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New Phillips LED bulb excels in energy efficiency

Posted by Woodrow Aames ~ August 18, 2011

Energy efficiency in household lighting continues to advance in the green commercial marketplace. Royal Philips Electronics has launched sales of the world's first light-emitting diode (LED) product designed to replace the conventional 75-watt incandescent bulb. The manufacturer claims that, in using only 17 watts of electricity, the Philips AmbientLED 17 produces 1,100 lumens of light.

The LED bulb, now exclusively offered at Home Depot stores, is the brightest LED replacement bulb on the market. Green Energy News claims that the LED is expected to reduce energy use by 80 percent, while providing a lifespan 25 times longer than those of incandescent 75-watt bulbs. The savings, spread out over the lifetime of the LED, is expected to total $160 in energy savings.

Lighting the way for energy efficiency

According to Phillips, American consumers buy 90 million incandescent bulbs in the 75-watt range annually. Its engineers predict a national cost savings of $630,000,000 a year with the new LED. However, the bulb is not cheap. One will run you around $40. On the plus side, the AmbientLED 17 works well with dimmers, allowing consumers flexibility in their lighting habits.

Lighting experts Polar Ray reported this month Phillips won the 60W-replacement-lamp category for the US Department of Energy (DOE) Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize (L Prize). The prize followed 18 months of DOE evaluations of the Phillips 12.5-watt replacement bulb. The competition requires entrants to create products that provide more than 900 lumens of light output at less than 10W in power consumption. The prize comes with a $10 million award to the winning company.

Cutting into the green lighting marketplace

LEDs Magazine reports that the 60W-replacement category had top developmental priority since some 50 percent of the American lighting outlay is spent on 60-watt incandescent bulbs. Philips and the DOE estimate that the U.S. could save $3.9 billion and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3,255,205 metric tons if consumers switch over to LED alternatives.

Unlike incandescent bulbs, the LED models do not emit UV rays or heat, and won't fade colors in furnishings, rugs and fabrics. The solid-state technology does not employ mercury, either. Given the projected lifespan of the new LED bulbs, the $40 seems like a fair price to pay to cut energy use and reduce emissions.

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