It just seemed yesterday it was such a big deal to switch over from traditional incandescent bulbs over to energy saving CFL options. But we always thought CFLs were a stopgap solution, in the same way Blu-ray is to digital downloads. The lighting technology we wanted to move over to was LED bulbs, which provides better spectrum lighting, up to 25,000-hour rated life, and no mercury concerns. GE is about to release a bulb which inches us closer to these now-specialty bulbs being a common household purchase.
The GE Energy Smart LED bulb was unveiled recently, with announcements of consumer release for later this year or early 2011. Specs of the LED bulb include:
- Expected to consume just 9 watts—compared with 40-watt incandescent/halogen or 10-watt CFL, while delivering nearly the same light output
- Expected 25,000-hour rated life—will last 17 years (4 hours per day), which is 25 times longer than a general service 40-watt incandescent or halogen bulb and more than 3 times longer than a standard 8,000-hour rated life CFL
- LED technology delivers the instant full brightness of an incandescent or halogen bulb;
- Durable solid-state design with no filament to break
- Contains no mercury and will be RoHS compliant
- Feels cooler to the touch than CFLs and far cooler than incandescent bulbs.
The 9-watt LED bulb is designed to replace a 40-watt incandescent with retail pricing to hit around $40 to $50. The price still keeps these bulbs out of the reach of everyday buyers, but as anyone who follows this category, the pricing is 1/2-1/3 less than previous pricing just 1-2 years ago, so expect further price drops as manufacturing costs drop with greater production. More details over at GE's Apples to Oranges LED site.