New LED light bulb lasts 20 years, sets you back $60

Scott Tong Apr 23, 2012

Jeremy Hobson: There’s a new lightbulb on the market this morning for the low, low price of… $60.

From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, Scott Tong has the story.


Scott Tong: It’s the Rolls Royce of LEDs, light bulb for the 1 percent — send in your best joke. But first, let’s look under the hood.

The Philips 60-watt LED is a same-size, same-shape replacement for your old-school incandescent. It sips one-sixth the energy, and gets sky-high government ratings for quality of light.

Martine Simard-Normandin is with MuAnalysis in Ottawa.

Martine Simard-Normandin: For reading lamps, it’s rather nice actually, because you like to have the light close to you and your book. With the LED light bulb, there’s no heat.

The new bulb can dim, which may also describe its sales potential. Who’s gonna buy it?

Simard-Normandin: People like me who are very, very curious will buy this. But it’s rather expensive, isn’t it?

Philips claims it saves $8 a year in energy costs, and the bulb’s made to last 20 years — so you can do the math. And for now, the maker is knocking off $10, down to just $50.

Not an early adopter? Sit back. Simard-Normandin says in a couple years, prices will plummet.

I’m Scott Tong for Marketplace.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.