The nostalgia-hating LED evangelists over at Durham, N.C.-based Cree aren’t just skilled at murdering chocolate Easter bunnies with incandescents and convincing the public to share icky photographs of dismally lit rooms — the company has proven itself to be also quite skilled at making the price of high-quality consumer LED bulbs drop and, in effect, became all the more appealing to sticker price-sensitive folks looking to shave some serious cash off their monthly electric bills (the folks who, while interested in making the switch to LED lighting, may have recoiled in horror at this).

After releasing the Cree LED Bulb, a line of “no-compromise” incandescent replacement bulbs starting at $9.97 for a dimmable, incandescent-esque 40W equivalent (to be clear, there were and are other sub-$10 LED bulbs out there but their quality isn’t always so hot), last March, Cree has gone and done it again. That is, they’ve managed to make the price of this high-performance, budget-priced bulb even lower.

The additional savings — on top of the decent chunk of change you’ll save by subbing them in for incandescents, which, by the way, consume a whopping 84 percent more energy than the 6W/9W/9.5W Cree LED Bulbs — are the result of the Cree LED Bulb recently achieving Energy Star certification. The short of it: With instant utility rebates offered in some markets, consumers can potentially pick up an Energy Star Qualified Cree LED Bulb — or two or three or four — for under $5 (for the $13 60W Cree LED replacement bulb, nonetheless). When said rebates are applied, the bulbs can potentially pay for themselves in less than a year.

“Cree’s already affordable bulb combined with utility rebates makes switching to LED lighting an easy choice for consumers,” explains Cree chairman and CEO Chuck Swoboda.

Cree, like IKEA but with much grander ambitions, has long been an aggressive leader in pushing 100 percent adoption of LED lighting. And using Energy Star estimates, the company paints a pretty dramatic picture of what would happen if we all made the switch to just one Energy Star-qualified LED bulb in our homes: We'd end up saving enough energy to light 3 million homes for a year, save about $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent 9 billion pounds of greenhouse-gas emissions per year, equivalent to those from about 800,000 cars.

Cree LED Bulbs can be found at a Home Depot near you.

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Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Price of budget-friendly LEDs to drop further with Energy Star certification
Thanks to Energy Star qualification, the most affordable high-quality LED on the market, the Cree LED Bulb, just got even cheaper.