LED’s are super long-lived and super efficient–but until now, they’ve also been super expensive. Home Depot wants to change that. According the New York Times Green Blog, the mega-retailer recently announced that it will be offering some of the LED light bulbs in its highly energy-efficient lineup at the low price of just under $20 online. Bricks-and-mortar stores are expected to follow suit in September.
Wait, you say. $20 for a light bulb? This is the affordable price we’ve been waiting for? Well, yes–considering the fact that these bulbs have an average lifespan of 30 years. Think of all the incandescents (and even CFLs) you’d replace during that time. LEDs are also superior to CFLs in that they don’t contain mercury–a crucial element in keeping a “green” light bulb environmentally friendly after it goes to the dump. LED bulbs also have another advantage over CFLs: they emit the bright light we’ve come to expect from a light bulb, similar to an incandescent.
This price reduction flies in the face of what experts have thus far predicted, many of whom, not long ago projected that this cutting-edge new form of energy-efficient lighting wouldn’t dip below $30 a bulb until 2012. (That’s the year when a federal law takes effect requiring that all bulbs sold in the United States be 30 percent more efficient than current incandescent bulbs.)
Home Depot is working with various manufacturers on their affordable LED line-up, including the Lighting Science Group and General Electric. A company Home Depot spokeswoman told the New York Times that the retailer’s proprietary bulbs, sold under the EcoSmart label, are already so popular with consumers that they are having trouble keeping them in stock.