Philips L Prize LED bulb not worth it

The following blog appeared on Mapawatt for the Philips L prize LED bulb cost.   What are your thoughts on the price of this bulb?  Would you recommend it to your customers when there are lower cost LEDs available?

-----------------

In March 2012 I read an article on Triple Pundit regarding Philips defending the L Prize winning LED bulb from an article written in the Washington Postcriticizing the government for handing out 10 million dollars to a company for producing a $50 light bulb.

I was all set to write a post demonizing the "right wing" Washington Post for misquoting the price of the $50 bulb when I read this line in the Triple Pundit article:

Philips states that the actual retail price of its prizewinning bulb will be closer to $20, comfortably within the L Prize requirement of $22. That’s because the bulb will be sold through partnerships with utility companies, which will offer up to $30 in rebates.


But then I saw this article on the newswire: "The award winning Philips L Prize LED bulb is now available at Bulb...". So I was interested to see what it was selling for. And guess how surprised I was when I noticed that both Triple Pundit and the Washington Post were wrong. The 10 watt LED bulb isn't selling for $50 dollars, it is currently selling for $59.99 at Bulbs.com! For.....one..... bulb.

And when I look back at the Triple Pundit note regarding the sale price of the bulb, I notice the last sentence a little more clearly. The part about the utility rebates. Which you aren't getting if you buy it online. And could utilities be wasting their money in the first place if there is a better option for consumers?

All this is surprising to me, because you can buy an almost identical LED bulb from Philips for $24.97 from Home Depot! And I did just that earlier this week.

It seems to me that Philips is only selling the L prize bulb on the merits that it hit arbitrary targets set forth by the department of energy, when in fact a much cheaper bulb (that they also produce) makes MUCH more sense for consumers. The two bulbs are compared in the below:

While the L prize LED bulb does consume 20% less watts and it does put out 17% more light, can someone PLEASE explain why it costs 140% morethan their own LED bulb?

Mapawatt is devoted to helping consumers find products, services, and strategies to help them save money and conserve energy in their homes. I'm not sure that the L prize bulb fits that criteria at this moment. In a later post, I will go into detail on when LED bulbs can make sense (especially when compared against incandescent). But at almost $60 per bulb the savings just aren't there right now (compared to 60 W incandescent based on 3 hrs/day over 10 year timeframe; this is not the case for the $24.95 LED bulb which would save you $30 over 10 years vs. an incandescent over that same time frame). I'm surehoping the price will come down, but until then...

The moral of the story: Buy LED bulbs! They use less energy, last longer, don't contain mercury, provide great light, and the right ones are great investments. Just shop around and beware of the hype machine.

Views: 1737

Tags: l, led, philips, prize

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros Forum to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros Forum

Comment by Bud Poll on April 6, 2012 at 8:40am

Hi Chris,

Unfortunately you are correct and yes we should be concerned about our governments ability to do ANYTHING right.  The only good part I see in this is that we (this country) need to be the producer of this new technology and $10,000,000 is pennies compared to the market potential of every new light sold in the USA being made here as well. Did this project get us any closer, R&D is always good? I would like to think so, but did it give us "the bulb" everyone should get started with, sorry it didn't make the list.  Fortunately, the CFLs don't last as long as advertised so we will all get a chance to upgrade to LEDs in the not too distant future.  Unfortunately, the payback analysis you gave isn't valid, as we shouldn't be comparing LEDs to incandescents, there shouldn't be many left, but rather the in-between bulb, the CFL and that makes the switch even harder.

For disclosure, I now have five 40W LEDs rotating around my house (currently 50 minus 5 CFLs) to see how they fit in.  $9.95 on sale at a local box store and unfortunately, assembled south of the border.  Where 429 lumens isn't quite enough I will look for that other bulb that Phillips is selling.  I just hope it's assembled somewhere that makes me proud.

As an additional note, I'm putting numbers on my 5 new LED bulbs and organizing the sales receipts with bar code clippings to be put in storage.  You see, at an average of 3 hours per day, 365 day per year, these things should last 50 years.  Guess I will have to put them in my will, because I don't think my warranty is going to last that long.

Bud

Latest Activity

Leslie Jackson posted a discussion

DIY Filter Solution for an Evaporative Cooler, anyone?

If your general "info@" e-mail inbox is like mine, it is 95% SPAM but once in a while, as long as…See More
5 hours ago
Franco Oyuela commented on Silvie Votrubova's blog post Duct Testing Accuracy
"The ducts that are part of central heating and cooling systems offer one of the best opportunities…"
8 hours ago
DEREK KENNA joined Kim Tanner's group
Thumbnail

TEC

Discussion group for The Energy ConservatoryHave a question about residential or big building air…See More
9 hours ago
Don Fugler replied to Linda Wigington's discussion Good Eating with Reduced Cooking Emissions in the group Kitchen Ventilation
"I found that I was less likely to prompt a large spike when I started the pan on medium heat rather…"
9 hours ago
Profile IconMike, DEREK KENNA, Matt Peterson and 1 more joined Home Energy Pros Forum
15 hours ago
Jim Gunshinan's blog post was featured

Our First Year with Solar Panels, by Chris Stratton

A local solar company putting supports for PV panels on our roof. No that's not a tiny man on the…See More
yesterday
Alfie Davis posted a photo

Quadtrant A1 Cleaning Checklist

Quadtrant A1 offers high-quality office cleaning and maintenance services for commercial and office…
yesterday
John White posted photos
yesterday
Jim Gunshinan liked Home Performance Coalition's blog post New Consortium for Energy Efficiency Report – High Stakes for Energy Efficiency
Monday
Jim Gunshinan posted a blog post

Our First Year with Solar Panels, by Chris Stratton

A local solar company putting supports for PV panels on our roof. No that's not a tiny man on the…See More
Monday
Jim Gunshinan liked Don Fugler's group Kitchen Ventilation
Monday
Franco Oyuela commented on John White's blog post Top 5 Ways to Conserve Energy and Save on Your Air Conditioner Bill
"Summertime, and your air conditioning unit at home will be asked to work super hard in this peak…"
Monday
Diane Chojnowski's video was featured

The Business of Deep Energy Retrofits

Paul Eldrenkamp has more than 30 years experience in construction and specializes in energy efficiency. In this interview Paul discusses ways to standardize deep energy retrofits. He offers tips for executing projects and managing homeowner…
Monday
Diane Chojnowski posted a video

The Business of Deep Energy Retrofits

Paul Eldrenkamp has more than 30 years experience in construction and specializes in energy efficiency. In this interview Paul discusses ways to standardize ...
Monday
Julie Rosati is now a member of Home Energy Pros Forum
Monday
Daniel Baur-McGuire replied to Jerry Needham's discussion Condensation on ceiling and walls of master bedroom
"Sounds like u opened the hornets nest! I would say a 2600 sq ft home shouldn't need more than…"
Monday
Terry Hill posted an event

Passive House Institute US 2018 Conference at Boston

September 19, 2018 at 6pm to September 23, 2018 at 7pm
Annual conferenceSee More
Monday
John White posted a blog post

Top 5 Ways to Conserve Energy and Save on Your Air Conditioner Bill

Air conditioners are the essential bastions of cool breezes when the mercury skyrockets and the hot…See More
Monday
Jerry Needham replied to Jerry Needham's discussion Condensation on ceiling and walls of master bedroom
Saturday
Gabriel Rojas joined Don Fugler's group
Thumbnail

Kitchen Ventilation

In many homes, cooking is the largest indoor source of air pollutants. Exposures can be higher in…See More
Saturday

Photos

  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2018   Created by Home Performance Coalition (HPC)   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service