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November 13, 2012

100W Bulb Ban Breeds LED Equivalents



Now that most energy-hogging 100-watt light bulbs have been cleared out from stores, consumers are looking for a replacement. But does a light bulb exist that has the same size and brightness of a 100-watt blub, but uses far less energy?

Well, such a bulb didn’t exist, but does now. It’s called the Ultra LED bulb, and is now available at most Lowe’s stores throughout the country.

The bulb is a product of Osram Sylvania, a division of Germany’s Siemens AG (News - Alert). The company said Monday that its first shipment of the Ultra LEDs should be arriving at Lowe’s stores soon.

But what makes the Ultra LED so ultra?

The bulb is the same respective size as a 100-watt one (only slightly larger) and uses 20 watts of electricity. One Ultra LED costs $50, and Osram Sylvania claims the bulb offers 25,000 hours of use, more than 20 times the lifespan of a regular bulb.

Though the bulb is impressive, it isn’t alone on the market--or it won’t be for long. Competitor company Royal Philips (News - Alert) Electronics LV recently announced plans to start selling its own version of a 100-watt-equivalent LED bulb, one it hopes to make burn brighter than the Home Depot version--which will be sold on its website in a few weeks for $55.

In addition, a startup company called Switch Lighting (News - Alert) Bulb Co. will reportedly sell its own 100-watt equivalents in either December 2012 or January 2013.

The opportunities offered by the replacement of regular bulbs with more environmentally friendly and efficient LEDs is fairly large, and could boost and expand the LED industry significantly.

The federal government, which banned 100-watt bulbs in January of this year, will reportedly ban 75-watt bulbs next, sometime at the start of the New Year, and then move on to 60-watt and 40-watt bulbs beginning in 2014.




Edited by Brooke Neuman

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