Retail Warms to LED

LED lighting manufacturers are lining up exclusives with major retailers to get their latest lighting offerings into the hands of consumers.

Philips Lighting Co., Somerset, N.J., recently introduced its Hue LED system, which it's promoting as the world's first Web-enabled LED home lighting system available direct to the consumer. Philips says Hue has a color rendering index (CRI) of over 90 in the white range, closely mimicking the color qualities of an incandescent and provides more than 16 million colors to customize the lighting in each room. Users will be able to manage up to 50 Hue bulbs from one device and allow each bulb to be controlled individually.

Offered exclusively through Apple stores beginning on Oct. 30, the Hue starter kit includes three LED bulbs that fit into standard fixture and a bridge that connects to existing wireless routers. Starter kits will cost $199 and additional bulbs will be available for $59.

Meanwhile, Best Buy entered the consumer LED lighting game on Nov. 2 with the announcement it will be carrying two Insignia light bulb offerings from Cree. The 40W and 60W equivalent lamps will be available exclusively at Best Buy.

Cree's Insignia line has the shape of a traditional incandescent lamp with omnidirectional lighting and will be sold for $14 and $17, respectively, a price point that may signal LED lighting's next step toward the mainstream. The lamps are both dimmable replacements for incandescent A-lamps. Cree claims a lifespan of more than 22 years for the lamps the color is a moderately warm 3,000K (incandescent lamps are around 2,700K). Tagline on Best Buy's website: “A Cost-Conscious LED Bulb that Looks Surprisingly Normal.”

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