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LED bulb for general lighting priced below $20

Home Depot is selling an LED bulb bright enough to replace a 40-watt incandescent. Is the $20 threshold enough to entice more people to LEDs?

Is it time to make a move to LED bulbs?

The Home Depot is now offering a 40-watt equivalent LED bulb online for under $20. Spotted by The New York Times, the bulb--made by Lighting Sciences Group and sold under the EcoSmart label--will be available in stores in September.

Lighting Science Group's A19, which puts out as much light as a 40-watt incandescent and uses about eight watts. Lighting Sciences Group

The $20 price tag, which Home Depot has been offering since at least June, won't necessarily open the floodgates to LED replacements of incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs, which still cost far less. But it does make LED more accessible and it will perhaps prompt consumers to consider the lifetime costs of lighting.

Lighting Sciences Group says its dimmable A19 consumes eight watts and puts out between 435 and 570 lumens. Customer reviews on the Home Depot site were positive with regards to the quality of the light. (One person whose bulb blew out posted a negative review.)

In addition to consuming less electricity, LED bulbs are expected to last for 20 years or more and don't contain mercury as compact florescents do. Some LED providers offer recycling services as well. Cooler lights also mean a lighter load for air conditioning systems.

LEDs that produce the same amount of light as a 60 incandescent are just around the corner. Combined with falling prices, that could accelerate LEDs movement into general lighting.

Osram Sylvania expects to be the first to market with its 60-watt equivalent next month, according to a company representative. The price has not yet been announced. Lighting Sciences Group, too, plans to introduce a 60-watt equivalent that consumes nine watts.

Other providers, including Philipsand GE, are working on either 40-watt or 60-watt LED equivalents. The push to LEDs is driven in part by a federal mandate to make bulbs 30 percent more efficient than current incandescent.