GE will soon release to the public an updated version of the LED bulb that will be omnidirectional and long lasting. Right now, most LED bulbs project light in only one direction and aesthetically, the bulbs aren’t too pleasing even if you’re all about having super energy efficient lighting. GE’s new bulb, the Energy Smart® LED bulb, will distribute light in all directions (just like the soon to-be-phased-out incandescent bulb, meaning in all directions) instead of just one. The light will also consume 9-W of energy and last for 17 years, which is 25 times longer than a 40-W incandescent bulb and three times longer than a normal CFL.
Unlike CFLs, LED bulbs achieve full brightness right when you turn them on, and they are much more energy efficient. The new Energy Smart® bulb will only use 9-W of energy, amounting to a 77% savings compared to 40-W incandescent and producing the same 450 lumens of light output, but only a nominal energy savings compared to a 10-W CFL which puts out similar light. One of the biggest differences with the new LED light is that light will shine out in all directions, which has been a big deterrent from previous LED bulb incarnations.
The 9-W bulb also has an expected lifetime of 25,000 hours, which is 17 years averaging 4 hours a day. GE’s main selling point will likely be that this light bulb could light your child’s desk from birth all the way ’til he or she graduates from high school. But at what price you may ask? It ain’t cheap, that’s for sure. At a hefty price of $40 to $50, these things won’t be flying off the shelves, especially considering CFLs have come down so much in price. If someone wants to run the numbers for a lifecycle analysis of CO2 emissions vs lifecycle cost, it would be much appreciated. The new bulbs are expected sometime early 2011.