Sunday — Earth Day — is when the bulb that won a $10 million government contest goes on sale.
The bulb is the most energy-efficient yet, lasts about 20 years and is supposed to give off a pleasing, natural-looking light. But what separates it from the pack most is the price: $60.
That price reflects the cost of the components, especially the top-notch chips, or diodes, that give off the light, and is the price commercial customers will pay. But the manufacturer, Netherlands-based Philips, is discounting it right away to $50 for consumers, and working on deals with electric utilities to discount it even further, by as much as $20 to $30.
This means the bulb will cost anywhere from $20 to $60, depending on where it’s found. Online, consumers will be paying $50 for each bulb, because utilities don’t subsidize online sales.
Warning: Incandescent bulbs of 40 watts and above will be banned in 2014.