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DOE Announces Philips As L Prize Winner 48

JStyle writes "The DOE has officially announced a winner of the L Prize, giving the award to Philips in the 60W Incandescent Bulb replacement category. The goal of the L Prize competition is to 'develop high-quality, high-efficiency solid-state lighting products to replace the common light bulb.' Philips' LED light bulb won using less than 10W of power while claiming a life of greater than 25,000 hours. The light bulb is set to go on sale as early as spring of 2012."
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DOE Announces Philips As L Prize Winner

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  • How many lumens do you get for that 10W?

    • Re:Lumens? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Lunix Nutcase ( 1092239 ) on Friday August 05, 2011 @05:34PM (#37000884)

      The same as the 60W. That was sort of the whole point of the competition. Same light output for lower wattage.

    • Re:Lumens? (Score:4, Informative)

      by JStyle ( 833234 ) on Friday August 05, 2011 @05:37PM (#37000904)
      910 lm []

      "Perhaps because of those tough requirements, only Philips has officially entered the competition thus far – and that was nearly two years ago, back in September 2009. Over the past 18 months, its 910 lm design, which Philips says operates with an efficacy of 93.4 lm/W at a warm-white color temperature of 2727 K and offers a color rendering index of 93, has been put through extensive testing."
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I haven't read the TFA, but I already have a bulb like this. I bought it at Home Depot. It advertises 950 lumens, 25K-hours, and uses 13W (according the box, but 14w according to what's printed on the bulb). It also costs $37, so I only bought 1 to test it out. So what does this new bulb get me?

  • by grimmjeeper ( 2301232 ) on Friday August 05, 2011 @05:32PM (#37000864) Homepage

    How much is a bulb like that going to cost? If it's tens or hundreds of dollars, consumer acceptance will be "less than enthusiastic", considering how cheap a 60W incandescent bulb is. Hopefully it's reasonably priced so people will want to use it.

    • Re:Cost? (Score:5, Informative)

      by jtara ( 133429 ) on Friday August 05, 2011 @05:41PM (#37000930)

      I'm pretty sure this is just an update to the "60W equivalent" Phillips bulbs that Home Depot has been selling for about $30 for some time now. I have several - two in a kitchen overhead fixture, and a couple in cheap "torch" lamps and a couple of Ikea floor lamps. They really have a nice warm color and they dim reasonably well with my Insteon dimmer, though they still don't dim to "architectural" levels (10%). The range of dimming works well in my kitchen though.

      These use UV LEDs. There is a glass envelope which is coated with phosphor on the inside, and the UV light excites the phosphor.

      I just think they tweaked it a bit, as they were already just below the efficiency criteria for the prize.

      • by jtara ( 133429 )

        BTW, at S., California electricity costs, especially if you get thrown into a "tier" a couple of notches above the baseline, this is an economic no-brainer over the lifetime of the bulb, assuming the lifetime really is as stated.

        • by spacey ( 741 )

          That is the hardest part to figure out. Current-generation LEDs have a tendency to flake out because of heat is my understanding.

          • by nwf ( 25607 )

            Heck, CFL bulbs flake out when hot. That's they most of them die, IMHO. I can't keep any going for more than a year. I suspect the bulb itself is OK, but the cheap made in China capacitors and such are just garbage. I hope that's not the case in these bulbs.

            However, I don't really use any 60 W bulbs in my house. All either 100 W or 65 W recessed bulbs. I have some CFL 65 W recessed bulbs that advertise a "short warm up" that's more like 5 minutes to full brightness. Hardly short. (And at least 30 seconds to

            • by Teun ( 17872 )
              Heat is their biggest enemy, when they are enclosed they get too hot and die prematurely.

              I've got two jam pot sized ones, because of their size I put them in quite large standing lamps so they get plenty of air circulation and are getting close to 20 years old.

              • by Adriax ( 746043 )

                Back in the early 90's my grandfather bought a ring style florescent screw in bulb to use in his reading lamp. After he passed on my brothers and I made sure it found a new home (grandpa was rather proud of it, he was a huge techie and loved the new stuff) and it's been getting daily use in my dad's garage even since. 100F+ summers, -20F winters, still going strong.

                Temperature extremes are a factor, but the core issue with CFLs is they're made to be as crappy as possible anymore. Over the years we've amasse

        • by juancn ( 596002 )
          That's true. One thing that worries me and I don't see in lightbulbs performance assessments is the number of on/off cycles. I have a couple of CFLs in the bathroom at home and they fail very often (I've used Philips and GE). Even more often than regular light bulbs. I'm guessing that's because they get turned on and off very often and that makes the starter circuits fail. The fluorescents are fine, but the power stage just dies.
      • They really have a nice warm color

        IMHO, 6000 K daylight is nicer, especially when you need to feel awake. One nice thing about fluorescents and LEDs is that it is possible to emulate a daylight spectrum, in case you prefer it to the urine tone of tungsten filaments.

        OTOH, a continuous blackbody spectrum is generally nicer than the piecewise approximation in fluorescents and LEDs. Some LEDs are particularly annoying with their stark combination of yellow and blue, but at least they keep you awake. There seems to be something about the blue

      • There is a glass envelope which is coated with phosphor on the inside, and the UV light excites the phosphor.

        That's interesting. The brain-dead DOE press release doesn't contain any interesting technical details like that.

    • You can buy 60W equivalents for about $40 right now through Lowes online. I'm using the 40 Watt version, which are only $15 and they're... adequate. I bought 8 and 1 of them wasn't up to snuff (low output).

      After 4 months none of them have failed (even though I cracked one of them - it continues to work) and the difference in my electric bill vs last year is noticeable. I estimate I'll recoup my investment in about 6 months. They also put out very little heat, which counts for a lot in the summer.

      Of cour

      • That's just it. $40 for a light bulb is pretty expensive. It's going to take a lot to convince Joe Sixpack that he needs to buy these instead of dropping less than $1 on an incandescent. You can talk all you want about how quickly you recoup your investment but the average person doesn't care about that (partially because understanding that concept requires thinking). In order to gain widespread acceptance, they're going to have to find a way to bring down the price.

        I know several people who have starte

        • I've friends like that too.

          They're getting light bulbs for Christmas.

        • This is just stupid. Has no one heard of compact florescent? Why does no one even mention them in these discussions. They're cheap and low power already. I've been getting them at $1.50 per bulb at home depot. Instant on and long life (at least I haven't had one go bad on me yet.)

          I don't think LED bulbs have to compete with incandescent, but rather with compact florescent. When you can get something that's 15W for $1.50 why would you get something for 10W for $40? (There are some advantages to LEDs,

          • I dont know about you, but I see plenty of references to CFLs (compact florescent lights) in this thread.
            • The problem was that I kept seeing people compare the LED bulbs to incandescent bulbs. But who's still using incandescents anymore? If you have *any* desire to save power or be green you're using CFLs already because the price is sooo damn cheap. So the market competition isn't between incandescents vs LEDs, but rather CFLs vs LEDs. That's what I was getting frustrated with, too many people pulling up the stupid comparison of incandescents vs LEDs.


              • I have *some* desire to save power, and so I have CFLs installed in my stairways and basement. I have incandescents everywhere else (and am stocking up on them) because I have more desire to be able to dim. CFLs continue to be terrible about it, so I'm hopeful about LEDs. For the most part your point stands, but there are situations in which the comparison to incandescents is apt.
                • by cduffy ( 652 )

                  I have *some* desire to save power, and so I have CFLs installed in my stairways and basement. I have incandescents everywhere else (and am stocking up on them) because I have more desire to be able to dim. CFLs continue to be terrible about it, so I'm hopeful about LEDs. For the most part your point stands, but there are situations in which the comparison to incandescents is apt.

                  I have Home Depot's house brand LED bulbs in my kitchen, and they dim quite well; you might give them a try some time.

        • I just have to shake my head at those people, but I also have to laugh at that statement! ;)

          How much "thinking" will they need to do, when they see their electric bill cut in half, or less? That was my experience back in the early 90's. Our local electric utility offered to replace all of our incandescent bulbs for free, so I said "SURE!"

          My next electric bill was ONE HALF what it was, and it STAYED that way. I have been using CFL's ever since. Now, they sell "BRIGHT WHITE" which is my preferred color temp.

          • How much lighting do you have?! My electric bill in the winter (when the lights are on most) is a negligible part of my budget, and I have to assume that a large portion of that comes from computers/electronics. So, while it certainly may help I don't really care except to turn off the lights when I leave a room. If CFLs were as capable as incandescents (and it seems like they are for you) I'd probably switch slowly, but upfront cost is a huge barrier when my savings wouldn't be great. Now, propose a mo
            • Note that I said "Early 90's". My computer was a Commodore 64. ;) We watched very little TV, preferring to listen to the radio, mostly. Thus, most of my electricity use, then, was for lighting. That's why changing to CFL's made a 50% difference, I'm sure. Suffice it to say, it got my attention!

              My electric bill, now, is certainly "enhanced" by not only this PC, but a big CRT TV that runs a few hours a day, a larger living space, a basement dehumidifier, electric clothes dryer, window A/C units, etc. We live

        • by guruevi ( 827432 )

          The savings go pretty quick. I needed to replace my outside incandescents yearly (extreme temperatures during summer AND winter) and the others burned out pretty quick too plus they taxed some of the old wiring (cotton-aluminum) and a lot of the newer wiring was done wrong which made me worried about the load on those wires.

          LED's fixed both the replacement and the load issue - I use about 60W worth of LED bulbs on a circuit that used probably 1kW combined (I took out a combination of 40W, 60W and even the i

    • Re:Cost? (Score:4, Informative)

      by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Friday August 05, 2011 @06:12PM (#37001242)
      Most likely it will not be as cheap as incandescents or CFLs in terms of upfront costs. The cost saving is in the longterm as it uses less electricity. If we assume that this bulb lasts 25000 hours, at $0.10 per KWh, a 60w incandescent will use $150, a 13W CFL will use $32.50 and this bulb will use $25. So unless each of these bulbs cost $125 than incandescent and $7.50 more than a CFL, they will be cheaper in the long run. However the incandesent will have to be replaced 33 times and the CFL 2.5 times so that factors in as well
    • currently $50 I can sell you one right now if you like. they are pretty cool, slightly smaller than a regular A-19 sized lamp which means it fits all standard fixtures and is dimmable by regular household dimmers.

      in other words it screws right into existing applications with nearly identical color output.(in our non philips testing you can put the led lamp right next to a regular 60 A19 and just barely notice the color differences in the same fixture. in two separate fixtures separated by more than 1 foo

  • Look forward to buying some at my local stores soon.

  • Great. Now, give me a version that can be dimmed with existing dimmer circuits, and can also operate in an enclosed fixture for the same lifespan. Then I'll be happy.

    • by Teun ( 17872 )
      That's exactly what they are, dimmable with a conventional dimmer.

      I've got a living room light with five of the 7W version, over the past 18 months I replaced the 40W incandescents one by one when they burned out and while they were mixed you could hardly see the difference!

      • I can't tell you how happy I am to hear that. Do you have any anecdotal data on lifespans? I would love to replace my incandescents, but it won't really make sense for me in most of my lamps until I know what the price premium actually is.
        • by Teun ( 17872 )
          I can't say anything about the life expectancy except the oldest one or two have already lived longer than the incandescents I used to have.

          But when I accidentally dropped one the glass sphere broke yet it still works fine a a sort of spotlight in a desk lamp.

  • by Announcer ( 816755 ) on Friday August 05, 2011 @07:03PM (#37001894) Homepage

    Just take a common CD and hold it up so you can see the "rainbow" reflection for your light source. If it is a continuous "rainbow" then it's likely going to have good color rendering. If you see spots of color, then it's emitting peaks of various colors. My old "warm white" CFL's were peaks of about 6 colors. I hated them, but they were all that was available until recently.

    Now I use "Bright White" CFL's which have what looks to be a nearly perfect, continuous spectrum. The best part is that they aren't yellow or blue tinged, they truly are a nice, crisp WHITE. I'm hooked.

    • by sribe ( 304414 )

      Now I use "Bright White" CFL's which have what looks to be a nearly perfect, continuous spectrum. The best part is that they aren't yellow or blue tinged, they truly are a nice, crisp WHITE. I'm hooked.

      Yep, just replaced my nasty old T12 loud hummers with new tri-phosphor T5s.

"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts most subtly on the human will." -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"