Written by Jonny Williamson
The LED bulb won the US Department of Energy’s ‘Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize’ back in 2009, following 18 months of research and testing. The bulb replaces the traditional mercury filament with Light-Emitting Diodes which require less power, softens the light emitted and makes the LED bulbs far more efficient.
The Dutch electronics company’s 10-watt bulb uses a sixth of the power needed for a standard incandescent bulb and is rated to last for 30,000 hours, based on four hours of use a day that translates to nearly two decades of light.
Though far more expensive than standard bulbs, around $60, Philips has stated that:
“The bulb is 83 percent more energy efficient that the standard 60-watt bulb. If every 60-watt bulb in America was replaced with LED bulbs, the nation would save 35 terawatt-hours of electricity or $3.9 billion in one year.”
Philips is also offering the bulbs at a reduced, introductory rate of $20 for a limited time.
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The company explained the environmental benefits of LED bulbs further by stating that a nationwide changeover would also avoid 20 million tonnes of carbon emissions, the equivalent of removing four million cars from the road.
With the bulbs release in stores and online this weekend, Ed Crawford, Philips’ North America executive, commented:
“Consumers are no longer looking at a product that will last just six months to a year, they are looking at a product that is much more efficient and will be with them for decades. With LED bulbs we are looking at a wholesale change in buying lighting technology, going from a disposable good to a durable good.”
The success of these new LED bulbs would appear to be a sure thing; however the product faces a large amount of competition from not only cheaper and less-efficient LED bulbs, but compact fluorescent light bulbs. Fluorescent bulbs are already widely aviailable throughout the US and Europe, have comparable efficiency levels in terms of energy-usage and cost dramatically less.