I saw the Philips Dimmable LED bulb, Philips EnduraLED A19 Dimmable LED Lamp, at a trade show last week and I was very impressed. Philips highlights the features of this bulb on their website:
- Smooth dimming to 10% of full light levels
- Instant-on light
- Emits virtually no UV/IR light in the beam
- Available in 2700K color temperature
- 25,000 hour rated average life
- Mimic light profile of a standard incandescent A19 lamp
- Will not fade colors, avoids inventory spoilage
- Contains no mercury
- 3-Year warranty period
At the show there was another lighting rep selling lighting controls, and they used a wireless dimmer to dim the Philips LED bulb and it looked great. I spoke to the Philips rep and he said the price range should be between $30-$40 a bulb. This fact was backed up by Light Bulbs USA, which is selling the bulb for $34.00.
In my Lighting Cost Comparison post I compared an incandescent, CFL, and LED and showed how much each type of light bulb would cost initially and to operate over a ten-year lifetime. I've adjusted those calculations taking into account the new Philips bulb and you can see the results below. With this lighting calculator you can adjust some of the values (cells in yellow) yourself and even save it as an excel spreadsheet.
The winner over a ten-year lifetime and an on-time of 4 hours per day is the CFL. But many people are opposed to the mercury and lighting characteristics of the CFL. I've heard many complaints about light quality and the time it takes CFLs to come up to full light output. With that said, I've been very happy with the CFLs that I use from Home Depot. But here's the great news if you don't want to use CFLs: LEDs are coming down in price and are much better than incandescents!
Inserting the Philips LED in the cost calculator and taking into account my assumptions, using an incandescent bulb would cost over $90 (for the cost of the bulbs and electricity over 10 years at 4 hours of on-time a day). The LED would cost just $44! You would need 10 incandescent bulbs over those ten years, but you would only need 1 LED! The payback of an LED in this situation is a little over 4 years. If you leave the light in comparison on for longer than 4 hours a day your payback is going to be that much better.
Let's face it: You are running out of excuses as to why you are still using incandescent bulb technology developed around the turn of last century!
Get off your butt and go buy some new energy saving lights!