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$60 Light Bulb Debuts On Earth Day

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the just-imagine-the-line-outside-the-stores dept.

Earth 743

theodp writes "How much would you pay for an amazing light bulb? On Sunday — Earth Day — Philips' $60 LED light bulb goes on sale at Home Depot and other outlets. The bulb, which lasts 20 years, won a $10 million DOE contest that stipulated the winning bulb should cost consumers $22 in its first year on the market. Ed Crawford, the head of Philips' U.S. lighting division, said it was always part of the plan to have utility rebates bring the price down to the $22 range."

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743 comments

There is a bigger question here. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39712957)

How many people does it take to change it?

ANOTHER FREE MARKET TRIUMPH! (0, Troll)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#39713045)

God Bless America, and All Who Sail on Her!

I'd buy one of these, but I'm saving up to pay my CARBON TAXES!

Re:ANOTHER FREE MARKET TRIUMPH! (0, Troll)

Myopic (18616) | about 2 years ago | (#39713099)

I want free markets for my economy like I was a leprechaun for my President -- which is to say, even if one existed, which it doesn't, I still wouldn't want it.

Markets are good; free markets are bad, or would be if they were real.

Re:ANOTHER FREE MARKET TRIUMPH! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39713439)

Markets are good; free markets are bad, or would be if they were real.

If they dont exist, how would you know that they are bad?

Re:ANOTHER FREE MARKET TRIUMPH! (5, Insightful)

Haedrian (1676506) | about 2 years ago | (#39713551)

Cthulhu doesn't exist, however we can all agree that an Eldritch Abdomination is bad.

Re:There is a bigger question here. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39713273)

How the hell is this insightful? /. scoring == useless.

Philips (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39712963)

Well, since Philips makes some of the shoddiest products in the world, I'm sure this thing will last eons.

Re:Philips (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#39713245)

Don't worry, the LEDs will still have tens of thousands of hours left in them when a $.02 capacitor blows its guts out and terminates the driver board because a $.05 capacitor would have bloated the BOM too much...

*SHOCK* (-1, Flamebait)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#39712965)

The latest technology is expensive? Well I'll be!

This just another lame anti-green troll story. Ooh, look how expensive these new lightbulbs are, ecomentalists all want us to be poor and live in the dark!

Re:*SHOCK* (4, Informative)

jimbolauski (882977) | about 2 years ago | (#39713067)

It's not that the latest technology is expensive it's that the light-bulb won $10million and one of the requirements was that the bulb cost consumers $22. The best excuse they could come up with was we were planning on their light-bulb being heavily subsidized which is the reason for the high price.

Re:*SHOCK* (4, Interesting)

Myopic (18616) | about 2 years ago | (#39713151)

Okay. But the light bulb is heavily subsidized. I get rebates from my power company for a variety of things. I've gotten rebates on CF bulbs in the past. If rebates were part of the rules of the competition, then I don't really understand your objection.

Re:*SHOCK* (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39713433)

Because rebates are false savings, especially as they are practised by power companies. You can buy a green, eco-friendly, low-power Model XYZ A/C unit for $300 this year, or wait until next year when your power utility offers a $100 rebate on that particular model BUT the price has magically risen to $400.
I'm willing to bet the $60 Philips lightbulb is a $22 lightbulb with $38 in "rebates" layered on for the beenfit of Philips, the power utilities, and various other green advocates.

Re:*SHOCK* (5, Interesting)

yurtinus (1590157) | about 2 years ago | (#39713491)

My objection (and I am not parent poster, obviously) is that I'm still paying the full price of the bulb. Rebates aren't magically printed money, and that $60 cost has to come from *somewhere*. Ultimately it comes right out of our power bills or tax dollars. Subsidies hide the true costs of something and ultimately just serve to benefit one company or another while reducing the variety in the market ecosystem - look at oil, corn, or any number of other subsidized industries as an example. It also only propagates our short-sighted obsession with up front costs. CFLs are subsidized here - but I'd still buy them if they weren't because I understand the differences in power consumption.

Re:*SHOCK* (4, Informative)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | about 2 years ago | (#39713271)

And therefore most likely an anti-Philips submission, intended to shame them into dropping the price. The actual article says Philips is already doing this.

Netherlands-based Philips, is discounting it right away to $50 for consumers, and working on deals with electric utilities to discount it even further, by as much as $20 to $30.

This means the bulb will cost anywhere from $20 to $60, depending on where it's found.

And of course more clarification

Congress launched the L Prize contest in 2007, with the goal of creating a bulb to replace the standard, energy-wasting "incandescent" 60-watt bulb. The requirements were rigorous, and Philips was the only entrant. Its bulb was declared the winner last year, after a year and a half of testing. The contest stipulated that the winning bulb be sold for $22 in its first year on the market... In that context, the $60 price tag has raised some eyebrows.

The title of the PhysOrg article? "Rebates to cut price of $60 LED bulb". That's a positive, and theodp should be ashamed for trolling.

money back if not delighted? (5, Insightful)

captbob2002 (411323) | about 2 years ago | (#39712991)

Given the disappointing lifespan I've been seeing with the CFL lights in my home I really have a difficult time believing their claims.

Reading lights on the bus I ride have been replaced with multi-LED cluster bulbs - in less than 18 months most have several dead LEDs in the cluster.

Re:money back if not delighted? (2)

gumbi west (610122) | about 2 years ago | (#39713041)

The dead lights could also be cheep wiring. As for CFLs, when I used them I had them go out with approximately the frequency they said.

Re:money back if not delighted? (4, Insightful)

Iskender (1040286) | about 2 years ago | (#39713259)

The dead lights could also be cheep wiring. As for CFLs, when I used them I had them go out with approximately the frequency they said.

This is most likely the case. I've heard many accounts of CFLs lasting only weeks vs. my many brands of CFLs which have always lasted years. There's no way I'm using them that much "better".

Incadescent longevity is also tied to the power quality, so I see this as more of the same. Have your wiring checked if possible if you're having problems.

The Philips softone CFLs I've had have had the most light bulb-like light out of all I've used, so I have confidence in the colour quality of this LED one. Can't speak for the longevity of course.

Those worrying about the price should realize that you (at least here) very recently had to pay the same amount for a LED with one tenth the output. These things are developing really fast, and will most likely be an excellent deal soon.

Re:money back if not delighted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39713355)

What exactly would I have "checked" in my house to see if the wiring was the problem?

Re:money back if not delighted? (1)

ewieling (90662) | about 2 years ago | (#39713521)

Are the Philips softone CFLs known by another name? All Amazon has for "Philips softone" is a discontinued incandescent bulb.

Re:money back if not delighted? (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 2 years ago | (#39713111)

in less than 18 months most have several dead LEDs in the cluster.

I have three 15watt LED bulbs I got off Ebay a year ago which are still running fine. The difference could be in the DC power source/converter or just from vibration.

Re:money back if not delighted? (5, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about 2 years ago | (#39713115)

>> disappointing lifespan

Yeah it works both ways: money back if not delighted or money back if de-lighted.

Re:money back if not delighted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39713157)

First-world problems sure are a bitch, no?

Re:money back if not delighted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39713165)

If you're having problems with the CFL lights in your home, talk to the power company about how clean their power is.

Or get an electrician to check your house.

I've not had to replace a single burned-out CFL in my house since I moved in to it in 2009. T8's but they were in the house already. Who knows how old they were?

Don't know about the LEDs on your bus ride, but it wouldn't surprise me if they had problems with incandescent too.

Re:money back if not delighted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39713345)

CFLs in my house always follow a serious bathtub curve. I'll open a 4-pack, and one will be flickering like crazy in the first week, and the other three will last forever. I can only assume quality control problems.

Still, as far as price/performance goes I'll gladly take one over either a spaceheaterbulb or the $60 LED in the article.

Re:money back if not delighted? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39713195)

That's part of what I like about LED bulbs, though. If one goes out, you still have a working, if slightly dimmer, bulb. Can't say the same for incandescent or flourescent.

At the same time, one may consider the additional use, abuse, vibration, etc that lights on the bus may undergo when compared to the home. I would also hazard a guess that the transportation company didn't exactly spare no expense when looking for new bulbs. After all, if the bulbs they used were proportionally more expensive (as this one is to a CFL), they transport company would have been less likely to make the switch and/or you'd be seeing a higher quality light on the bus.

Also take into consideration that emergency/pursuit flashers on police cruisers have been LEDs for years now. I'm sure they're still phasing the old ones out, but any new cop car is equipped with an LED light bar on top. The fact of the matter is that LEDs in a cluster can be just as bright, and definitely last much, much longer. The benefits are apparent in how widespread their use is becoming.

Re:money back if not delighted? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39713197)

I am the R&D engineer for the LED chip that goes to the said light bulb. Just like CFL, there are a huge range of qualities when comes to LED chips, from top level power chips that undergoes die-level visual inspection to the crap that is spewing out of Asian countries.

Power LEDs have come a long way with tremendous amount of engineering behind them. The longevity is not exaggerated, but it is also why the lamps are expensive.
Having good rel is expensive. We can easily push out cheaper stuff, but longevity suffers as a result.

The fact that the bus uses multi LED cluster means that they are crap by default. The cheaper manufactures can't make dies as bright, or phosphorus as efficient, so in order to get the same intensity output, they have to rely on a cluster. OTOH, a quality LED component will have a large die, and smaller number of components.

Re:money back if not delighted? (1)

Tyrannosaur (2485772) | about 2 years ago | (#39713391)

As another victim of crappy multi-LED clusters, you have now convinced me to maybe give LEDs another try. I will definitely, however, go for quality this time.

Re:money back if not delighted? (1)

prefect42 (141309) | about 2 years ago | (#39713277)

I've got quite a few GU10 LED lights, and the only failures I've had have been faulty wiring as a result of shoddy manufacturing. After taking them apart and resoldering the contacts they worked fine again. That was only a couple though, and these were £4 direct from China bulbs.

Re:money back if not delighted? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#39713325)

Unfortunately, both LED and CFL lights are devices where quality matters; but is difficult to infer by casual inspection or brand name(some ebay cheapie may last nigh-forever, especially if you get lucky, some 'real' brand may simply be the ebay cheapie's nastier cousin with "GE" stamped on it).

It is hardly impossible for them to meet their design claims; but there are many ways to achieve design failure, and an unpredictable number of products out there make ample use of them...

Re:money back if not delighted? (4, Informative)

gmarsh (839707) | about 2 years ago | (#39713333)

Don't buy your CFLs at Walmart, the grocery store, etc - the Sunbeam/Great Value/etc bulbs that you find at those kinds of stores are shit.

Buy professional CFL bulbs. Hit up the GE or Osram/Sylvania online product catalogs, write down some part numbers with the size/color temp/lifetime that you want, and call up a local industrial/lighting supplier - Harris & Roome is my go-to place here in Canada.

My house is full of GE "FLE10HT2/827" bulbs, 40W equivalents that pull 10W, have a warm color temperature (2700K) and have a 12000 hour lifetime. Which I can believe - I bought a case of these bulbs about 4-5 years ago when I swapped out every incandescent I could find, I still have plenty of them left, and I honestly can't remember the last time I changed a lightbulb in my house - it's been years.

Re:money back if not delighted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39713479)

Reading lights on the bus I ride have been replaced with multi-LED cluster bulbs - in less than 18 months most have several dead LEDs in the cluster.

That's probably part of the reason they can claim this "bulb" lasts 20 years - because after 20 years, its likely that a few LEDs will remain. I guess it comes down to how many LEDs constitute a "bulb".

If 20 years is gaurunteed? (4, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#39713005)

Yeah, I'd consider 60 bucks.

Re:If 20 years is gaurunteed? (3, Insightful)

Myopic (18616) | about 2 years ago | (#39713191)

Agreed. If you are selling me a twenty-year light bulb, then you can give me an 18-year warranty on that.

Years ago I bought a bunch of CF bulbs which definitely definitely lasted a shorter time than traditional bulbs, despite claims of multiple times longer lifespan. I know that CF bulbs have now progressed, and get about the lifespan claimed, but it makes me a bit skeptical of new bulbs. Twenty years from now, if these things are still burning bright in households across America, then I will check my skepticism.

Re:If 20 years is gaurunteed? (2)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#39713287)

That kind of bulb dies mostly because of heat. Its (degrees above room temp) * (years of operation) thats constant, not (years of operation), in my experience.

In my chilly basement workshop, zero LED fails. outside unvented fixture, they fail, and only fail during summer.

Thats the problem with your 18 year suggestion for all bulbs, the bulbs over your kitchen stove etc are not going to last 1/10th as long as the LED bulb in your fridge.

Re:If 20 years is gaurunteed? (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#39713517)

I've noticed CF bulbs in my house seem especially sensitive to even mild currency fluctuations. I had a bad switch in my living room (didn't know it at the time). I went through CF's like crazy when I tried to use them there (regular bulbs lasted fine). Finally figured out it was the switch, but not before I realized that CF's don't always live up to their promises. I imagine they would be terrible anyplace where you get regular power spikes or brown-outs.

Re:If 20 years is gaurunteed? (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about 2 years ago | (#39713255)

I would say if they worked with a dimmer switch I would consider them. I have a number of CFLs in my house but I also have a few lights that are controlled with dimmer switches and I haven't found anything other than incandescent bulbs to put in them. Maybe I am not looking at the right kind of store but I would be open to suggestions as to where I could find something to fill that use. Also I wonder how they hold up under abuse as I might consider putting one in my trouble light in the garage since I am always burning out the bulbs in that thing when I bump it.

Re:If 20 years is gaurunteed? (1)

NewWorldDan (899800) | about 2 years ago | (#39713309)

I don't know why you would. If you've been to a big box hardware store lately, you'd see that there are quite a few LED bulbs available now (rated at 20-30 years) for half that price.

Also, generally speaking, LED bulbs don't burn out, but they do burn down. Heat damages them over time (that's why they've got giant heat-sinks) and they produce less light. The 20-25 year life on the bulb is when they predict it will be down to 70% brightness. And that's why I'm installing 75W or 90W equivilents instead of 60W. Also, if it costs me less to light a room, I want it brighter. Most rooms in my house are on dimmer switches, so there's really now downside to installing a brighter bulb.

Re:If 20 years is gaurunteed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39713337)

Would you consider less than $10?

http://www.everbuying.com/wholesale/led-bulb.html

I have no affiliation with these people. I've only bought from them a couple of times.

Nathan

Re:If 20 years is gaurunteed? (1)

MarkGriz (520778) | about 2 years ago | (#39713417)

Considering that this bulb is 60x more expensive than the average CFL, and is only slightly more energy efficient, I have to wonder why anyone would bother.
Compared to CFL's, at that price it will never payback in either energy savings or replacement costs.

20 years? (5, Insightful)

residieu (577863) | about 2 years ago | (#39713015)

Hopefully it comes closer to these claims than the CFLs, which claimed 5 year lives, but often failed within a few weeks.

Re:20 years? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39713129)

CFLs generally don't fail that fast. For the most part, I've only replaced 1 or 2 CFLs in 4-5 years. However, there's one exception...I have one pair of lights on the same circuit where I've replaced the bulbs probably 3-4 times each. Seems to me there must be a problem with that circuit getting a bad power supply. I suspect that is what your problem is too. I've no idea if LEDs hold up better then CFLs in that circumstance.

Re:20 years? (1)

metamatic (202216) | about 2 years ago | (#39713153)

Maybe you shouldn't buy the cheap crappy CFLs. I have one from 1998 that's still going. It's a Philips, coincidentally.

Re:20 years? (1)

toonces33 (841696) | about 2 years ago | (#39713487)

We have some that are 3-4 years old, and they just keep going and going. It seems to depend a lot on the brand - some of them are just cheaply made and burn out relatively quickly. Maybe one a year burns out, but I still have a bunch more that are sitting in a closet waiting to be installed.

We do have 2 LED bulbs in the house. One is over the stairs where a CFL just doesn't work well (typically you flip on the lights and go down the stairs - the light never gets a chance to reach full brightness, so it felt like you were going down stairs in the dark. The LED bulb comes on at full brightness with perhaps only a 1 second delay).

There is one other place where long-life bulbs really shine - if you have really tall ceilings, changing a bulb is a huge pain in the rear.

Re:20 years? (2, Interesting)

ghn (2469034) | about 2 years ago | (#39713179)

20 years is nothing. The livermore light bulb [centennialbulb.org] is 110 years old and still working. How come we can't beat the technology from our great grand fathers?

Re:20 years? (4, Funny)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#39713305)

20 years is nothing. The livermore light bulb [centennialbulb.org] is 110 years old and still working. How come we can't beat the technology from our great grand fathers?

Because in watts per lumen you'd probably be better off using an infrared heater element as a light source.

Re:20 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39713347)

We don't feel like living by the dim ruddy glow of a carbon filament running at low temperatures?

Re:20 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39713407)

Look at the details of that bulb. It's about 4 watts now, and produces a minuscule amount of lumens.

If you want to try to operate with a vanity bulb that offers no illumination, I'm sure you can have some long-lasting bulbs, but for most situations, it's not exactly worth it.

Really, what have they saved over the years? Not much.

Re:20 years? (2)

Iskender (1040286) | about 2 years ago | (#39713437)

The lack of a need for four-watt bulbs with low light output per watt which can only be powercycled a few times per century might have something to do with it.

Re:20 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39713219)

The problem with CFLs is that while they do last a long time if you leave them on constantly, frequent power cycling drastically reduces their lifespan. This is because in the first few moments after a CFL is turned on it creates a massive current spike which takes a toll on the power supply circuit.

This shouldn't be an issue with the LED bulbs as there is no such current spike.

Re:20 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39713289)

Hopefully it comes closer to these claims than the CFLs, which claimed 5 year lives, but often failed within a few weeks.

Contact the manufacturer if that happens. You may be able to get it replaced under some kind of warranty.

Re:20 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39713297)

When I bought my house in 2006, I replaced all of the bulbs (about 25) with CFLs. As of today, I've had to replace 4 of them (and only in the last year). So six years and counting, I think they are performing as expected, if not better. Much like anything else in life.... YMMV.

Re:20 years? (1)

ravenscar (1662985) | about 2 years ago | (#39713381)

I've had similar problems in my home. I chalked it up to the bulbs until I picked up a vintage amplifier. While I wasn't having any issues with my other electronics, parts in my amp were constantly blowing. I finally replaced the power strip with a decent one and haven't had any further issues. For kicks, I started measuring voltages and amps at different outlets and found that things were spiking. Most of the modern stuff in my house seems to deal with this, but I have noticed problems with some of the more sensitive items (like the power brick on my kids' 360). I'm theorizing that these power issues are drastically shortening the life of my CFL bulbs. My thought is that the power spikes and dips are damaging the ballasts.

I live in a pretty nice house that was built in 2006 so the power issues are a surprise to me. If you have the equipment, it might make sense to test some of your outlets and sockets.

Re:20 years? (1)

Tweezak (871255) | about 2 years ago | (#39713443)

I once contacted a company about a CFL that failed spectacularly (near combustion) shortly after I bought it. They informed me that the market is loaded with counterfeits that are garbage and are sullying the reputation of quality CFLs.

I'd guess that a significant percentage of the early failures are counterfeits. I suspect the same is happening with LED based incandescent replacements.

Eh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39713023)

So far i've been totally unimpressed with LED lights. They just don't seem to last even as long as an old incandescent bulb at all. While costing a ton more money. Light color looks pretty good. But lifetime is really horrible. Near as i can figure i'm losing money as well on the bulb cost vs. the electricity used.

Maybe this one will be different... But not at $60 a pop. Or even $22. Get it down to $8 and we'll talk. And i might even put up with them burning out way too quick sometimes.

Re:Eh... (2)

networkBoy (774728) | about 2 years ago | (#39713535)

Funny, I replaced all the wall lights in my family room (which tend to be left on by anyone and everyone) with LEDs.
Old bulbs: 6x 40 Watt, burn out on average one bulb per month.
New bulbs: Phillips 2.5w ambient bulbs ($15/each) 8 months in, none have burned out, and I've gone from:
240W/hr to 15W/hr.
Given that these bulbs are on no less than 10 hours a day:
2.4KW/h draw replaced with 150W/h or at $0.12/KW/h $8.64/month to $0.54/month ($48.60 in 6 months) in electricity just for that room. In 1 year all those bulbs will have paid for themselves.
(this doesn't count the added cost of AC in the summer for heat or the savings on gas in winter).

What people tend not to like about the LED bulbs is the directionality of the light. Almost all other sources of light throw the light evenly in all directions, but with LEDs (even with a diffuser) the light tends to be directional. For some applications this is an issue, but for others, not so much.
-nB

I have two of them in my garage. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39713029)

Philips AmberLEDs i bought for $20 each from home depot. In some areas they are now $15. Awesome light color and brightness. When they first went on sale they were $50-$60 each. now they are $20. Wait for a year and the pricing of these will also drop to $15-$20 making them affordable.

Re:I have two of them in my garage. (4, Interesting)

Myopic (18616) | about 2 years ago | (#39713207)

Is the light color really okay? That's my main concern. I've often been underwhelmed with the spectrum offered.

Re:I have two of them in my garage. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39713411)

light color is extremely good.
i have both CFLs and cheaper LEDs. the philips puts everything to shame, including its previous line and including normal incandescents. There really isnt any other bulb with this color and its awesome. Get one AmbientLED to try it out (its the older version of this one, the EnduraLED) which is on sale for $15-$20. you wont be disappointed.

Re:I have two of them in my garage. (1)

ArcherB (796902) | about 2 years ago | (#39713503)

Is the light color really okay? That's my main concern. I've often been underwhelmed with the spectrum offered.

That's my main question. The "daylight" CFL's are getting harder and harder to find. One went out on my ceiling fan and I had to replace it with one my wife bought in an economy pack. The color difference is obvious. My daughter pointed at it yesterday and said, "Look Dad! That light bulb is gold!" The yellow color drives me nuts and makes everything look dingy and dirty. Now I'm stuck with it for at least a few years as my wife bought a ton of these damn yellow bulbs.

I'd be really pissed if I spent $60 for a yellow light bulb that I'd be stuck with for 20 years!

Re:I have two of them in my garage. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39713515)

The light color on the Philips AmbientLED lamps is truly excellent. The lamp itself looks really weird when it's turned off (it's yellow/orange like a bug light), but the light it produces is, to me, indistinguishable from an incandescent bulb.

But But How Did You Overcome This Obstacle? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39713231)

From the article:

The Philips bulb looks odd too -the light-emitting surfaces are yellow when the bulb isn't lit, yet shine white when it is.

How did you overcome this showstopping problem that indicates to your neighbors that you aren't afraid of things that behave slightly differently than what you're used to? How did you prevent your son from committing suicide after he turned on the lights and expected a yellow glow?

Re:I have two of them in my garage. (2)

ShawnDoc (572959) | about 2 years ago | (#39713233)

Those have been around for 2 years per the article. This is a new version of that. This is the "EnduraLED" light bulb.

what color temperature? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39713049)

FTA: "The bulb is the most energy-efficient yet, lasts about 20 years and is supposed to give off a pleasing, natural-looking light. "

Please define "natural looking light". Some people think the horrid yellow from an incandencant bulb is natural looking and complain about anything that isn't yellow. I personally have replaced my whole house lighting with daylight CFLs (5000-5500K) and can't stand yellow light anymore.

Re:what color temperature? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39713143)

Glad i don't live in your house... sounds cold and uninviting lol
Halogen all the way :)

Re:what color temperature? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39713257)

Glad i don't live in your house... sounds cold and uninviting lol
Halogen all the way :)

Cold and uninviting? That's not a very nice thing to say about the midday sun.

Re:what color temperature? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39713367)

Personally, I like the color of xenon arc lamps. A quick google search puts that at about 4,000K. They have what I would describe as the absence of color; and that is even after considering that I spend most time in either blue CFLs or yellow incandescents.

Previous Model (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39713075)

I've had a very similar looking bulb to this new one in use in my living room for some time now. Very pleased with the quality of light it puts out, and works properly in an lamp with a dimmer circuit in it (some LED bulbs flash in dimmer equipped outlets). It's the strangest looking bulb I've seen - it's dandelion yellow when off, but blazing white when turned on. I'd pay $60 for an improved version just to give it a try.

Re:Previous Model (1)

Myopic (18616) | about 2 years ago | (#39713253)

How long have you had it? My understanding is that many LED bulbs lose their coating-color over time. I wonder how these hold up?

I currently use mostly CFLs, but I'd much prefer LEDs because of the mercury in CFLs. I'd pay extra to avoid the mercury, both in my home and in the landfill. I hope humanity can get away from CFLs as soon as possible.

What sort of guarantee backs up the 20 year life? (2, Informative)

John Hasler (414242) | about 2 years ago | (#39713103)

In my experience CFLs last no longer than incandescents. Why should I believe that these claims about LEDs are not also lies?

Re:What sort of guarantee backs up the 20 year lif (1)

metamatic (202216) | about 2 years ago | (#39713163)

Does your experience concern Philips CFLs? I have one that has lasted since 1998.

Re:What sort of guarantee backs up the 20 year lif (2)

John Hasler (414242) | about 2 years ago | (#39713341)

> Does your experience concern Philips CFLs?

Many different brands.

> I have one that has lasted since 1998.

And I have one incandescent that has lasted since 1995. Outliers happen.

Re:What sort of guarantee backs up the 20 year lif (1)

b0bby (201198) | about 2 years ago | (#39713463)

In my experience CFLs last no longer than incandescents.

Seriously? I have an early Ikea CFL in my basement which is ~10 years old; I may replace it sometime just because the new bulbs have a better light color. I have only had to replace a couple of CFLs (well, maybe 5) which died in use; I used to have to replace incandescents much more frequently.

I have had bad luck with early LEDs, however; apart from the fact that their light was too blue for my wife to tolerate, they seemed to die way too quick. I'd give this one another try though, since they seem to have worked on the color issue & hopefully the quality will be better.

Good for some... (5, Interesting)

TheCarp (96830) | about 2 years ago | (#39713121)

I wont be buying any though....well maybe a few as a stop-gap but, not many.

I have been getting RGB LED strips, and looking to totally replace the house lighting. Part of the problem here is the "bulb". Yes, if you stick to a bulb form factor, and be backwards compartible, it can be hard to get enough light from LEDs, and expensive to build out etc.

However, bulbs were just the first invention....what makes that form factor so superior except for backwards compatibility?

I am looking at long strips, more like flourecent tube fixtures than bulbs. Can use many cheaper LEDs instead of a few expensive big ones... can use RBG LEDs and thus be able to change colors, or even white temp.

Of course, the stips are cheap pre-made, cheaper than I can find the LEDs on them in fact (cheapest price for 1000 in bulk was more expensive per LED than buying strips of 150 at a time) and the strips have limiting resistors, which are a major source of power loss (would be better to drop the resistor and use a constant current circuit.... but having to desolder or jumper smd resistors on each and every segment of the strip defeats the purpose of buying strips to make it easy)

Still though.... at $60/bulb.... ouch. and...its still just a bulb... with a single light color?

And when they die in 2 months? (1)

reezle (239894) | about 2 years ago | (#39713133)

I bought about 30 of the Feit Electric 40W equivalent bulbs at Costco last year ($10-$12 each).
Although rated for 7 years, I've had to return 4 of them in the roughly 9 months I've had them (failure to light).
Luckily Costco is good about this, but I'd sure hate to spend $60 on a bunch of bulbs and have them go TU after a year or two.
(Who wants to save the box and receipts for 20 years)

On the up side, the electric bill is down about $15 a month, so perhaps they will pay for themselves before Costco stops taking returns on them...

BFD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39713145)

Um. BFD. LED light bulbs have been out for years. I've replaced every bulb in my house with them, already..

Re:BFD (1)

b0bby (201198) | about 2 years ago | (#39713335)

Are you married? (I know, this is /.) Every LED I have tried out in my house has been rejected by my wife; right now I have one outside and that's it. The light quality has been so inconsistent that I've stuck with good quality CFLs which are now really better than incandescents IMHO. A decent LED will be a good thing.

Made in USA (4, Informative)

b0bby (201198) | about 2 years ago | (#39713263)

This article doesn't mention it, but part of the increased cost is the fact that the parts are made in CA & they are assembled in WI. So you're going to pay more for them compared to the same thing from China. And these seem pretty advanced, so you may not be able to buy an equivalent yet. Certainly, if I see them subsidized, I'll pick up a few.

Re:Made in USA (4, Funny)

John Hasler (414242) | about 2 years ago | (#39713369)

> So you're going to pay more for them compared to the same thing from China.

On the other hand, they may actually work.

The light bulb conspiracy. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39713279)

They've been able to make light bulbs which last an almost indefinite amount of time since the early 1930's. The first cartel revolved around manufacturers agreeing to only produce bulbs which lasted 1000 hours on average. The documentary revolves around planned obsolescence and the light bulb is its main example. Having seen it, this claim by Phillips isn't terribly impressive.

Re:The light bulb conspiracy. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39713445)

An incandescent light bulb will have a lifespan proportional to the thickness of the filament and a power efficiency inversely proportional to the thickness of the filament. You can have a long-life incandescent bulb, but it will drain even more power from an already inefficient design. The 1000-hour bulb was a reasonably optimal point on the power vs. replacement cost curve.

Satisfied with CFLs (2)

goldspider (445116) | about 2 years ago | (#39713281)

For what my anecdotal account is worth, I'm completely satisfied with my CFLs. I've had nothing but CFLs in my house since about '04 and have only had to replace a half-dozen or so.

The energy savings justified the cost of the switch from incandescent bulbs to CFLs. Going from CFLs to LEDs, it isn't even close.

Re:Satisfied with CFLs (1)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | about 2 years ago | (#39713505)

I posted about CFLs a few posts down from here. I find that they have a very high rate of failure. Can you honestly claim that they last as long as they are advertised to last?

I would pay... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39713283)

...'bout tree-fiddy.

well.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39713313)

I'm interested in getting some lumen and kelvin numbers. I'm an LED lighting distributor and manufacturers I go through in China, Korea, and Japan have these household LEDs with CREE components for a fraction of that price with life span of over 50,000 hours. The actual parts and manufacturing of these isn't too expensive, it's the huge overhead that Philips has that kills it price wise.

subsidised or not it's to much (5, Interesting)

negativeduck (2510256) | about 2 years ago | (#39713353)

I mean really, you can't drive adoption with a $60 bulb. Most people at the store going I've got 3 bulbs out are going to go "hrm $15 dollars or $180" Which do you think they are going to pick?

I'd love to know the Margins on this.

Raise your rates (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about 2 years ago | (#39713371)

For the majority who didn't read the article there is an interesting blurb:

Utilities already offer rebates on energy-saving products such as compact-fluorescent bulbs, or CFLs. In return for efforts to curb energy use, regulators allow utilities to raise their rates. The discounts are invisible to consumers - the utilities pay the stores directly.

My understanding from this is if you buy them it might end up a wash (you pay more per unit energy but consume less), but if you don't the power company really gets to put the screws to you (you pay more per unit energy and consume more energy) and you basically end up subsidizing your neighbor's purchase of a light bulb.

Wrong company to win the prize? (3, Informative)

pesho (843750) | about 2 years ago | (#39713393)

How is the Phillips $60 light bulb different than this $15 bulb [feitbulbs.com]?

Oh, and there are already complaints on the home depot site that it causes radio interference.

Re:Wrong company to win the prize? (2)

llZENll (545605) | about 2 years ago | (#39713527)

Well for starters the Philips is 60W vs the one you posted is 40W equivalent. Also the one you posted is rated at 25k hours vs Philips 30k hours. A much better deal would seem to be this one, the only issue being the color temp perhaps:

7-Watt Collection LED 5000K Light Bulb (CL-L60A1-D , 40 Watt Equivalent) $6.50 + Free Shipping
http://slickdeals.net/permadeal/72690/newegg-7watt-collection-led-5000k-light-bulb-cll60a1d-40-watt-equivalent?token=AAQBBQAAAAAEPECnIA [slickdeals.net]

If this is anything like CFLs... (3, Informative)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | about 2 years ago | (#39713477)

Then they can keep it.

I don't understand why everyone is/was so excited about CFLs. When they broke into the mainstream a few years ago, they were more expensive but were long lasting and energy efficient -- at least, that's what we were told. I have owned many, and ALL of them have died prematurely. Sometimes an entire package will be dead within a few weeks of purchase. Who in their right mind pays for such garbage? The carbon footprint of making and then throwing them away must be far larger than the savings in electricity. Also they are slower to light up than the good old fashioned bulbs. Why does nobody admit that?

So, do these new light bulbs come with a 20 year replacement warranty? If not, there's NO FRICKIN' WAY I would buy it. Also, I'm not convinced that these new bulbs actually make the same light. I'll wait until I've seen it in person.

-d

how bright after 20 years? (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#39713493)

They claim a 20 year lifetime at 4 hours/day, but how bright will it be after 20 years? LED's reduce their light output over time, and the end of life is based on some loss of brightness (30% loss?), so that 60 watt bulb may be more like a 40 watt bulb by the end of its lifetime. And based on previous LED lights I've seen, I'm skeptical that it's really equivalent in brightness to a 60 watt incandescent bulb in the first place.

This is a trojan attack on your wallets (0)

AttillaTheNun (618721) | about 2 years ago | (#39713501)

by lobbyists claiming to be fighting in the interests of "greener" energy. Bulb manufacturers weren't happy with profits from incandescents, so they lobbied to have them banned in favour of "longer lasting and greener" CFLs. Never mind the mercury, or the fact that they give off crappy light, or the fact that they don't last nearly as long as claimed (even under ideal conditions, such as 24/7 operation), or the fact that they cost a shit-tonne more, even with heavy subsidies. Oh, and Home Depot and other stores claim to discard them in a safe manner. I've been told by folks who work there that they dump them with the rest of the garbage - they just want your ass in their store to buy more stuff. In case you haven't learned the lessons from the CFL debacle, have a look at Australia, which is about 5 yrs ahead of North America in this sham. They brought in CFLs, heavily subsidized to the point where they were popular enough to be a real threat the incandescents. Then the manufacturers lobbied to have incandescents banned, as inefficient and harmful to the environment (my ass). Once this happened, the subsidies were dropped. Have a look at the prices of a CFL bulb now: http://www.shopbot.com.au/cfl-light/price/australia/38031 [shopbot.com.au]

Maybe LEDs will be better in some way, but paint me a skeptic. Oh, and here's an incandescent light bulb that has been in continuous operation for 110 yrs. I wonder what they paid for it. http://www.centennialbulb.org/ [centennialbulb.org]

bad design proliferates (1)

wmeyer (17620) | about 2 years ago | (#39713507)

One reason for CFL failures is that they are not well protected against input power problems. In particular, screwing one into a socket which is turned on is a recipe for failure. So I guess we need to make sure we have an incandescent handy to check for the lamp being on? LOL!

I have looked at the Philips lamp datasheet. Pretty thin. I saw nothing on color temperature, for one thing. Probably because adding control over color temp to the mix will further increase costs. But for those who prefer a warm (incandescent-type) light, color temp is important. And frankly, if I am going to pay $60 for a 60W equivalent lamp (I won't, but that's not the point) I expect high quality, reliability, and well documented operating parameters. Less than that makes it just another rip-off engineered in response to green initiatives.

Get government out of the market, and costs of most things will reduce.

Good timing! (1)

jfengel (409917) | about 2 years ago | (#39713549)

A bulb in my stairwell just burned out. The only way to replace it is to stand on the part of the ladder that says "not a step", or rent a taller ladder (and I'm not certain that I could maneuver one into place). I'd happily pay $60 not to have to replace this bulb again.

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