Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 9, 2010 03:45 PM
We all know that incandescent light bulbs haven’t worked out. Costly and inefficient, GE gave up that ghost several years back, and moved their resources and consumer pitches to the land of the LED (light-emitting diode).
The latest announcement is an LED bulb for $50 that guarantees seventeen light years. The problem up until now, in addition to the expense, has been perceptual – the light they shed lacks warmth and cool lighting is not pleasing to the average at home user – accustomed to a warm, incandescent glow.
GE is now betting on the latest LED iteration as a winner. For between $40-$50, GE Energy Smart LED 40-watt bulbs will be on the market by 2011. This bulb offers a 77 percent energy save, will last twenty-five times longer and uses only 9 watts.
And therein lies the rub…who can see by the light of 40 watts? We really need 100 watt bulbs or 60 watt at least. And the added sell-in that the LED replacement bulbs will fit incandescent sockets – should be a given, since buying the new bulbs and replacing the sockets is not an inviting consumer proposition.
Beginning in 2012, U.S. federal lighting efficiency standards will mandate that 100-watt incandescent bulbs can no longer be manufactured. By 2013 – so goes the 75-watt incandescent. And by 2014 – the demise of 60 and 40 watt. As these requirements hit the marketplace, competition to meet those standards will surely bring prices down.
So – let there be light – and let it be from a warm, efficient, reasonably priced LED.