Thursday, December 27, 2012

Review, Home Depot/ CREE T67 LED Disk Light

At 7/5/2016, retract the warning below. Better T67 and T47 LED disk lights have been in Home Depot stores for at least one month. Improvements include elimination of buzzing with placement in a dimmer circuit, better efficiency in diodes no longer recessed, surely larger beam angle. The five tightly-placed diodes, identical in T67 and T47, are increased in size, from 3 mm square, to 5 mm square. Diode luminance is reduced, which should make lights more pleasant in ones' gaze. As measured with my Kill-A-Watt meter, T67 power draw at full brightness is reduced by improvements, from 12.5 watts, to 11 watts, as claimed on the package. I measure identical 11 watts draw for T67 and T47, as it should be, and in conflict with new T47 package claim of 9 watts.

Please see supporting web album:
Improved LED Downlights at Home Depot

I ponder my role as a self-appointed reporter. Obligation to be a responsible observer is negated by manufacturer action to offer improvements, and sometimes a degraded product, with no announcement. For T67, or for T47 , nothing on new packaging or at, informs the buyer of changes made. A reporter is needed when products are discontinued without explanation, as with wonderful and not-glaring Nicor DLS10 .
At 6/29/2014, warn: don't buy Home Depot T67. Instead buy  Nicor DLS10  in online purchase. Nicor DLS behaves perfectly on any dimmer and has other advantages. At 7/14/2014, add this: Another good option is Sylvania 70732 . The Sylvania 70732, very nicely priced at Lowe's, has a major improvement in July 2014, now behaving as perfectly on a dimmer as the Nicor DLS. Manufacturers and their big-box outlets which don't respond as LED technology rapidly advances, deserve no sales.

("New" was December, 2012, very long ago in the evolution of LED lighting.)
This post will present portions of a Picasa Web Albums review of Home Depot's new T67 LED Disk Light, Manufactured by CREE, and packaged as Commercial Electric. 

This is the promised replacement of T91 LED plate lights. There is a distinction between plate and disk, as developed in the previous post .  The Commercial Electric and Lighting Science Group packaging of T91/ Glimpse lights nowhere uses the word disk. I hope Glimpse packaging will adopt the label plate LED.

The T67 disk light  loses about 10% efficiency in presenting the diode phosphors within a cone above the ceiling plane. The light is thrown away for style and with misunderstanding. The volume of the diffuser cone could be employed to reduce the space in a junction box demanded by the power block.

Let us reserve the label plate LED, for presentation with negligible diffuser angle. And, editing this post at 3/10/2015, admit giving up on "LED plate light" as wordcraft. The phrase is securely related to license plate illumination. "LED downlight" may gain acceptance as the alternative for best-efficiency luminaires. In this, again exclude beam focusing in a cone.

Home Depot is again offering only one color temperature, this time 2700°K. I hope they will reconsider, and will offer instead a 3000°K product, or a hybrid where LED phosphors are of a sampling of colors, For now the block over the diodes will interfere with some found lighting junction boxes, where most boxes unfortunately, and perhaps needlessly, include posts for 2 3/4" oc light fixtures. Boxes knocked out of service are the good family of fiberglass boxes, by Allied Moulding. My preference is for RACO 175 steel boxes, with only the 3 1/2" oc screw positions, which work fine. 

Home Depot and CREE have put good thought into bug-proof simplified mounting.

I continue to develop my own experiments in comparative rating of brightness of LEDs and other light forms. Here in Google Docs is my latest effort, now including T67 lights. To view this, please download, and study on your own computer. Google Docs does a poor job of rendering. I now project lights indoors against a 4' square of drywall. The drywall has a satin finish application of very bright white paint, and yet photos capture general brown tones. I don't think brown tones are reflected from the OSB divider, as colors don't change much when a white towel is draped over the divider. The study is subjective, but I think it is consistent in comparisons, especially where two lights have the same color temperature. Whatever the flaws or naivete of my effort, it is better than accepting package lumens claims as statement of relative ability to produce useful illumination.

Here is the comparison of T67 and T91 brightness and color:
Album Caption:
Employing Brightness Numbers I advocate.

By lumens ratio, the T91 should be brighter by 15%. I call the difference 25%. If the T91 is B6.7, the T67 is B5. B5 is equivalence to a 125 watt incandescent light. It is interesting that the T67 package makes no statement of incandescent equivalence.

Here is the comparison of a new Philips more-efficient "100w" incandescent bulb, with the T67:

If T67 is B5, and the incandescent is B4, the T67 should be judged 25% brighter here. 

Here is a fresh comparison of that 100w incandescent bulb, with T91:

If T91 is B6.7, and the incandescent is B4, the T91 should be judged 67% brighter here. 

Unbearable Buzz With T67 On Dimmer
At 12/28 I add a very important forgotten observation. There is a loud hum, from the T67 luminaire,  when connected to any dimmer. The direct observation is with two of the most-useful dimmers, Cooper Wiring Devices D106P, and Lutron C-L Dimmer, CTL-153PDH.This alone renders the T67 unacceptable in its initial form. I'm sure CREE will find a way to fix this. LSGC did an excellent job of ridding Glimpse lights of a hum or buzz some complained against, also in the luminaire. I found that hum barely discernible, and acceptable; but was glad to see it gone. I would not tolerate the hum now with T67 lights. 

Readers, please comment. I think there are very important shifts of concept here. Powerful consensus will speed action to bring suitable lights to contractors, where we might eliminate all future installation of can lights, and pursue a strong weatherization campaign to eliminate existing attic-floor can lights. For now, only the 6" Glimpse is ready for deployment in this campaign.

At 1/19/2013, add note: Find further review in post LED Lighting In RACO 175 Junction Boxes. Also, follow all discussion of LED plate lights by label selection .

At 2/23/2013 add observation of dimming with many LED disk lights in parallel. A 600 watt dimmer will control more lights than you would ever want at one switch, easily forty. The T67s come on instantly. Tests are reported in comparison to T91 lights, at this new post

No More T91's
At 1/27/2013, add another note: Although the T67 is an unacceptable alternative to T91,  Home Depot has ceased entirely to offer the T91 online. The listing at reports this today as Out Of Stock Online. Telephone inquiry reveals the status is in fact inactive, synonymous with discontinued. I'm not surprised. It can not be profitable to continue to assemble this product in Commercial Electric boxes, for very small sales volume. A diligent shopper might yet buy from Home Depot in Lighting Science Group packaging as product Glimpse, 4" or 6", by in-store special ordering .

New in 2014
At 1-24-2014, add link to additional T67 review, along with a new LED disk light from Cooper Industries, now sold at Home Depot. The review is: 

Please note this review finds a family of new lights no better than T67/ T47, with about-same brightness whether 4" or 6", and with the same old hum/ buzz, whatever you call it. Maddening. Home Depot learned nothing from criticism of T67/ T47, here.

Response to Commenter JoeBreeves, 2/15/2014: 
You suggest buzz might be controlled with Leviton 6615-P0W Electronic Low Voltage dimmer.  

Several reviewers at report success against buzzing, in using Electronic Low Voltage dimmers, so, maybe this works. 

This dimmer may be purchased for competitive $31.97 at Amazon, but I don't wish to buy and try it. I don't like emphasis of the slider in this dimmer, preferring big on/ off toggle. Such nicer ELV  dimmers typically cost more than $70. 

A better luminaire such as Sylvania 70732 is a better choice, getting better efficiency and no buzzing, with ordinary dimmers.


Jeff Crook said...

Hi Phil-
I'm using the T61 with a Lutron MACL-153... Hums like crazy. Just hooked up 5 and it's humming in surround sound. Just terrible. I'll have to find another solution. Thanks for the post!

Phil Norman said...

Hello Jeff,

I'll buy a MACL-153 today, and try it in place of my recommended Cooper Wiring Devices D106P, with a single T91 of recent production. Surely the MACL must be as good or better, you would think from packaging claims.

I have bragged with no direct knowledge, of LSGC progressive improvements in Glimpse lights, believing from scant observation that all recent production with a single power block hard above the diodes is rock solid good with dimmers. Maybe you have old two-block T91s. Maybe production is inconsistent and your T91s are from a bad batch.

Phil Norman said...

Hello again, Jeff,

Well now, I see you are working with new T61's. I know nothing of these lights, on shelves for only about a month. I'm not interested in them where I despise can lights, and won't have one for testing a T61. I bet a recessed T61 loses half of issued light. I think all lights should be spots on the ceiling, beaming with natural dispersion.

If T61s are all bad, you might return them, and buy T91s at about same price, at Home Depot online. I think a surface light, a plate light beaming 100% of issued light and without dark rings in ceiling, are a lot prettier. Spots of sunshine at good 3000°K.

Let me know if you don't find a T91 twice as bright, needing that dimmer, and MACL works fine.

I don't, after all, promise to buy and try a MACL with T91. You can accomplish the test.

Jeff Crook said...

I ment T67 in my post! Whoops!

I did try the T60 with a dimmer with success, however, we like the color of the T67 better (2700), so we're sticking with it with a SPST switch.

I notice that the T60 has a massive heat sink on the back with a power converter attached, whereas te T67 has its power solution built in(obviously they have yet to understand hum effects in capacitors, or the seal is superior on the T60).

Phil Norman said...

Hello Jeff,

Won't you please look to T91 replacement of T67 as your solution? Your return might be noted by Home Depot, if flagged through your Home Depot store manager. I assure you the T91 is brighter, prettier, and does work with dimmers. Your reported proof in this could help. Do review your decision on color. Do you really believe 2700°K is better? Home Depot needs votes on what color temperature to stock, if there can not be choice, or a hybrid with several phosphor colors.

Ralph said...

Hello :
Please allow me to add" my 2 cents worth". While working on my dads house I used the T-91 in several locations. A total of about 20.
They seem to be working just fine so far. My first C.L dimmer did not work , but about 75 % of its range with them in a location with 3 disks. I replaced the dimmer and got to about 80%. All in all I love them. I took down 2 lamp strip fixtures in my dads shop, and replaced them with T-91's on Raco boxes. The results were certainly positive as a finished product replacing 2 40 watt T12 lamps , on my dads finished ceiling of his shop.
Ralph Buschman

Jeffrey Schnabel said...

Counter position - In Kitchens, indirect lighting is the consumer preferred solution. The T-91 directly illuminates the curvature, which itself projects downward from the ceiling. Look at any mid to high end kitchen and not just in pictures, but in person. Recessed lighting provides soft, indirect lighting of horizontal and vertical surfaces, without the light source being visible unless your standing within the cone angle of the light.

I tried the T91 and the 3000 degree light is too cool for all clients. Not one has preferred it to the 2700 degree equivalent. It also juts downward from the ceiling, making the light source visible from anywhere within the room, not always a preferred solution in a kitchen environment. In addition, the traditional issue with LEDs of not having a very low range turn on, but instead, having an immediate on at even 5%, is a symptom the market is probably just going to have to get used to. But I wish there was a traditional incandescent low voltage start.

Now for my request for help. I tried the T47 4in LED disk light with a slight cone (recess). The lights are almost a perfect balance of replacement for can lights. Small, fit in a standard 4" plastic box, easily wired directly to power source (I even cut off the quick connect to reduce the amount of wires in the box), and you can locate them in very tight spaces (as little as 3.5" of clearance). They also seem to provide a very good low air transmission setup.

But, while starting with a single light and a Lutron MACL-153 working fine, by the time I got to 6, all I can get is the occasional working setup, but mostly I get flashing lights in unison (all lights flash on and off). Lutron tells me to put an incandescent load on the power side and if the dimmer works, I need to buy a load inducing transformer at a cost of around $100.

Anyone experience similar situation with other MACL-153 setups (electronic dimmer).

Phil Norman said...

Hello Jerry, Your search alerted me to the fact some Home Depot stores now stock the T47. I have not yet found one, but will resume my daily checks. I do not find confirmation of your views. Every customer with dark-ringed cans, usually leaky and not insulated-over, prefers the T91 and likes its color temperature. I can sell 4" and 6" Glimpse like hotcakes, if I can bring the price down, with better availability. The Glimpse lights WILL work quietly on a dimmer, as many as six tried on one dimmer.

Christopher said...

Wish I had read this review a week ago. I was at Home Depot and the lighting guy pitched me these T67's for my remodel, I figured it would be easy to throw up some ceiling J-Boxes and be done. I installed 4 in a 144 sq/ft room thinking that if it was too bright I could use a dimmer to make it more comfortable (box READS dimmable). Now that I have them installed they are too bright when "full-on" but make an unacceptable hum when dimmed. I'm using an older incandescent dimmer I had laying around, but from your review sounds like there is NO dimmer available that will make this work. I have noticed that Lutron is marketing a dimmer made for "Dimmable Light Emitting Diodes" (SCL-153P) do you think this will help with the hum, or just give the lights there advertised range of 5-100%?

Now I have four J-boxes installed and about 160 dollars in lights that I don't like... curious if you have any recommendation.

Very impressed with your blog, by far the best source I've found in regards to this type of lighting.

Chris Hall

Phil Norman said...

Hello Christopher,

Will you please try that dimmer, and report? I felt need to be more responsible about the bad report on T67 dimming, and bought six yesterday, to test with a Cooper D106P dimmer. All have the same hum, at least twice as loud as T91's. Maybe its ten times. Please look for a post soon on my new tests of parallel clusters of T91 and T67 lights. The number that can be operated on one dimmer seems unlimited. With this I have confirmed all luminaires of a family have similar hum when served through a dimmer; hum is not an occasional find.

If you find no improvement with the Lutron SCL 153P, swap the T67s for T91s special-ordered at your Home Depot, as 6" Glimpse. And, think to use 4" lights that won't need dimming.

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Ralph said...

There is at least one LED trim and light source combination that is airtight. Which in most cases will stop air flowing in and out of the sapce above the " can ". Very good to not happen , especially in spaces like showers! This movement , or lack of is sometimes known as , " contribution factor " for how much the heating or cooling is affected by the environment around it .

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Yvonne said...

Just had an electrician install the T67 LED lights with a Lutron dimmer switch CTCL-153PDH-WH. What a nightmare. The humming is driving me insane and now I have to change out everything. I can not believe they sell this as a dimmable. It is completely unacceptable. I am using 4 lights in a small living room space and I do want a dimmer. Any advice on what to go with would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Phil Norman said...

Hello Yvonne,

My advice now is to replace all with Sylvania LED disk lights. Please see my post today, on this:;postID=4701813346072709256;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=0;src=postname

These Sylvania lights are absolutely silent on a dimmer. Please accept that Sylvania and LSGC Glimpse LED plate lights will not come on with a dimmer turned down all the way. About half power is needed at minimum, to kick the lights on. I don't mind this.

It is nice to get confirmation on my opinion of the T67s. We do lose when we surrender manufacturing and product innovation to China. Whose idea was that?

Ralph said...

Hello Phil & Yvonne : I agree there are huge problems with the CE led disk! I also know from reports from about 30 different installers, both d.i.y. & professionals , along with my own experiences that the Lighting Science disks are not a problem! Getting them can be a problem , sometimes , depending on where you live and how aware the Home Depot people are of the ability to special order them !I have information on how to do a special order if any one is interested ? Thanks , Ralph Buschman

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Cameron Swinton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cameron Swinton said...

How does the T65 (also sold at Home Depot) compare with the T67? How do these compare to the ecosmart 12.5W (CREE) lights (with integrated trim, not BR30 replacements)? All of them are currently being offered with rebates from the local power company and I'd really like to replace the 8 can BR30 fixtures in my kitchen...

Phil Norman said...

My advice is to install Sylvania 70732. If the cans are in an attic floor, replace them with junction boxes. Don't install any recessed light. T67 loses more than 10% of potential illumination with recessed lens. The CREE/ Ecosmart 12.5W Soft White 6" Flood LED is even more recessed and wasteful. We shouldn't accept any stupid design. Know the T67 has loud hum on a dimmer, not fixed in two years of continued production.I have no knowledge of hum or other problems with the CREE, but don't care to test. At only 50 lumens per watt, probably with 70 lumens per watt LEDs, it is not competitive.

Ralph said...

My experience tells me that unless clearances are an issue , in the long run you will be better off (regardless of final choice light source) with recessed or "can lights . Should needs change , Home Depot sells a fitting to convert the "can " to a junction box for a pendant, flush , or semi flush fixture. The adapter sells at Home Depot as SKU # 383-816. It fits most all 6" cans . It's weight limit is 25 pounds & has a 600 watt power maximum capacity. So , as I said using a recessed light rather than a junction box leaves many more options. The price difference is only a few dollars between the junction box with extension box & the can light.
Based on feedback from customers, and first hand experience there is no comparison between the T65, and the T67. First : the 67 does not dim well, if at all! The 65 dims just fine , even when used with an incandescent dimmer. Last time I checked , the T65 had a higher lumen output than the T67. According to the manufacturer, the T65 is rated for not just a shower , but is steam shower rated. As of a month or so ago there were no other led units that were steam shower rated .
Unless there is a lacck of space for a recessed light I would say do cans , the look at options, I just can not recommend the T67 disk. Halo does make a disk light that is sold on Home Depot shelves , along with a led disk from Lithonia Lightning.

JoeBreeves said...

Phil -

How I wish I had seen your site earlier. I purchased 5 T67s and the buzzing is driving me crazy. I see manufacturers recommending ELV dimmers such as the Leviton 6615-P0W Electronic Low Voltage dimmers which apparently removes the hum. Have you had any experience with ELV dimmers for these types of LED lights?

JoeBreeves said...

Ok Phil, case closed and I a dimmer that works.

The Leviton 6615-P0W Electronic Low Voltage dimmer. It has to be wired in conjunction with neutral, but past that it worked flawlessly. Bought it at Amazon for 23 bucks which was really cheap compared to the other ELVs on the market. I can't speak to the tech but all I care is that it works.

It is very silent and features dimmer and a switch. It unfortunately doesn't dim as well as other dimmers but it takes the lights down to about 40% at the lowest let's say.

Driving 5 T67s and they are silent!

Robert Anthony said...

Using the t47 and t67 disks all over my home installed in circular 4 inch housings. These lights are great. Please only use the electronic dimmers. I,m using the Lutron Diva DVELV 300P which do not hum.

TheEspndude said...

What I find strange is that Robert Anthony says that he uses Lutron Diva DVELV 300P and has no hum at all, yet when I installed them, my T67's hummed louder than any of the 5 dimmers I have tried.

I have also tried other dimmers people have recommended and get the hum and I notice that others say the same thing. Why is their no uniformity?

I ordered two new dimmers today. One from Home Depot and the other from Amazon (neither carried both). Hoping this time I will have some luck!!!

CE just gives me the run-around.

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Charles Eddleston said...

Just wanted to share that I was able to find a SELV-300P-WH equivalent dimmer at lowe's for less $. The lowe's item # is SELVB-300PH-WH. Lutron assured me they are the same product, just different number to track the lowe's shipments. After I ordered six, the price went from $16 to $35 the next day, so I think they might have been mispriced...still cheaper than the HD equivalent. My house is still under construction, but I have tried one and it was nearly quiet (on a ladder 1' below the light I could hear a small buzz, but nothing from the floor). Much better than the other "ELV" dimmers I had tried from Menards.

Phil Norman said...

I find SELV-300P-WH costing about $50 anywhere. And, they are not pretty. I, and my customers, are happy with features of Cooper DAL06P dimmers, $21.93 at Lowe's. Why will anyone put up with luminaire hum, when it is completely avoidable using commonly-available dimmers, in better and inexpensive luminaires? Shame on Home Depot for not forcing a supplier to upgrade a defective product in T67/ T47. Better Nicor DLS and Sylvania 70732 do not cost more.

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