The U.S. Department of Energy recently challenged the brightest minds in the light bulb industry to develop high performance, energy-saving replacements for traditional incandescent light bulbs, with an eye towards cash savings for the American public. Now Phillips Lighting North America has been the winner of this challenge, known as the L-Prize, for its LED light bulb.
The L Prize competition was launched in 2008 to target the ever-so-popular 60-watt bulb, which represents roughly half of the domestic incandescent light bulb market. According to Philips, if every 60-watt incandescent bulb in the U.S. was replaced with its 10-watt L Prize winner, the nation would save about 35 terawatt-hours of electricity, or $3.9 billion in one year, avoiding 20 million metric tons of carbon emissions.
The winning bulb excelled in both short- and long-term performance testing carried out by independent laboratories and field assessments conducted with utilities and other partners, and met a key competition requirement by demonstrating a useful life more than 25,000 hours (as compared with 1,000 to 3,000 hours for various examples of the 60-watt incandescent).
Thanks to this product development, Philips will take the $10 million cash prize and enjoy various L Prize partner promotions and incentives. (The DOE is serious about this innovation reaching the public, as 31 utilities and energy efficiency program partners have signed on to promote and develop markets for the bulb.) The Philips L Prize-winning 60-watt equivalent LED bulb is expected to hit the shelves as soon as early 2012.