Light bulb with 20-year life unveiled in US on Earth Day

A PRIZE-WINNING, super-energy-saving LED bulb from Dutch electronics giant Philips said to last over 20 years went on sale Sunday to coincide with Earth Day.

The bulb that won the US Department of Energy’s “Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize” was available from retailers for $50 ($A48), down from an initial $60 price tag. The company said it was planning discounts to bring the cost down to as little as $25.

The 10-watt LED bulb (light-emitting diode) was deemed an efficient alternative to the standard 60-watt incandescent bulb, and rated to last 30,000 hours – when used four hours a day, that translates to a more than two-decade life span, according to the company.

For consumers attentive to cost, Philips said the price tag was easily offset by energy savings of $165 over its lifetime.

The new bulb, which gives off 940 lumens, a soft white light is: “83 per cent more energy efficient than the standard 60-watt incandescent,” said Philips’ North America executive Ed Crawford in announcing upcoming rebates.


Incandescent bulbs are power-sucking classics being phased out in countries around the world, replaced by energy-efficient CFL versions containing toxic mercury that make them hazardous to toss in the rubbish.

Philips’ omni-directional bulb, which contains no mercury, began life as the sole entrant to the US government competition seeking ways to replace the common light bulb, and was submitted in 2009 after 18 months of testing.

LED bulbs face competition from compact fluorescent lights that approach seek similar efficiency levels, and cost far less.


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