How much would you pay for a light bulb?
On Tuesday, I stopped at a local hardware store to buy a new light bulb for our outdoor motion lights above our garage doors. The fixture has two bulbs, but only one has been lit. I figure I’m saving energy if we don’t have to keep both lighted.
I picked out a General Electric floodlight with a spiral interior that uses 26 watts and cost about $7. It’s guaranteed to last six years. It has an Energy Star rating and supposedly will save $64 over its lifetime compared to using four 90-watt Halogen bulbs.
OK, but it contains mercury, and the package listed a website for details about proper disposal. Besides, it doesn’t give off much light, though it supposedly turns brighter after a brief warm-up. Typically, the floodlight is only on a short time. I might have to buy a second bulb for the other socket. I’d still be further ahead, however, than paying the energy costs for two traditional bulbs.
Later Tuesday I read an Associated Press story about a new “amazing” light bulb. It will go on sale Sunday, Earth Day, at Home Depot and other outlets. The bulb won a $10 million government contest.
The cost of components, including chips, or diodes, that give off the light makes it pricey. Commercial customers will pay $60, but the maker, Philips, will discount it to $50 for consumers. Philips also is working on deals with utilities to discount it further, by as much as $20 or $30, the story said.
This LED bulb uses just 10 watts, meaning it saves about $8 per year in electricity if it’s used four hours per day, the story said. It’s expected to last 20 years—or 30 times longer than an incandescent.
At what price would you bite?