The LED bulb being touted by its makers as the “world’s brightest and most energy-efficient” on the market will make its retail debut, fittingly, on Earth Day. The bulb, made by Philips is the esteemed winner of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize (L Prize).
The competition challenged lighting manufacturers to come up with a replacement for the most common energy sucking household bulbs: the 60-watt incandescent light bulb and a PAR 38 halogen incandescent bulb. The bulb Philips came up with was the only one to meet the contest’s lofty requirements. In fact, it was the only entrant. The bulb is said to produce more than 900 lumens of light and is 83 percent more energy efficient than a standard 60-watt bulb.
To put that percentage in perspective, if every incandescent 60-watt bulb in the U.S. was replaced with Philip’s L Prize winning bulb, there would be an electricity savings of 35 terawatt-hours of electricity. In dollars that would mean $3.9 billion saved in one year. And on the emissions level, it would be like removing as many as 4 million cars from the road. Now just imagine the kind of savings that can mean for your home utility bill.
Philips is working with utility companies across the nation to provide rebates to those who buy the bulb. Regional utility companies and efficiency programs such as Cape Light Compact, Efficiency Vermont, Platte River Power Authority in Colorado and Long Island Power Authority will be giving their customers rebates of $15 to $25 off the price of the bulb, dropping the cost to around $25, Philips said.
Along with energy and cost savings, the bulb was also tested for a variety of extreme conditions during the L Prize competition. The bulb was able to endure not only high and low temperatures, but humidity, vibration, various electrical waveforms and high and low voltage.