Friday, May 27, 2011

LEDs replace 100-watt light bulbs nearing phase-out

Lighting companies are unveiling the first LEDs (light emitting diodes) that produce the same amount of light as the 100-watt traditional incandescent that will be phased out nationwide in January.

California-based Switch Lighting debuted its newest LED Tuesday at the 2011 Lightfair International Trade Show in Philadelphia. The bulb will cost a little more than $20 when it goes on sale this fall, but because it uses 85% less power than the incandescent it's replacing, the company estimates it will pay for itself in about a year, and all parts and components of the bulbs can be reused, recycled, or reclaimed so there is very little chance anything will end up in a landfill.

Osram Sylvania, a unit of Germany's Siemens AG, announced its own pear-shaped 100-watt-equivalent LED, but did not say when it will hit store shelves. Lighting Science Group Corp., a Satellite Beach, Fla.-based company, has several such prototypes on display at the trade show. Also, technology giant Samsung announced Tuesday that it's entering the U.S. LED market.

Dozens of other LEDs, halogens and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) have launched in the last two years. They aim to meet the requirements of a 2007 U.S. law that demands light bulbs use at least 25% less energy for the same amount of light. That bipartisan law, signed by President George W. Bush, will also phase out Thomas Edison's 75-watt bulb in January 2013, and his 60-watt and 40-watt ones in January 2014. It exempts appliance, three-way, colored and 19 other less commonly used incandescents.

Osram Sylvania plans to begin selling 75-watt equivalent LEDS at Lowe's in July, and Philips, the world's largest lighting maker, will have them in stores late this year for $40 to $45, reports the Associated Press.

By Wendy Koch / USA TODAY