Say hello to your future Light Bulb.

Compact Fluorescent (CFL) bulbs are currently the best way to save money while lighting your home thanks to their low power consumption and long life, but they also require careful handling and disposal due to the mercury they contain. That’s why the next best thing just over the horizon will be LED based lighting. You can already buy some LED bulbs for use in your home, but it’s largely limited to spot lights and other highly directional lighting. What we need is a configuration that includes some sort of diffuser to spread out the light and the folks at Philips now have something that fits the bill:

Philips’ Master LED bulb has the same form factor as the old-fashioned kind, making it “simple for people to use and feel good about using.” The bulb draws just 7 watts but gives off light equivalent to 40 watts’ worth, and lasts 45,000 hours, as opposed to the 1,500 of its incandescent predecessors. Already available in Europe, the Master LED should make its way to North American shores sometime before July.

The good news is that it’s form factor mimics a traditional bulb so it should fit into any lamp/fixture designed for incandescents. The bad news is that initially these things will set you back somewhere between $50 and $70 making outfitting your entire home an expensive proposition. With any luck, however, we’ll see some competition in the market bringing the price down relatively quickly just as it has with the CFLs.

As far as I’m concerned these can’t get here soon enough. The lower energy use and longer life of these bulbs will make having at least a couple in your most-used lamps worthwhile.

6 thoughts on “Say hello to your future Light Bulb.

  1. The form factor mostly. That and the need to have a means of stepping down the power so you don’t blow out the LEDs as soon as you turn it on. LED flashlights are little more than one or more LEDs inline with a couple of batteries. They’re so simple there’s almost no work to them.

  2. Competition is already in progress: a few links for you.

    http://www.x-tremegeek.com/templates/SearchDetail.asp?productID=13113&return=11880&core_cross=SEARCH_DETAIL_CUSTOMER

    http://www.besthomeledlighting.com/all_led_bulbs?gclid=CMjaisTRm5kCFQ4eDQod0DMXDA

    http://www.geobulb.com/products/light-bulbs/savings.aspx

    <--if Philips is coming out with a cheaper bulb this little company isn't going to survive very long with their $100 blub.

    http://www.frogdesign.com/case-study/led-light-bulb-concept.html  <—I don’t think this one is a real product, yet.

  3. Being an engineer in Alaska and with our villages facing the highest energy prices in the country. We have started to look at the replacing commercial fluorescent lighting with LED. In a typical 2’x2’ fixture, the energy savings is about 40% per fixture. With a 6” recessed light the savings is about 33%. With and average rate of $0.47 per kilowatt hour. The annual savings is worth the up-front costs and will pay for the extra money spent in 4 to 6 years on average. This doesn’t include the maintenance savings.

    So, here in AK, we are going LED.

    Raymond

  4. I can’t wait for the price to drop on these…

    BTW, an FYI to everyone, most energy companies give rebates to people who purchase CFLs and LED bulbs. I think you only need to send in the receipt. And you can get rebates for every purchase. Just ask your local company to find out the skinny.

  5. I don’t like the disposal problem with compact flourescents either, but I went ahead and replaced all the lights in my house with them.  If this gets a bit cheaper, I might go for it.

    On the other hand, I can either wait and let my CFs burn out before buying new bulbs (I doubt LED lights are going to get MORE expensive anytime soon) or I can pawn them off on someone so the disposal problem isn’t mine anymore smile

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