Downlight Upgrade


When specifying products for general room lighting, the CR6 fixture from Cree LED Lighting could be a game-changer. The new device is designed to blanket a room with light, at minimal operating cost and with maximum warmth and beauty.

The 6-in. recessed LED downlight fits into standard recessed lighting cans, and replaces the BR30 65-watt lamp which has been the builder standard for decades, says Gary Trott, vice president, market development, Cree LED Lighting Solutions. “Another nice thing for builders is it matches the Halo H7, which is the most common housing, so these can be swapped in on new construction or remodeling jobs very easily,” or be sold at the last minute, even on the day before move-in, Trott adds.

“It’s the only aesthetic upgrade that pays for itself,” Trott explains. “Somebody can spend more money on an HVAC system and decrease their energy bill that way, but their home won’t look better. With this upgrade, however, it saves a dollar per month, per hole, compared to 65-watt incandescent lamps. If I’m a builder and selling an upgrade it’ll cost owners far less — between 33 and 50 cents per upgrade — so it’s cheaper from day one for a homeowner. It’s an upgrade that gives the builder the ability to justify and upsell it.”

The price to the end user should be close to exactly what they’d pay for a CFL downlight, Trott says. “There is little if no cost differential between them. So for builders and architects in California, which enforces a performance requirement which the CR6 now satisfies, why would you use a CFL? Think of this: The kitchen, in terms of dollar per square foot, is an amazing space. And with CFLs, people are lighting the most expensive room in the house and making it look bad. The CR6 satisfies regulatory requirements and looks better, so why not use it,” he adds.

The CR6 combines all the good of incandescent and CFL lamps, and then some, Trott insists. “This lamp burns only 10.5-watt and delivers the same light output as a 65-watt incandescent. This lamp immediately comes to full intensity; it’s instant-on. It’s also dimmable to 5 percent. The only possible challenge could be with load level compatibility with dimmer switches.”

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