In the spirit of a tradition that began in 1970, this year’s Earth Day made public the availability of a price reduced LED light bulb that can last as long as 30,000 hours or up to 60 years at an average use of 80 minutes per day. The bulb’s light output is equivalent to a 60 watt incandescent bulb, but with only 16.67 percent of the energy used. The 10 watt LED bulb is manufactured by Royal Philips Electronics and contains no mercury; unlike compact fluorescent bulbs, this makes it a safer bulb both environmentally and in terms of human use.
The LED light bulb made by Philips is also the winner of the U.S. Department of Energy Lighting Prize or “L Prize”. However, according to MSNBC, Philips was also the only entry in the first year of the contest. Nevertheless, according to the DOE, the Philips bulb passed a series of tests designed to test its strength in adverse temperature and electrical conditions in addition to its durability, and longevity. Although the L Prize was awarded in August 2011, the bulb itself did not become available to the market until 2012.
In a Business Wire press release, Philips states it has partnered with several national utility firms to offer rebates of up to $25 per bulb. Additionally per Philips, national savings in the billions of dollars can occur if these types of bulbs are used in mass scale; they also lower greenhouse gas emissions if energy consumption remains constant. Another benefit of LED bulbs noted by MSNBC is they can be installed in sockets attached to light dimmers. Furthermore, according to the International Energy Agency, the cost of LED bulbs is expected to decline as the technology improves and as incandescent bulbs are phased out of the market.
At a cost of $25 per bulb, it would take over two years to recoup the cost of the bulb at an energy cost of 10.99 cents per Kilowatt hour, and if the bulb is used 5.7 hours per day. To illustrate, the cost savings of a 60 watt bulb for 10 hours of use would be 5.8 cents; if the bulb is used for 40 hours per week, it amounts to a savings of .928 cents per month which means it would take 26.94 months to pay off the bulb with those savings. This cost advantage is expedited as the costs of the bulbs decline, and as energy inflation causes the cost of energy to rise after purchasing the LED bulb.