After winning the U.S. Department of Energy's L Prize last year, which challenged inventors to create a low-cost, high-efficiency incandescent bulb replacement, Philips' LED light bulb is finally coming to market this Sunday. The bulb boasts a staggering lifespan of 20 years and burns only 10 watts of power. Originally, the bulb was priced at $60, however, the competition stipulated that the overall price would have to hit $22 within its first year of availability before the $10 million prize could be redeemed. Philips has already discounted the bulb to $50 and is currently working with utility companies to offer rebates of anywhere between $20 and $30. In most cases, retailers will apply the rebates automatically and reduce the sale price, though prices will vary by outlet.
Though the LED bulb meets the Department of Energy's standards, it will have difficulty toppling compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs, which offer similar energy efficiency at a considerably lower cost of roughly $5. Regardless, both CFL and LED bulbs will serve as replacements to incandescent bulbs of 40 watts or more when they are banned in 2014.