100-watt LED bulb headed for market; will cost about $50
NEW YORK — Sorry to see 100-watt bulbs disappear from stores because they were energy hogs? You can now get LED bulbs that roughly match the 100-watters for size and brightness, but use far less energy.
Until recently, your only alternative was a compact fluorescent bulb, which has several drawbacks compared with light-emitting diodes. Most people see the light quality as less pleasing, and the bulbs contain a small amount of mercury that's released if the glass breaks. LEDs, by contrast, don't contain any volatile, hazardous substances and are durable. They also last longer.
Osram Sylvania, a division of Germany's Siemens AG, said on Monday that it's shipping the first batches of its Ultra LED bulb to some Lowe's stores. The bulb uses 20 watts of electricity and costs $50. It's slightly larger than a regular 100-watt bulb, so it may not fit in all fixtures. Osram claims 25,000 hours of use, or more than 20 times the lifespan of a standard, incandescent bulb.
Competitors aren't far behind. Royal Philips Electronics NV plans to start selling its own, slightly brighter 100-watt-equivalent LED bulb at Home Depot's website starting in a few weeks for about $55. Startup Switch Lighting Bulb Co., with its unusual liquid-filled bulbs, plans to start selling 100-watt equivalents late this year or in January.
The federal government banned the manufacture of regular 100-watt bulbs on Jan. 1 as a consequence of new energy-efficiency standards. Much the way it forces car manufacturers to improve fuel efficiency, the government is forcing the lighting industry to move away from incandescent bulbs because they convert relatively little of the electrical input into light. Most of the energy is dissipated as heat. In the next step, 75-watt bulbs will be banned at the start of next year, and 60-watt and 40-watt bulbs at the start of 2014.
Compact fluorescent bulbs that produce light equivalent to 100-watt bulbs have been available for a few years and cost as little as $4 each.
LEDs are small chips that produce light when current passes through them. In their red and green incarnations, they've been around for decades. Technical breakthroughs in the '90s allowed the manufacture of chips that produce white light.
LED bulbs equivalent to 60-watt bulbs have been available for a few years and cost around $25 each. The problem with making brighter models is that, while LEDs produce less heat than regular bulbs, the heat they do create shortens the lifespan and reduces the efficiency of the chips.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins trade Sutter to Canucks, sign free agent center Fehr
- Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell gets suspension, fine reduced
- 5 face trial in beating of black man in Pittsburgh
- Pitt’s Blair faces court date on DUI charge
- Woman charged with assulting cops in wild Strip District dispute
- Pittsburgh man jailed on theft, assault and drug charges
- Steelers RB Archer trying to catch up after tough rookie season
- Brady’s suspension upheld by Goodell
- Inside the Steelers: Ventrone suffers right ankle injury
- Rising East Liberty out of reach for Pittsburgh’s poor
- Videos spur dozens to protest outside Pittsburgh Planned Parenthood