Philips LED bulb designed as a replacement for the common 60-watt incandescent and called the 12-watt EnduraLED, will be available by the beginning of December and will cost between $40 and $50, announced today the representatives from Philips and Home Depot.
Home Depot started selling a line of LED bulbs under the EcoSmart label earlier this year, which includes both spotlights and general-lighting LEDs. The Philips bulb will likely be sold under a different name than 12-watt EnduraLED, Philips representative Silvie Casanova said.
In terms of light quality, this LED is impressive because it gives out 806 lumens, the equivalent of a 60-watt bulb, which makes it much more useful for general lighting. The LED bulbs which maxed out 429 lumens a 40-watt equivalent isn’t enough light for many spots around a house.
A notable feature of the Philips 12-watt EnduraLED is the light color. This is rated at 2700 Kelvin, which is at the “warm white” end of the white light spectrum, according to the Department of Energy’s new Lighting Facts label. Philips put the phosphors, which convert the blue light from LED light sources into white light, on the bulb itself rather than the LEDs as is often done.
That warm white is in contrast the light from the bulbs now being sold under the EcoSmart brand at Home Depot. For example, the general-purpose bulb A19, which is a 40-watt replacement, is rated at 3,032 Kelvin, making the light a clear white (but not blueish).
Obviously, color temperature is a personal preference but we think the warm yellow white will feel familiar to people used to incandescents and halogens. Some LED manufacturers offer the option of warm or white light versions of their bulbs. The shape of the Philips bulb was designed specifically to improve the light dispersal, Casanova said. By their nature, LEDs direct light, which makes them very good for down lights or flood lights.
In terms of efficiency, the lumens per watt on the 12 watt EnduraLED comes in at 67 which is slightly better than EnergyStar-certified CFLs, which put out 800 lumens with 13 watts to 15 watts for an efficacy of between 53 and 61. But, this LED is rated to last 25,000 hours, about three to four times that of CFLs. The EnduraLED is also dimmable.
The design of the 12-watt EnduraLED is the same that Philips used in its entry into the L-Prize, a Department of Energy contest to develop a bulb able to put out 900 lumens and use under 10 watts. Competition for commercial LEDs aimed at consumers is most likely going to get fierce. In addition to Philips, other LED companies are developing their own attempts to dethrone the 60-watt incandescent and prices are projected to come down over the next few years. Of course the price for a light bulb (between $40 and $50) seems to be a lot for people used to spending a few dollars at the hardware store. But for people willing to take a longer view, energy efficient lighting with LEDs looks like it will be a compelling option.