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Philips Releases 100W-Equivalent LED Bulb, Runs On Just 23 Watts

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the it's-not-easy-being-green dept.

Earth 529

MrSeb writes "The Light Fair convention kicks off in Las Vegas this week, so there will be any number of related announcements coming soon. Lighting giant Philips is starting things off early with the announcement of their 100W-equivalent LED bulb, the AmbientLED 23W. The model produces 1700 lumens, putting it at a very respectable 73.9 lm/W. The unveiling comes shortly after Philips' L Prize bulb was made available to consumers. That bulb currently sells for about $60 and is a more efficient light source, capable of 94 lm/W. The two use similar designs; for example, both take advantage of remote phosphor, but the AmbientLED 23W (it will be called the EnduraLED in non-consumer applications) is brighter and lacking in some of the performance characteristics of the L Prize winner, including luminous efficiency and color accuracy. Philips' 100W-equivalent bulb will be available some time in the fourth quarter. Pricing has yet to be announced, but it will likely be well over $30."

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Warranty? (4, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919535)

At those prices, I expect it to come with a warranty that backs up their "Lasts X years" claim. If you say it lasts 10 years, and you can't even offer a 5-year warranty, I'll keep my $60, thanks. I've seen too many of these bulb manufacturers make promises they knew they couldn't keep. CFL's in particular seem very sensitive to electricity fluctuations and brownouts. I've got a couple of fixtures in my house that burn through them like crazy, even after replacing the switches (finally just put a incandescent back in them and they do fine).

No way I'm slapping down that kind of money for a bulb unless I can be sure the thing is really going to last, and that the company has enough faith in it to put their money where their mouth is. I'd hate to buy a bunch of those only to have some local brownouts blow them in their first year (and find out the company won't back their product up with a replacement or refund).

Re:Warranty? (2)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919585)

My thoughts exactly. My first CFL back in the 90s was rated for 7 years. I think it lasted 3 months. As with the poster above, I'm not paying significantly more for a CFL, unless it's going to make Saturday appearances at the office and get its damned cover sheets on its damned TPS reports!

Re:Warranty? (4, Interesting)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920005)

I hear this a lot, but I also know of people, myself included, who do get the advertised life (moved into my house 4 years ago and started swapping in CFLs as the existing bulbs burnt out and have only had to replace one of them so far). My best guesses as to why some people have better luck than others:

Bulb quality: I bought relatively expensive bulbs because they were the only ones at the time that didn't put out awful blue/white light.
Temperature range: The only bulb I had to replace was in the garage, which swings from 100+F to -10F depending on the season.
Power quality: Spikes/brownouts/etc.

Re:Warranty? (2)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920141)

I buy the quality CFLs too. I'm pretty sure the power quality kills them because my temperature range is pretty mild and I still have them dying pretty quickly (inside the warranty, but I'm replacing them with LEDs as they go).

Re:Warranty? (3, Funny)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919597)

Are there any bulb rental services? I want to buy the same make and model of bulbs that bulb rental services buy.

Re:Warranty? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919913)

I don't think that rental services exist; but there are about a zillion commercial/office/industrial properties whose facilities guys have to keep a whole lot of lights, some badly inaccessible from ground level or in crowded public areas, going. Whatever they use is probably the equivalent(and mostly seems to be really boring hot-cathode fluorescent tubes, except in places where they can't get away with that for aesthetic reasons)...

Re:Warranty? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39920237)

I don't think that rental services exist; but there are about a zillion commercial/office/industrial properties whose facilities guys have to keep a whole lot of lights, some badly inaccessible from ground level or in crowded public areas, going. Whatever they use is probably the equivalent(and mostly seems to be really boring hot-cathode fluorescent tubes, except in places where they can't get away with that for aesthetic reasons)...

They probably use pressured sodium or metal halide bulbs for those. Not anything you will find in the average home.

Re:Warranty? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39919605)

You also really don't want to put CFLs in any socket with a dimmer.

Re:Warranty? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39919657)

"Pay us what you think you'd pay the power company to operate an incandescent or CFL bulb for the same number of hours".
"Oh, and please take our word for the fact that it will last as many hours as we claim."
"We wouldn't lie to you."
"Honestly!"

Re:Warranty? (1)

swx2 (2632091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919743)

Well... if you've got some fixtures that seems to burn through light bulbs faster than normal, then maybe it's not the light bulb's fault? And if that is any indication of an average household's (electrical) current stability, maybe the lack of a 5 year warranty is somewhat justified. Seriously, you can't fault the manufacturer of the product if you're providing bad running conditions.

Re:Warranty? (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919815)

If it was working yesterday, and I replace it with your "equivalent" replacement, it's your fault if it stops working.

Re:Warranty? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39919973)

If it was working yesterday, and I replace it with your "equivalent" replacement, it's your fault if it stops working.

Equivalent light output is not the same as "identical product". You need to work on your comprehension skills... and maybe fix your wiring.

Re:Warranty? (3, Informative)

swx2 (2632091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920095)

Equivalent in terms of light output, not current tolerance. if you used a product outside of its design specs, and complained when it failed, no one would listen to you.

But then again, I guess the American legal system has seen sillier things...

Re:Warranty? (3, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920069)

Well... if you've got some fixtures that seems to burn through light bulbs faster than normal, then maybe it's not the light bulb's fault?

While I agree with you to the extent that the GP might want to have that fixture rewired (or at least checked out) by a real electrician, I can't agree that something pushed as a long-lasting drop-in replacement for an X-Watt incandescent light-bulb would have a shorter lifespan than that same incandescent, regardless of faulty wiring.

I fully appreciate that incandescents count as just about the lowest-tech electricity-using device you can own; But CFL/LED manufacturers need to take into consideration the fact that people don't generally run their room lighting on a line-interactive UPS.

Re:Warranty? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39919823)

I agree.

To make things worse, cheap CFL units do not "burn" completely. They stop working because of some 5-10 cents economical decision about component selection. The phospor tube is intact, as most components. And because of a single 4 cent diode, the lamp is worthless.

As it is not viable to repair CFL bulbs (not worth the manpower), we trash hundreds of thousands of perfectly good units every year.

light switches (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39919833)

Make sure you don't have those switches with a little light inside them. Those are good with incandescents but for some reason wear down fluorescents much faster. They run a small current through the circuit even when the switch is off which probably keeps the CFL circuitry powered on. Some fluorescents have a continuous slight glow in the dark even when turned off, long after their remanent glow should have vanished.

Re:light switches (2)

crow (16139) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919899)

Interesting. I had a problem with LED holiday lights. I used an X10 appliance module so that I could turn them off by remote control. Unfortunately, when I switched to LED lights, I found that the X10 module leaked just enough current to keep the lights going, only slightly dimmer. Not very useful.

Re:light switches (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920187)

That's odd. AFAIK, X10 modules generally use a relay for power switching, so there should be no leakage whatsoever. Maybe it has a bad relay.

Re:Warranty? (1, Troll)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919895)

>>>I've got a couple of fixtures in my house that burn through them like crazy, even after replacing the switches (finally just put a incandescent back in them and they do fine).

Exactly.
CFLs are the biggest scam the megacorps ever came-up with, and they used the power of Congress or the Parliament to force us into it. (By gradually outlawing incandescents.) I know I've saved NO money using CFLs because they burn-out just as fast as incandescents..... and they certainly aren't reducing pollution when they have to be shipped-in from China and then shipped-back for recycling (where the mercury is released).

I've never seen a study but I suspect if one was performed, we'd discover Incandescent bulbs are actually more "green" than CFLs. In the same fashion that AEEE.org discovered a Honda Insight at 70mpg, or Lupo at 88mpg, are actually cleaner than the pure electric Volt and EV1 cars (scored the same as a Prius).

Re:Warranty? (4, Informative)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920103)

Stop buying the cheapest CFL that are made in China. They burn out as quick/faster than incandescents. Buy a slightly higher quality bulb and you will notice a difference. I thought exactly the same way you did until I stopped buying the bargain CFLs. I found a brand a few years back (can't recall the name at work though) of a CFL bulb that was actually made in the USA. It has been going for about 4 years now. It was only about 25-30% more expensive than the other cheap bulbs.

Re:Warranty? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920275)

>>>Stop buying the cheapest CFL that are made in China.

There's no such thing as a non-China or non-India CFL. And besides I bought a Philips..... it's supposed to be high-quality German engineered product, but alas that turned out not to be the case.

>>>made in the USA

Lights of America?
Those are trash too.
Same flaws (slow warmup time, don't live any longer than the old incandescents)

Re:Warranty? (2)

m0n5t3r (1154605) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919943)

of my first 2 CFLs (23W Philips, incidentally) one still works after ~ 6 years; I've moved 4 times since I bought those (yeah, I actually took my light bulbs with me, they were worth about 10 beers each); one of them died due to being used in the bathroom (went through a lot of power cycles)

Right now, I have the remaining one in a rather low usage area (kitchen, rarely used at night), and for the room I spend most of the time in I have some no-name Chinese thing I bought 2 years ago from Mega Image; it eats 13 W, was 1/4 of the price of my older Philips bulbs and takes about 10 minutes to reach full brightness, but it emits about the same amount of light when it does. It was ~2.2 USD.

When LED lights can beat that price, I'll be interested. Right now, both commercial offerings and DIY are too damn expensive for my taste.

Re:Warranty? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920053)

>>> takes about 10 minutes to reach full brightness

Ditto.
And it's a Philips!
Why are we "upgrading" to bulbs that are actually inferior to the incandescents we used before? They take too long long to light, don't live any longer in real world use, can't be used in enclosed or upside down fixtures (trapped heat kills CFL electronics), and have to be shipped across ~20,000 miles from China (and back) whereas the incandescents were built right here.

For me my experience with CFLs is as bad as my experience with Vista. I downgraded to incandescents and XP. Sometimes the older tech really is the better one.

Re:Warranty? (2)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920253)

By contrast, I recently replaced the incandescent bulbs in my bathrooms when I replaced the fixtures. Out of the twelve bulbs (three fixtures), all were original bulbs, about a decade old. The only places I've ever blown bulbs are the ceiling fan in my room and the three-way bulb in the table lamp in my TV room, both of which have blown about two bulbs in eleven years.

Incandescent bulbs (good ones) last a long time. For CFLs to make sense at the current price, they would need a hundred year guarantee.

Re:Warranty? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919983)

Oh and yes the price it outrageous. I have a 60 watt LED "bulb" in my amazon cart that only costs $15. Buy two and you have your 100+ equivalent for half the price.

AND it uses less power (7 watts not 23). Philips really laid an egg with their new bulb. WORSE: They were paid millions of dollars in OUR money to produce this rotten egg.

Re:Warranty? (2)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920281)

Chances are good that the light quality from your $15 60 watt bulb is not competitive with phillips.

Re:Warranty? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39920019)

Edison's original incandescent bulb retailed for about a dollar when it was first introduced, I read somewhere. That has to be the rough equivalent of 60 bucks in today's money, and there is no doubt that this LED bulb will last a lot longer. I'd be willing to spring for the $60 right now.

Re:Warranty? (1)

serialband (447336) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920065)

You should blame the local utility for the brownouts. The local brownouts are likely due to the inadequate line transformers that were rated for homes that didn't use quite so much electricity decades ago. Americans are quite spoiled with all the electronic gadgets and AC units in the home these days.

When the electric company replaced the inadequate line transformer, that failed catastrophically, on my block, I stopped getting brownouts whenever the neighbors' AC units turned on. It was down for 18 hours. Since that time, I haven't lost many fluorescents. I don't see any visible dimming of the lights either. Before then, I was losing 2-3 a year. If they weren't subsidized to $1 each, I would never have gotten them.

LEDs, in general, are also much sturdier than CFLs ore incandescents. They should last for 5 years without a hitch. The 20 years claim is likely valid.

Re:Warranty? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920107)

A lot of these bulbs do come with multiyear warranties. Phillips has a 6 year warranty on these bulbs according to home depot:
http://www.homedepot.com/buy/electrical-light-bulbs-led/philips-12-watt-60w-equivalent-a19-ambient-led-soft-white-light-bulb-dimmable-117236.html [homedepot.com]

And the good news is ... they seem to last longer than the CFLs. I was an early adopter (curiosity mostly), and in my home that was a torture test for CFLs (I have only a few CFLs that have made it over two years so far), I have several LED bulbs and zero burnouts so far.

This is why they passed the law (4, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919591)

And now we are discovering why they passed the law requiring all light bulbs to be higher efficiency than standard incandescents, so that Philips can sell light bulbs for $30-60.

Re:This is why they passed the law (1)

toetagger (642315) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919721)

Feel free to make & sell your own designs for $29 a piece - I would be one of your customers, unless someone else is cheaper than you.

Re:This is why they passed the law (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39919911)

A 100W light bulb consumes 100kWh over its rated lifetime, which is 1000 hours. Depending on the price of electricity in your part of the world, that's probably between $8 and $30. Assuming a dismal lifetime of just 5000 hours for the LED bulb, you'd need five $1 incandescent bulbs for a total cost of ownership between $5+5*$8=$45 and $4+5*$30=$154. The LED bulb (let's say $35) consumes electricity for $9 to $35, for a total cost of ownership between $35+$9=$44 and $35+$35=$70. So unless the LED doesn't last 5000 hours or your electricity costs less than $0.08, the LED bulb is cheaper, and you don't need to change the bulb as often. The law exists because most people couldn't do a simple calculation if their life depended on it.

Re:This is why they passed the law (1, Informative)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920217)

Now here's some REAL math based upon real world experience (almost 20 years of CFL usage).

CFLs and LEDs don't live any longer than incandescents because of many factors. Simply put: The electronics are sensitive to heat, electric spikes, or frequent on/off cycles by the users. These factors lead to early death. In my experience CFLs don't live any longer than incandescents... and in some annoying cases, actually die sooner (within days). Therefore assuming equal lifespans across all these bulbs:

incandescent == $10 at 10 cents/KWh + 50 cents initial purchase.

LED == 1000 hours times 20 w == 20 kWh or $2 plus $60 initial cost == very very costly

CFL == pretty much the same: $2 electricity + $4 initial cost

BUT the math is not done yet. Next you need to add in the cost of transport. Incandescents are built right here, and they can be thrown into any trashbag or landfill, so transportation costs are neglibile. BUT CFLs and LEDs are only built in China, and only recycled in China, so you need to add ~20,000 miles of fuel usage. (And also consider that in China, they just dump the mercury-laden bulbs on the ground. They don't care about the environment.) Plus the extra expense of driving the dead CFL to the landfill because you can't just throw it away & the garbage truck refuses to take them. Bottom Line:

I'm sticking with incandescents, until
the U.S. or EU outlaw them (2014?).

Re:This is why they passed the law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39919933)

I'm pretty sure they're just banning interstate trade. No one can stop you from starting a manufacturing plant in your state to sell in-state...

Re:This is why they passed the law (2)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920255)

Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942), was a United States Supreme Court decision that recognized the power of the federal government to regulate economic activity.

A farmer, Roscoe Filburn, was growing wheat for on-farm consumption. The U.S. government had established limits on wheat production based on acreage owned by a farmer, in order to drive up wheat prices during the Great Depression, and Filburn was growing more than the limits permitted. Filburn was ordered to destroy his crops and pay a fine, even though he was producing the excess wheat for his own use and had no intention of selling it.

The Supreme Court interpreted the United States Constitution's Commerce Clause under Article 1 Section 8, which permits the United States Congress "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes". The Court decided that Filburn's wheat growing activities reduced the amount of wheat he would buy for chicken feed on the open market, and because wheat was traded nationally, Filburn's production of more wheat than he was allotted was affecting interstate commerce. Thus, Filburn's production could be regulated by the federal government.

As the Court explained in Gonzales v. Raich (2005):

        "Wickard thus establishes that Congress can regulate purely intrastate activity that is not itself 'commercial', in that it is not produced for sale, if it concludes that failure to regulate that class of activity would undercut the regulation of the interstate market in that commodity."

Re:This is why they passed the law (2)

OpieTaylor (144173) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920049)

Attila: you tell 'em! It's damned gobmint conspiracy! Next thing you know they'll make us have gay marriages!

Re:This is why they passed the law (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39920145)

It's so that LIEBERALS can use LED lights to lighten up their ABORTION HOUSES and FORCED STERILIZATION CAMPS where they will destroy white people.

1000lm ~ 100W incandescent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39919593)

A compact fluorescent 23W lamp typically produces about 1000lm and is equivalent to a 100W (non-halogen) incandescent, so either this LED lamp is equivalent to a 170W incandescent lamp or it doesn't produce 1700lm. What is it?

Re:1000lm ~ 100W incandescent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39919805)

or the light has a poor spectral distribution and and though you're getting the lumens, it's only as "bright" as a 100W bulb. What I really want to see is that they flicker less than CFLs.

Re:1000lm ~ 100W incandescent (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919941)

You cannot see the flicker of CFLs, they flicker at 40,000 cycles per second. It is not possible for a human to see that. You are a liar and a bad person.

Re:1000lm ~ 100W incandescent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39919869)

Sylvania & Philips 100 Watt incandescents are typically 1500-1700 lumens (at 1000 life-hours).
The longer-life (5000 life-hours) versions are the ones that are around 1000 lumens.
See: http://www.1000bulbs.com/category/100-watt-standard-shape-light-bulbs/ [1000bulbs.com]

24W for equivalent of 100W light? (4, Interesting)

Gary Franczyk (7387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919611)

I have fluorescent lights that use pretty much exactly the same amount of power to output 100W equivalent of light. And those bulbs cost not much more than a buck a piece. What exactly does these provide to me for $30?

Re:24W for equivalent of 100W light? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39919677)

Debt. After you've paid $30 you still owe substantially more. Remember, the header said "well over $30".

Re:24W for equivalent of 100W light? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39919695)

^ I echo the above.

100W output using only 23W is exactly what most CFL bulbs produce.

Sure, LED has the advantage of being Mercury-free and having an arguably longer lifetime, but with such an exuberant price difference, I'd expect the LED variant to have the same light output while utilizing a decent amount less electricity for it to be worthwhile.

Re:24W for equivalent of 100W light? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919945)

Given that both the CFL and the white LED are pumping a phosphor glob, it probably isn't an accident that their efficiency(and range of available color temperatures) is somewhat similar.

Re:24W for equivalent of 100W light? (4, Informative)

Albanach (527650) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919703)

I think the primay advantages are supposed to be color temperature (2700K so very similar to the light from an incandescent) and lifespan. It's also dimmable which is still quite a big issue with CFL bulbs.

All in all, it's fairly expensive but does address what are probably the three biggest complaints about CFLs for use in the home.

Re:24W for equivalent of 100W light? (2, Informative)

pscottdv (676889) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919861)

I think the primay advantages are supposed to be color temperature (2700K so very similar to the light from an incandescent) and lifespan. It's also dimmable which is still quite a big issue with CFL bulbs.

All in all, it's fairly expensive but does address what are probably the three biggest complaints about CFLs for use in the home.

Please... $16.99 buys you three, dimmable, 2700k, 24W, 100W equivalent CFL bulbs. So I'm going to spend an extra $30 per bulb to save one watt?

http://menards.com/main/lighting-fans/light-bulbs/fluorescent/24-watt-dimmable-2700k-spiral-bulb-multi-pak-3-bulb-box/p-1738410-c-6337.htm [menards.com]

Kewl factor (1)

Latent Heat (558884) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919909)

Early adopter.

Re:24W for equivalent of 100W light? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39919961)

Dimming with CFL's is still a problem, even with "dimmable" ones; they don't dim much, the one's I've tried go to about 60% or so and then completely off. Dimmable LED's I've tried are much, much better and can dim to a much lower level. Not to mention LED's come on at full brightness; modern CFL's aren't bad at all, but there is still a slight delay to get full brightness. I also find LED colors much more pleasing.

Re:24W for equivalent of 100W light? (1)

Albanach (527650) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920165)

Thanks - I forgot to mention the instant on factor.

Try using a CFL as a porch light in winter. It's okay, it'll reach full brightness by March.

Re:24W for equivalent of 100W light? (1)

serialband (447336) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920175)

CFLs don't dim as much as an incandescent. I left a single incandescent along with 3 fluorescents in a chandelier and the fluorescents stay quite bright at the lowest dimmable setting.

It's good to have early adopters. When prices come down on the LEDs, everyone will be using them and CFLs and incandescents will no longer be relevant. I can imagine LEDs surpassing the current lumens/watt in the future, but can't see incandescents or fluorescents catching up. Fluorescents have had the same basic lumens/watt for decades, but LEDs have already caught up.

Re:24W for equivalent of 100W light? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919963)

So that horrible yellowish color?
Who the hell wants that? Daylight color or GTFO.

Re:24W for equivalent of 100W light? (5, Informative)

ThePeices (635180) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919705)

"Philips Releases 100W-Equivalent LED Bulb, Runs On Just 23 Watts"

They last longer than a fluro tube, they have no mercury in them, they are way smaller, they are more robust and dont break as easily.

Re:24W for equivalent of 100W light? (3, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919801)

And they don't go "Buzzzzzzzzzzz..."

Re:24W for equivalent of 100W light? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920257)

No more so that a modern fluorescent with electronic balast (ie a T5 bulb or pretty much any namebrand CFL).

Color temperature (2)

Aqualung812 (959532) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919751)

The spectrum from a LED bulb is better than florescent. Many people don't like florescents simple because the color temperature isn't as close to incandescent.

From what I've heard, LED can come in several ranges.

Better explanations: http://www.agreensupply.com/what-is-warm-white-and-natural-daylight-cool-white-color-for-led-light-bulbs/ [agreensupply.com]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_Temperature#Lighting [wikipedia.org]

All that said, that is worth maybe $5 to me, but not $30.

Re:Color temperature (2)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920147)

The spectrum from a LED bulb is better than florescent.

That is not a certainty. Some LEDs have a better spectrum than some fluorescents, with other models, it's the other way around.

The spectrum depends basicaly on the selection of phosphour on both lamps. Fluorescent are better tested, thus the cheaper ones are usualy better than the cheaper LEDs. When you get into the expensive ones, only God knows.

Re:24W for equivalent of 100W light? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39919777)

>What exactly does these provide to me for $30?

A color spectrum that isn't the horrible blue white glare that comes from flourescent lights. Like, duh.

Re:24W for equivalent of 100W light? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39919797)

What exactly does these provide to me for $30?

99.96% less mercury per light. And what little mercury remains is in amalgemized form, rather than freeflowing.

I have LED bulbs that are less than 100W equivalent, but also still more than plenty to illuminate the rooms I have them in. They were something like $10 for a pair a year ago. This100W equivalent is the current stage of "high end proof," it will all get cheaper as the manufacturing gets more refined.

Re:24W for equivalent of 100W light? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919813)

I also recently installed a bunch of 9W Philips LEDs (E27 socket) and by eye I would estimate each one to produce at least as much of light than a 60W incandescent.

Although a 100W incandescent is in reality something like 1000..1200lm, not 1700lm like the article says. So the LED should be quite efficient after all. It looks funky, too.

Re:24W for equivalent of 100W light? (1)

AnotherBlackHat (265897) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920033)

Sylvania claims their 100 watt Incandescent A19 Bulb, softwhite, is 1750 Lumens, and frankly, they should know.

Re:24W for equivalent of 100W light? (2)

OhPlz (168413) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919835)

The LEDs do go to full brightness even if the ambient room temperature is low. Probably not a huge issue for most people, but I don't crank the heat in the winter and even the latest and greatest CFLs still take a while to get to full brightness. They switch on and off so fast it's trippy.

Re:24W for equivalent of 100W light? (1)

CubicleZombie (2590497) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920131)

If I'm going in and out of my basement laundry/utility room, I just leave the lights on all the time because I'm sick of waiting for the CFL's to warm enough that I can see. So they end up on for whole weekends at a time. Sometimes convenience is more important than efficiency.

It would be great if somebody could invent an inexpensive light bulb that went to full brightness instantly, even if it used more electricity during the short time it was in use. Maybe something with a heated incandescent filament instead of a fluorescing gas. I would buy something like that if it was available.

Re:24W for equivalent of 100W light? (1)

serialband (447336) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919887)

Then, it's not for you. It's for the early adopters that like the coolness factor, or for those people that don't want to get their 20 foot ladder or scissor lift to reach the light up in the cathedral ceiling. There are places where the $60 is worthwhile when you consider the cost of paying for maintenance. They'll help pay their early premium which helps the company recoup some of the costs while they find ways to make it cheaper.

Fluorescent lights last maybe 2 years, if left continuously on, while these last 20 with some reduced lumens later in life. Brownouts and voltage spikes also kill fluorescents quite quickly. I used to lose fluorescents more frequently until they finally replaced the line transformer, when it failed catastrophically, to handle the extra load of my neighbors' air conditioner units.

Re:24W for equivalent of 100W light? (3, Insightful)

Darth Snowshoe (1434515) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919971)

The price of the bulb is, unsurprisingly, like just about everything else, related to the number of bulbs produced and sold. If you bought a one-off handmade automobile, it would cost a lot more, even if it performed exactly the same as a stock car that rolled off a manufacturing line.

Over time, as more of these bulbs are produced, the price per item is going to come down. Phillips doesn't want to subsidize the price of the early bulbs (to take the risk that they'll never sell enough of them to back out the cost of the subsidy), so they're pricing them to cost, apparently. I'm sure its dawned on Phillips that a $30 light bulb is not going to be an easy sell. I'd bet that the pricing also indicates that they don't expect a consumer with a house full of these would need to replace them very often.

It's not some kind of socialist plot. It's business.

Re:24W for equivalent of 100W light? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920037)

Think not what these lights can provide to you.
Think what you can provide to Phillips.

Re:24W for equivalent of 100W light? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39920121)

I have fluorescent lights that use pretty much exactly the same amount of power to output 100W equivalent of light. And those bulbs cost not much more than a buck a piece. What exactly does these provide to me for $30?

Prove what you have said.

Didn't think so.

Re:24W for equivalent of 100W light? (1)

silverhalide (584408) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920211)

The lifetime is the primary benefit for now - Fluorescent tubes last 7000-10000 hours. These guys are rated at 30,000+ hours.

For commercial users, this is huge. The largest cost is usually not the bulb itself, but the labor in changing the bulb, especially if the bulb is in a hard-to-reach area.. In the case of CFLs, properl bulb disposal is a problem for environmentally-conscious companies.

The other benefit is that fluorescent tube fixtures (ignoring CFLs for a second) tend to be more expensive up front because of the ballasts. LED bulbs provide some advantages there. You also get some more lighting options as LEDs are closer to point sources than fluorescent tubes which gives you some interesting options in how you direct the light. So, you can use these in ways that you wouldn't be able to use fluorescent tubes.

There may also be a better color rendering advantage on these latest LEDs over fluorescent, but not sure on that one. Physical hardiness is another benefit - these will be far more effective in cold environments and will tolerate shock/vibration much better than fluorescents do.

But yeah, if you're just lighting the garage, might want to stick with your tubes for the short term.

Re:24W for equivalent of 100W light? (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920279)

most LEDs last longer than CFLs. Unless you buy rather expensive CFLs, they will last ~1 years if they are left on 24x7. Sadly, the cheap LEDs cost about $4-5 and last 1-2 years. To be fair, if you are going to buy cheap junk, then at this time, skip all of the LED and stick with CFLs.

Now, if you are looking to save money over a 10-30 year period, then go with a DECENT LED bulb. Few of the bulbs that you buy are decent. Buy a phillips (made with phillips LEDs), or better yet, buy a switch (which has solved the heat issue).

Cfls are just as good (1)

noh8rz3 (2593935) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919643)

Cfls already get 50-70 lumens per watt, so I don't see why I should get out of my seat for a $60 led at does the same. Kind of a straw man to compare them to incandescents, when obviously the most relevant comparison is against fluorescents. IMHO, the best use of LEDs is as a built in light source for particular uses. If you're putting a bulb in a socket anyways, then there's no benefit over cfls.

Like to see them in smaller sizes (2)

Latent Heat (558884) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919731)

I would like to see something that gets 50+ lumens per watt in a smaller size -- there are all kinds of applications, track lighting, accent lights, night lights where one could use a high-energy efficiency in a lower wattage lower lumens bulb.

The LEDs I have seen in the small sizes are just pi$$ weak. Compact fluorescents get less energy efficient in the smaller sizes, but I am thinking that since the big light bulbs have multiple LEDs, that you could get high efficiency at the low wattage end?

LEDs seem to have a directivity to them where they are more efficient as a spotlamp where a compact fluorescent has losses to the reflector whereas an LED seems to be less efficient as an area light, since it seems to want to throw its light in a cone anyway. One should play to the advantages of the particular tech.

Re:Like to see them in smaller sizes (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919837)

Makes me wonder why Cree [wikipedia.org] hasn't released a light bulb yet. According to wikipedia, they can do 208 lumens per watt. I've seen some flashlights that use them, and they are blindingly bright. Even a couple AA batteries are enough to give more light than a car headlamp. Quite amazing if you've ever seen them.

Re:Cfls are just as good (1)

Dixie_Flatline (5077) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919929)

Well, for one thing, LEDs are more robust. From the point of view of fragility, I think that's pretty obvious.

I believe that LED bulbs are okay in dimmer switch controlled sockets. I have an LED bulb, and I use it in a socket that seems to react very strongly to power fluctuations in my apartment. The CFL bulbs I've used in there make a terrible noise and really don't seem happy with it.

I don't know if the quality of light is any different, but that's not really technology dependent, per se.

not for the average consumer (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39919661)

The ROI on these for average residential use is just way too high. Many people just do not use enough energy to make those worth the cost.

Re:not for the average consumer (1)

bored_engineer (951004) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920209)

If the ROI is too high, you can always just burn the extra green.

Free Headache Included! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39919679)

As much fun as flicker-vision is I'll keep buying cheap glowing wires...

What about the cheaper LEDs already out? (1)

jdbannon (1620995) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919799)

I don't understand this hype. I can /almost/ see how you'd want this in a few situations over CFL, but how can it possibly compete with the competing bulbs from LG and GE that are in the $10~20 range with pretty equivalent specs?

Re:What about the cheaper LEDs already out? (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920227)

LG and GE are pure junk. They are made with poor quality material and do not put out the lumens that they claim. GE actually does not make bulbs. They are paid for their labels. A number of chinese manufacturers are producing these and paying x amount of money to GE to put their label on them. In fact, you can get 2 boxes of bulbs with same outer package and the bulbs are PHYSICALLY different.

I avoided all this... (2)

Xandrax (2451618) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919807)

..by stockpiling 300 100w incandescent light bulbs. By the time I run out of those, a suitable, and cheaper, replacement for 100W incandescent bulbs should be available.

Re:I avoided all this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39919877)

Meanwhile you are helping to destroy the Earth. But you saved a few bucks I guess. Maybe you can use that money to fill up your SUV.

Re:I avoided all this... (3, Insightful)

Xandrax (2451618) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920071)

On the flip side, I don't have to worry about having a substance in my house that has cleanup recommendations that involve a hazmat suit. How much mercury do you think has been tossed into landfills by now? I'll give you a hint:

"According to www.lightbulbrecycling.com, each year an estimated 600 million fluorescent lamps are disposed of in U.S. landfills, amounting to 30,000 pounds of mercury waste. Astonishingly, that's almost half the amount of mercury emitted into the atmosphere by coal-fired power plants each year. It only takes 4mg of mercury to contaminate up to 7,000 gallons of freshwater, meaning that the 30,000 pounds of mercury thrown away in compact fluorescent light bulbs each year is enough to pollute nearly every lake, pond, river and stream in North America (not to mention the oceans)."

You can Google many more articles questioning the environmental wisdom of using CFL's.

If your concern is the environment, you should be a lot less fanatical against incandescent light bulbs for that reason, not to mention the fact that the manufacturing of CFL's has a much bigger environmental footprint, as well.

Re:I avoided all this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39920205)

CFL? This is LED we are talking about, not CFL. No google required. I'm glad you sunk $300 into stockpiling lightbulbs. That makes a lot of sense.

Re:I avoided all this... (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919927)

comedy aside, 300 bulbs would last you pretty much a lifetime...

Re:I avoided all this... (3, Insightful)

joggle (594025) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920137)

Using those 300 bulbs isn't free, unless for some reason you don't have to pay the power bill.

At .12 cents per kWh and a lifetime of 750 hours per bulb, it would cost you about $2,700 to use them. Tack on a cost of $1 per bulb, and you pay a total of about $3,000.

To get 750 * 300 hours of 100 W equivalent, you would only need about 12 of the LED bulbs. The cost of running them for that many hours would be $621. The article doesn't say how much the bulbs will cost, just more than $30. Let's double it to $60, then the cost of those 12 bulbs would be $720. You would end up paying a total of $1,321 for what would have cost $3,000 with incandescents, a savings of almost $1,700.

So it's your choice, either pay nothing down while paying more in the future, or pay more now but more than make up for it eventually.

An optical question... (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919843)

All these relatively small LED lights are using a phosphor layer, pumped by either a blue or UV diode or diodes, to generate something resembling reasonably white light. The phosphor step gives them much lousier efficiency compared to their monochromatic counterparts, which don't have that additional step eating photons.

I am assuming that they do this, rather than using arrays of multiple colored LEDs matched to add up to 'white', because of the difficulty of getting suitably even mixing, weird color fringes, and the like. Does anybody know what would be needed(either advances in LED fabrication, or minimum size/complexity requirements for a light fixture) to make the multiple-colors-mixed approach viable?

Re:An optical question... (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920181)

You'd need to mix near a hundred different types of LEDs, with different currents going into each of them. Also, some of those LEDs you must mix aren't currently made by anybody.

Re:An optical question... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39920229)

LEDs without phosphor are monochromatic, as in "one wavelength". That's really useful if you need a backlight for a screen, but in a room light you want a mixture of all visible wavelengths, ideally resembling a "black body" spectrum at a given temperature (2700K for lightbulb-yellowish light). If you mix just three wavelengths instead, you can get perfectly white looking light, but only if you look directly into the light or if the light is reflected by a surface that happens to reflect these three wavelengths evenly. Many colors will look "off" under RGB lighting. That's because the perceived color is three integrals over the product of the emitted light, the reflectivity and the sensitivity at each frequency. If you multiply most reflectivity by zero, because your RGB light emits only a few wavelengths, you don't see the right color.

Re:An optical question... (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920235)

Multi color mixing generally makes for very poor lighting. Looking at the light source itself you will see "white", but refracted light off any surface will make the colors seem completely out of whack.

Re:An optical question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39920249)

One problem is that LEDs are directional. They make good spot lights but are not so good in lamps where the bulb is pointing up. It lights up the ceiling much more than lamp shade or the table. Exciting the phosphor produces a more spherical light like a regular bulb. Even aquarium fixtures where the light is pointing down use diffuser lenses to spread the light out.

Energy usage matches CFL... but other properties? (1)

stomv (80392) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919949)

So why not just get a CFL? In general, it's probably not worth it. But if:

1. there's a high cost to change the bulb [ladder, scaffolding, or left required], additional lifetime is extremely valuable;
2. the color is different and that matters to you;
3. the warm-up time and process is different and that matters to you; and/or
4. the fragility or hazardous materials in a CFL is a concern,

then LED might be the way to go. I don't think that Philips nor other manufacturers are expecting a large-scale consumer switch from CFL to LED at these prices, but for the prices to get lower than these prices they need more research and more manufacturing experience, so they might as well bring 'em to market now and get the process started.

led vs cfl (2)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39919979)

For me the problem is using the bulbs with a dimmer. CFL's DO NOT DIM. Period! Even the so called dimable ones simply drop in output maybe 30-40% then flicker and go out. If you have a multi bulb fixture the CFL's don't dim together and usually go out at different settings. In the rooms of my house that require dimable fixtures I have to use incandecents. If the LED bulbs will dim with standard dimmers (I use X10 switches than can be remote controlled) I would consider switching to them. At some point I will try the 75watt LED bulbs in the bedroom or maybe the 60w ones in the family room and see if they work with dimmers. (If they don't they will go back to HomeDepot for a refund!). The LED bulbs should also be more vibration proof than CFL's so they can be used in ceiling fan fixtures.

Philips 17-watt (75 w, incandescent lumen equiv.) (1)

twocentplain (2169370) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920001)

I bought a Philips AmbientLED 17-Watt (75W) A21 Light Bulb over a year ago for $39 at Home Depot. The 17-watt puts out 1100 lm,, which is 64.7 lumens/watt, so the new bulb is more efficien at 73.0 lm/w. That good.

Still, it's too expensive to replace all the bulbs in my house. I used this on a hard to reach, heavily used tracklight fixture where the cost is appropriate given the pain of using a 20-ft ladder to replace the bulb every six months.

Uhhh... at WHAT price that is? (1)

Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920045)

I could buy a normal light-bulb for about $0,20 in the local supermarket... I just can not imagine that this is a good deal... ...Even if it does mean that the Arctic will lose an ice cube or two less...

Re:Uhhh... at WHAT price that is? (4, Informative)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920273)

As others have noted, you're forgetting the cost to power the bulb. Standard incandescent lasts 1000 hours, the LEDs should last 10K (some claim 20K, but we'll go with the lower figure). So for a 100W equivalent, you buy 10 incandescents for 20 cents a piece, or $2. Let's say the LED costs $60.

Next up is the cost of power. Over 10K hours, the incandescents consume 100W * 10K hrs = 1Mwh (1000 Kwh). The LED consumes 23W * 10K hrs = 230 Kwh. At 10 cents per Kwh (I pay about 12 cents; prices in the U.S. range from 8-25 cents), that's $100 to power the incandescents. And $23 to power the LED.

  • LED total cost = $60 to buy + $23 to power = $83 over total lifespan
  • Incandescent total cost = $2 to buy + $100 to power = $102 over total lifespan (plus whatever cost you assign to the hassle of changing bulbs 10x as often)

That said, a fluorescent would get roughly the same power cost as the LED, and cost less than a tenth what the LED costs up front. But they're not well-suited to dimmable fixtures, they require special disposal, and they frequently have a delay before they reach full brightness (and some claim they get less "natural" light). If none of that bothers you, then go with fluorescents. But if it does, then your fallback option would be the LED, which is cheaper over its lifespan than even 20 cent incandescents.

60 Hz Flicker? (2)

troylanes (883822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920051)

I recently put some rather expensive LED bulbs in my fridge (long story...) Anyhow, reaching in and pulling anything out freaks me out due to the flicker... it's like a strobe light or an old CRT... Is there a DC converter or are they still hitting the LEDs with raw AC?

Re:60 Hz Flicker? (2)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920193)

All LED bulbs have DC converters. My guess is that you bought some GE or Chinese junk. It simply will not last long. Do not waste your money on that. The Phillips and even better the Switch Light Bulbs, are the way to go.

Re:60 Hz Flicker? (1)

cruff (171569) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920247)

I've seen bright LED holiday lights that used a half wave rectifier scheme and they flickered badly at 60 Hz. I refused to use those types inside on the tree because it would drive me batty with them flickering in my peripheral vision. The better ones use a full wave rectifier and you get 120 Hz flickering, which may be tolerable for most people. The intensity of the light source affects the frequency at which the flicker will disappear, and this will also vary for different people. When I built a "dawn simulator" alarm clock using a bunch of white LEDs, I ended up doing the PWM dimming at about 200 Hz to avoid the flickering at lower light levels.

I have several of the Philips 60w equiv (5, Informative)

CFD339 (795926) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920081)

So far, none of the Philips "Ambient LED" bulbs I've purchased has failed. I have several, in 40 and 60 watt equiv. The 60's (around 850 lumins) are not the latest prize winners, but are still quite efficient.

I --HATE-- the CFL bulbs. I have found them to be unreliable as well as uncomfortable to use for reading or working. These new LED bulbs, however, have a very nice color to them, a fairly wide spectrum, virtually no flicker at all, and as I said -- so far, I have yet to have one fail.

I actually prefer these new ones to incandescent bulbs for reading and lighting a room -- I would never have said that for any form of CFL or long tube fluorescent.

SWITCH LIGHT BULBS (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920159)

The problem with LEDS (and CFLs) is not the bulbs, but the power converters inside. In every case, they produce a load of heat. One approach for the bigger bulbs is to add in a fan. Of course, many of those are being built by cheap low quality chinese manufacturers. A 10-30 year bulb will last only 1-2 years. IOW, they are PURE JUNK. This ESP. includes the GE bulbs (that are not even produced by GE, but simply re-labeled chinese junk). The phillips at least use Phillips LEDs which are of better quality, but not as good as say Cree.

So, what is the RIGHT approach for this?
Switch light bulb immerses the power in oil and then allows passive cooling. They have multiple patents on this. And will shortly have a 100 w bulb on the market. They are in final testing of it. These use the same Philips LEDs, but the passive cooling will allow this to actually last what is claimed. And all for under $30.

Same efficiency as CF, costs 10x as much (1)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 2 years ago | (#39920219)

I'd be insane to be an early adopter with these, and I wouldn't recommend them to anyone for that reason. Unlike many I have CFs that have lasted for at least 5 years now, and are just as energy efficient as these $60 LEDs. I think I'll wait around for them to be competitively priced. $60 is just too much for a friggin' light bulb.
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