRI based on the simple question, "which one would you choose." People NEVER agree on anything at 97%.
Peak Wavelength: the “last mile” in lighting design (High R9 again)
No one (and I mean no one) talks about this (except Jon), but it’s the difference between good and bad. Our bulbs have a “true red” 635nm peak wavelength. I tested it myself and you can see it in the images below. This peak wavelength is critical in achieving high R9.
Many bulbs that are 90+ CRI still look bad because their peak wavelength shifts green or yellow...Remember your superpower? Combine this with a low R9 and your regular "High CRI" bulb isn't cutting it. I guarantee if you compare them you can tell the difference, and you are going to choose the "better" bulb. Remember those trade show tests? 97% !!!
2700K color temperature:
Yeah, I hear you. I wanted different color temperatures too...until I actually tried this bulb. Really. 2700K is about what people are used to with incandescent and halogen bulbs. For a flashlight, I really love 4000K, but for lighting at home I (little did I know) reeeeealy love 2700K.
- Looks Familiar: 2700K is a direct replacement for traditional "warm/soft white" incandescent bulbs. I did try other CCT bulbs in our house, but I realized professional lighting designers choose 2700K for homes for a good reason.
- No loss of CCT when dimmed: These bulbs maintain their CCT over the entire dimming range unlike some products that change CCT when dimmed.
At this point, if other CCT options were available, I wouldn't choose them. Maybe some exceptions, but lighting in a home is room specific. If I can sell a lot of bulbs they can make them all the way up to 6500K and maintain 95+ CRI...but the best choice for your home is 2700K. Read on.
Cool lighting in your home isn't healthy - modern research shows blue light isn’t good for you, especially at night
Blue light suppresses melatonin production, the chemical that tells your body it’s time to sleep. Just ask Harvard. Don't believe Harvard? I can't do much for you.
Bright light (of any color) also has the same (but lesser) effect. This is why dimming is important.
If you are in your house...and it’s dark enough to require light...bedtime isn't far away...follow my logic? So if you want to sleep well, you should NOT be using cooler color temperatures in your home unless it’s in the garage or a work space that is used during the day.
Lighting design 101:
2700K is warm color that professional lighting designers use to give environments an inviting ambiance. Cooler temperatures are only used in commercial and retail spaces to energize you. Also prisons. Do you want to live in a cozy home or a shopping mall?
Don't use cool white in rooms that you spend time in before bed: Many people these days are putting cooler bulbs into their homes...and you really should NOT be doing this...with a few exceptions mentioned above. I know, you've already done it and you feel like arguing. I felt the same way, until I tried it. Now I can't stand cool white bulbs.
Brighter is not better: Cooler bulbs are perceived by consumers as brighter...and everyone understands “bright” so this is the specification they gravitate to. It's also the spec that companies choose to market, so it's understandable. Now you know better and you won't be misled.
There are too many consumer bulb temperatures: warm white, soft white, daylight white, cool white. Oh man, I'm getting dizzy. Forget about it. Use (2700K) in your home. Consider cooler/brighter white (for your garage or a work space...and that's it.
45W equivalent: advantages of lower output bulbs
Again, I thought that was not going to be enough. Back in the day I used to run a lot of 60W bulbs. More is better right? Turns out these LED bulbs are plenty bright for every room in our house, but most rooms have several bulbs. If you need light a large room with a single bulb, this isn't the best choice.
However, as with flashlights, more brightness is not necessarily better. What you really need is the right amount of light. So is 45W bright enough? It depends, but probably. It's possible to make brighter bulbs, and we may eventually do that, but this is the first step. In our house, there is no room that needs more than 45W bulbs. Also keep in mind that bright light near bedtime = harder to fall asleep thing.
- Even More Cost Effective: LEDs are already known for efficiency, but lower power bulbs consume less electricity, so going down one step in power is a win/win. If you are running 60W incandescent bulbs and you drop down to this 8W (45W equivalent) LED bulb you are using almost 8x LESS electricity per bulb.
- Less Heat = Longer Life: Lower power means less heat, and less heat makes bulbs last longer. Remember all those claims about LED bulbs lasting 10K, 30K, 50K hours? Yeah, not once you put a high output bulb into a light fixture that traps all of the heat. These 8W(45W equivalent) bulbs run warm to the touch, but you can easily hold one that's been on for an hour. Even a 10W(60W equivalent) LED bulb will burn you. Touch a 45W or 60W incandescent and you are cooked.
Dimmable (no flicker) - may require modern “LED compatible” dimmer
- 10%-100% dimming (Some LED bulbs cannot be dimmed at all)
- A standard dimmer may work, but modern "LED compatible" dimmers often work better. You just have to test it.
- Many dimmable bulbs use cheap PWM circuits that create a visible stroboscopic effect when dimmed. These do not!
Please take a look at the actual data below.
The Prometheus bulb is superior in every category. The numbers don't lie.
What to look for:
- The red line in the spectrum (images 2-6) shows a comparison to the Prometheus bulb profile.
- Note blue light levels comparted to our bulb (blue arrow)
- Note R9 Values listed in the CRI chart (red arrow)
- Note accuracy of peak wavelength. Bulbs that peak in the yellow or gren areas will look unnatural yellow or green in use. (white vertical line)
- Note "Rf, skin" values in the TM30 charts (lots of colored lines). The "Rf, skin" value is the accuracy index for rendering skin tones.