How much money is an average American consumer willing to spend on a state of the art light bulb? The United States government will be launching a new bulb, which is said to be the most energy efficient and will last for 20 years. The idea may seem like a dream come true, but the downside is that it’ll sell for a tidy $60 a piece.
The bulb was made after the government launched a $10 million prize competition with rigorous requirements in 2007 to find a replacement for the incandescent 60 watt bulb. What is interesting is that the only contestant for the competition was Dutch manufacturer, Philips, which was therefore declared the winner.
The $60 reveals the cost of the components, particularly the high end diodes that gives off light. Philips, however, is reducing the price to $50 for consumers and is working on pacts with utilities to drop the cost even more, perhaps to as low as $20 or $30. Online consumers, however, will have to shell out $50 for an individual piece as utilities do not subsidize on online sales.
Since the contest specified that the winning bulb should be sold for $22 in the market on its first year, the $60 price tag has created quite a stir since utilities are already offering rebates on products such as compact florescent bulbs to help limit energy use.
The Philips bulb uses just 10 watts of power, which adds up to $8 per year saved in electricity cost, if used for four hours every day. The pricey bulb is also expected to have a life span of at least 30,000 hours. A unique feature that it has that other CFLs don’t is its ability to last three times longer and in the process, give off more natural looking light. It also doesn’t contain mercury vapor, which can cause injury when the bulb breaks.