TRANSFORMING THE LIGHTING LANDSCAPE
““A $10 price is when these lamps will take off. That is absolutely achievable in five to six years.”
Just yesterday, Philips was awarded the first ever L-Prize (formally titled the Bright Lighting Tomorrow Prize) and $10 million from the American government. The L-Prize is a contest sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and the first government-sponsored technology competition designed to spur lighting manufacturers to develop high-quality, high-efficiency solid-state lighting products to replace the common light bulb.
While Philips currently has an LED equivalent of the beloved 60 watt incandescent, their L-Prize winning prototype, submitted in 2009 to the DOE, is far more efficient. It uses just 9.7 watts to match the light output of a 60-watt incandescent, compared with 12.5 watts for the current LED incandescent replacement lamp already being sold at hardware stores. It boasts a 25,000 hour lifespan, versus the 1,000 – 2,000 hour lifespan of a regular incandescent lamp. This version is also closer in colour temperature to a real incandescent lamp, though it achieves this colour similarity by its yellow coated exterior which is highly visible when not illuminated and a little bit of an eyesore.
Questions of cost are always at the forefront of discussion about LED’s as becoming viable household alternatives to incandescents, and more importantly, to the mercury filled compact fluorescent bulbs that are expected to eclipse them. The going price for the presently available Philips LED 60 watt incandescent equivalent is $40 retail, and this new lamp will likely be more costly than that.
But fret not ! Philips has some good news for us. At the pace at which LED technology has been progressing, LED’s won’t be that expensive for very much longer. They are confident that the industry could get the cost of LED lamps down to the $20 to 25 range. Ed Crawford, chief executive of Philips Lighting North America has been quoted saying, “A $10 price is when these lamps will take off. That is absolutely achievable in five to six years.”
Check out the official specs for this bulb here.