Philips' $60 LED Light Bulb Lasts 20 Years: Worth Buying?

By Johnny Wills | Apr 22, 2012 08:29 PM EDT

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Philips $60 LED light bulb (codenamed - the EnduraLED 10W A19 Dimmable Bulb) has set a new bar of standard and performance. The bulb has quite a hefty price tag, but it lasts 20 years and is a real energy-saver. It is debuting in the U.S. market on Sunday, on the occasion of Earth Day and will be available in select stores such as Home Depot.

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The bulb is a result of U.S. Department of Energy's challenge to firms to develop the most energy-efficient bulb. Philips, being the only entrant in the Bright Tomorrow Lightening competition, took 18 months to develop the bulb, aimed at replacing the standard, energy-wasting "incandescent" 60-watt bulb. Last year it was declared as a winner by Department of Energy for $10 million L Prize.

Technically, the LED bulb consumes 10 watt of energy and runs for 20 years (at a rate of 4 hours per day). Folks at Philips claim that this bulb will collectively save $3.9 million in energy costs per year. Also it can swap out 20 million metrics of carbon dioxide emission every year. And this is all done without any loss in light intensity. The color temperature of Philips' new bulb has been recorded at 2700 K, which is identical to incandescent bulbs. Moreover, it is dimmable, mercury-free and emits a natural looking white light from the yellowish surface.

"We looked at the L Prize challenge as an opportunity to innovate and develop an energy efficient alternative to a product that has remained largely unchanged for over a century. The fact that we are the first and only company capable of submitting a product and completing 18 months of rigorous testing not only underscores our commitment to innovation and quality, it highlights our ability to bring meaningful leading technologies into the mainstream," said Zia Eftekhar, CEO of Philips Lighting North America, talking about the new competitor in the market.

LED bulb technology is growing day by day. An inferior version of this bulb is already being sold by Philips in U.S. and European markets. Production of 100-watt bulbs has been stopped in U.S and 60-watt bulbs are also near extinction. And from 2014, incandescent bulbs consuming 40 watt or above will also be ceased off from production line.

Meantime LED bulbs can turn out to be a true market dominator. But, the biggest threat to growth of LED technology is florescent tubes that are also identical to LED bulbs in energy consumption but are much cheaper.

In order to make the technology more popular Philips needs to subsidize the bulbs further. And the Netherlands electronic giant is doing just that - Philips is giving $10 discount right away. Tying up with more than 250 utility firms across U.S., Philips is further subsidizing the price to a price range of $20-$30.

Philips L Prize winner LED bulb is surely a must-buy item on Earth Day. Are you ready to ditch off old bulbs for this LED bulb? Let us know in the comment box below.

(reported by Johnny Wills, edited by Dave Clark)

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