Gizmodo reports: [edited]
Cree has announced the release of a new type of tube light designed to tackle one of lighting's biggest energy hogs.
The new Cree T8 bulb looks very much like the traditional T-8 fluorescent tube we've been using since the 1970s. Except, however, that the new Cree uses LED rather than inert gas which allows it to turn on instantly without flickering as well as operate at a 30 percent energy savings over the traditional method. The Cree T8 outputs 2100 lumens at 21 watts with a CRI (color rendering index) of 90. That's very good, even the best current generation of fluorescent bulbs top out around 10 points lower.
What's more, the Cree's are rated to 50,000 hours of operation (just north of 17 years if run for 8 hours a day, 365 days a year) and are designed to fit into existing ballasts so, unlike other LED fluorescent replacements, you won't have to get up into the ceiling and rewire anything, just plug the LED tube in the same way the older fluorescents do.
The new LEDs have a MRSP of $30 each.