According to Troy Wolverton writing in the SJ Mercury News on 6/29/10, a new generation of LED light bulbs is starting to hit store shelves. Here are some of the upcoming options he highlights:
Philips: Plans to introduce a 60-watt replacement bulb in the fourth quarter this year. The EnduraLED bulb is expected to cost about $60 apiece but will run at 12 watts and is expected to last 25,000 hours. (A typical 60W incandescent bulb is rated to last about 1000 hours.)
Lighting Science Group: Plans to launch a 60-watt replacement bulb in its Definity line in the third quarter this year. The bulb is expected to be priced at less than $35 apiece and will run at 9 watts.
Pandigital: Bay Area company plans to begin selling an odd-shaped 40-watt replacement bulb dubbed the Light Engine in the fourth quarter. The bulb consumes 9 watts; the company hasn”t released the price yet.
Home Depot already sells some LED bulbs including the EcoSmart LED 40W Equivalent, priced at $20.
Generally, at this point you would need to carefully compare the original bulb purchase price, how many hours they are expected to perform, and your cost per kWh to run it, in order to calculate if they are worth the extra upfront cost. Of course as more and more are purchased and LED’s become more mainstream, prices will come down. And don’t forget to factor in cost of replacing bulbs in hard to reach locations, especially in commercial applications.
And this from Sam Alpert, engineer with GDS Associates: “Be aware of any LED product that seems like it has a “too good to be true” price. It may be worth it to research it for reviews first as the light quality and color may not be as expected (as I found out by purchasing a $9 – 40 W equivalent from Amazon.com).”