Philips LED Light Bulb Lasts 25 Years, Costs $60

Dennis Faas's picture

The good news: Philips has launched a brand new light bulb designed to last for 20 years or more and save hundreds of dollars in electricity charges before needing replacement. The bad news: The bulb carries a retail price tag of $60.

The new Philips bulb is a prime example of alternative energy-saving technology that wallops the inefficiency of today's conventional but popular devices.

The reason: Traditional light bulbs work by heating a thin metal filament inside a glass bulb. While this produces light from the glowing filament, it also wastes a lot of the energy.

In fact, conservationists have known for years that most of the electricity flowing into a conventional bulb goes toward producing the heat, not the light, which is why you can't change a bulb immediately after switching it off. 

Major Savings From 'Expensive' LED Lightbulbs

Bulbs like the new one from Philips that use dozens of light emitting diodes (LEDs) gathered together make for a powerful light source that is far cheaper to run than a regular bulb.

Philips claims its LED bulb should last 30,000 hours, which equates to 20 years for an average user. The bulb provides the same amount of light as a traditional 60-watt bulb, but consumes just 10 watts of electricity. At this rate of savings, the company estimates the bulb will save an average buyer $165 over its lifetime.

However, these new bulbs are expensive to produce, and so they carry hefty price tags. (Source:

The most common energy-saving bulbs to date have been compact fluorescent lamps. They work by passing electricity through a mixture of gases that, when stimulated in this way, produce ultraviolet light. This light strikes the fluorescent coating on the glass of the bulb and causes it to emit the visible light we actually want and use.

While fluorescent bulbs are much more efficient than conventional bulbs, they have some disadvantages.

  • After being switched on, the bulb takes a little while to reach full light strength (though this is improving).
  • The fluorescent light is slightly different from the light we see from a traditional filament bulb.
  • The simplest fluorescent bulbs don't work well with dimmer switches.

Rebate Program Could Stimulate Sales

In the short run, some buyers are likely to be dismayed by the surprising $60 retail price of the LED bulbs. To get around that, Philips is offering buyers a $10 rebate, and has also arranged for several power companies to offer their customers additional rebates from $15 to $25 on their power bills, after they buy the bulb.

With all rebates considered, some customers could theoretically buy the new bulb for $25. (Source:

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