A New Bid for the 100-Watt Light Bulb Market
As the phaseout of incandescent bulbs takes effect, more efficient substitutes are coming to market. Osram Sylvania has announced that it is now selling a light-emitting-diode bulb that emits light equivalent to a 100-watt incandescent. While 100-watt-equivalent L.E.D. spotlights have already been introduced, this is apparently the first bulb-shaped omnidirectional light to enter American stores.
The bulb joins a line of L.E.D. lamps that are meant to replace 40-, 60- and 75-watt incandescents.
Sales volume may not be high at first, though: the suggested retail price is $49.98.
Osram Sylvania, based in Danvers, Mass., says the bulb will save $220 over its life by comparison with an incandescent. But the main competition is probably not an incandescent but a compact fluorescent, which Sylvania itself sells for a little over $3.
To make the same light as a 100-watt incandescent, a compact fluorescent uses 23 watts and an L.E.D. uses 20. But the L.E.D. has a longer life — around 25,000 hours — meaning businesses will that have to spend less money on dispatching workers with ladders to change bulbs. That may make it attractive in commercial use. It works well in the cold, so it is suitable for an outdoor fixture. It can work on a dimmer, and its bulbous shape may give it consumer appeal.
The light color is closer to incandescent, too. And all fluorescent bulbs use at least some mercury, which is toxic. L.E.D.s do not.
A ban on the manufacture of 100-watt incandescent bulbs was supposed to take effect at the beginning of this year, but Congress passed a six-month measure to forbid the Energy Department from enforcing it. The measure was recently renewed and now runs until March 2013, although as a practical matter nearly all such manufacturing has stopped anyway.
The manufacture of 75-watt lamps is supposed to end at the end of this year, followed by 60 watts a year after that.
Ikea said a month ago that it would sell only L.E.D.’s and drop compact fluorescents, beginning in 2016. But for now, most of the L.E.D.’s are 40-watt-equivalent or less.
On another front, L.E.D.’s got a foot in the door of tens of thousands of American homes in Sandy’s path in recent weeks in the form of battery-powered lanterns and flashlights.
Ref: The New York Times
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