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GREEN HOMES

An LED Bulb Under $10?

A bulb that could save hundreds of dollars can now be found at one-quarter its original retail price.

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philips led 60 watt replacement light bulb

By Dan Shapley

A bulb that not long ago retailed for $45 can now be had for under $10 (three pennies under $10, but still...)

Philips says its LED bulb costs just over one dollar year to operate, and could last 20 years, making it a bargain for the long haul even at $45. But the sticker price has suppressed sales, and now consumers can get one for under $10, through a partnership with Home Depot.

The sticker on the Philips 11-watt A19, a replacement for a standard 60-watt incandescent bulb, will drop from about $25 to $17, and utility rebates now being offered around the country can bring that down below $10. And even in areas where utilities don't offer rebates, the retail price will drop to about $11, Philips says.

Update: The Philips bulb isn't the only LED available for under $10. Cree 's A-19 bulb, which looks like an incandescent and is compatible with most dimmer switches, costs under $10, too.

A few years ago, the Department of Energy selected the Philips 60-watt LED bulb replacement as the winner of it's L Prize, a $10 million initiative to identify next-generation energy efficient light bulbs that meet a strict set of quality guidelines.

If every 60-watt incandescent bulb in America was replaced with a Philips LED, we'd save $3.9 billion in electricity costs in the first year, according to the Department of Energy. Because power plants, especially those that burn coal, produce so much of the nation's greenhouse gas pollution, making such a switch would also reduce carbon emissions significantly.

According to the Department of Energy, switching a single bulb will save the typical homeowner 36.5 kilowatt hours of electricity a year, with at the national average of 12-cents per kwh, equals a savings of $4.38. To pay for itself, then, the bulb would pay for itself in about two and a half years.


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