Philips' pricey LED bulb has impressive specs

Company's L Prize LED bulb, which will go on sale on Earth Day for $50 online and in stores, brings a big jump in efficiency, life, and light quality.

L Prize LED bulb Philips

Philips on Sunday will start selling an LED bulb that sets a new bar for performance -- and price.

The company will release the Philips L Prize LED on Earth Day for $50, which includes an "automatic incentive" from the company. The general-lighting bulb came out of the Department of Energy's L Prize competition to develop long-lasting, efficient, and less expensive LED lamps.

Philips claims its L Prize LED is the most efficient 60-watt LED equivalent and improves on features from Philips own existing LEDs.

It gives off 940 lumens, consumes 9.7 watts, and has a color rendering index, which is a measure of light quality, of 93. It's also rated to last 30,000 hours, which would be 20 years if used four hours a day. The color temperature is 2700, similar to an incandescent bulb, and it's dimmable.

In terms of price, Philips is offering an "automatic incentive," a discount that takes $10 off the actual price of $60. Other local rebates can bring the cost down to as low as $25. Philips expects it to get the EnergyStar rating.

The bulb is significant in that it is far more efficient than other LED and compact florescent bulbs in the popular 60-watt equivalent category. At 96 lumens per watt, the L Prize LED is about 50 percent more efficient than Philips' AmbientLED.

The color rendering index is also significantly higher and -- to people with discerning eyes -- should be a noticeable improvement in light quality.

To design and manufacture such a bulb, however, leads to a $60 price tag, much more than people pay for other lighting technologies and higher than the DOE L Prize price target of $22. Philips' existing 60-watt replacement costs between $25 and $30.

Online reviewers who have purchased LED bulbs are generally happy with the performance and willing to pay a higher upfront cost for the energy savings over time. Philips estimates the L Prize bulb will save $165 over its lifetime.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

HOT ON CNET

Love heavy and clunky tablets?

Said no one ever. CNET brings you the lightest and thinnest tablets on the market.