Philips has announced that it will be launching the most energy-efficient, high performance light bulb ever made – the award-winning L Prize LED Bulb in stores on April 22, 2012, just in time for Earth Day. The bulb, winner of the U.S. government’s $10 million L-Prize, uses a mere 10W of energy to glow significantly brighter than a 60W incandescent bulb (at 940 lumens) – meaning it uses less than 1/6th of the electricity to output more light. The L Prize bulb retails for $60 but Philips will be discounting it to $50 for consumers and government rebates could reduce the price even more to $30. $50 might seem like a lot of money, but when you consider the energy bill savings each month, the durability and lack of mercury, and the fact that you won’t have to replace this bulb for 20 years, it becomes apparent how smart of an investment this is over the long term.
Congress started the L Prize competition in 2007 with the goal to develop a light bulb that would replace standard energy-hogging incandescent 60-watt bulbs. Philips ended up as the only entrant in the contest. Now that Philips has “won” the prize, some consumer watchdogs raised eyebrows at the price of its new bulb because the cost was originally supposed to be $22. Philips points out, however, that utility rebates had always been part of the pricing structure.
According to Philips, the award winning LED bulb will last 30 times longer than a conventional incandescent bulb. Assembled in the U.S., the bulb burns efficiently at only 10 watts and cleanly because it contains no mercury. The L Prize bulb is 33 percent more efficient than Philips’ AmbientLED bulb, which consumers 12.5W and burns at 800 lumens. If used four hours a day, the bulb would save $8 a year in electricity bills and last a minimum of 30,000 hours: hence the company’s 20 year lifespan claim. Homeowners and renters will also see increased energy-efficiency and lower energy bills, and contrary to popular belief, this LED bulb gives off a soft, pleasing ‘warm’ light, due to Philips patented ‘remote phosphor’ design which softly diffuses the LED light in a warm, amber tone.