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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Mass. firm creates 100-watt-equivalent LED light bulb

LED lightbulbs are an obvious idea that will, it has long been assumed, drive out compact flourescents just as CFLs are (slowly) driving out incandescent bulbs. But turning an obvous idea into acceptable devices that can be made in huge numbers at reasonable prices is hard.

Consider Slate's Farhad Manjoo, who really likes the idea LED bulbs and wants them to succeed. He had to admit recently that most of them don't cut the mustard yet, even if you overlook the high price tag.

I installed one of them in my dining room earlier this year despite the $30 price tag because it can be dimmed, and I have no complaints. The light is adequate and it goes on instantly. You wouldn't really know it wasn't an incandescent unless you were a sensitive lighting wonk.

The latest news is that Danvers, Mass.-based Osram Sylvania is coming out with an LED 100-watt equivalent (NY Times item here). The 100-watt bulb is the gold standard for home lighting, so this is a big step. It costs $50, so don't expect to see it installed in your neighbor's lamp any time soon.