General Electric last week unveiled its LED lightbulb that hopes to take the place of the 40 watt incandescent and equivalent CFL bulbs in our homes with it becomes available later this year or early 2011. GE's new LED bulb is expected to consume just 9 watts, provide a 77 percent energy savings and produce nearly the same light output as a 40-watt incandescent bulb, while lasting more than 25 times as long, the company claims.
"This is a bulb that can virtually light your kid's bedroom desk lamp from birth through high school graduation," says John Strainic, global product general manager, GE Lighting. "It's an incredible advancement that's emblematic of the imagination and innovation that GE's applying to solve some of the world's biggest challenges."
Specifically, the new GE LED bulb is to have a 25,000-hour rated life, which will last 17 years if used 4 hours per day – which GE says is 25 times longer than a general service 40-watt incandescent or halogen bulb and more than 3 times longer than a standard 8,000-hour rated life CFL.
Compared to other lighting technologies, LED bulbs so far have a problem of providing lighting that is far too focused, but GE's scientists and engineers designed this new bulb to better direct light downward on the intended surface and all around, not just out the top of a lampshade.
Strainic adds, "Consumers have been reluctant to move away from less efficient incandescent bulbs because they love the light quality. This new GE Energy Smart LED bulb will address that lighting preference head-on and give consumers yet another option to light their homes and businesses."
The new GE LED bulb offers 450 lumens, a boost over the currently available LED bulbs that produce 350 lumens or less. LED buffs will be pleased to know that GE selected Cree's XLamp XP-G LEDs for use in early prototypes that will be on display throughout the year.
With all these advantages of LED lighting (which we already love to backlight our LCDs), the only stumbling block could be price; retailers set pricing but it is expected to be $40 to $50.
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Marcus Yam is a technology evangelist for Intel Corporation, the latest in a long line of tech-focused roles spanning a more than 20-year career in the industry. As Executive Editor, News on Tom's Guide and Tom's Hardware, Marcus was responsible for shaping the sites' news output, and he also spent a period as Editor of Outdoors & Sports at Digital Trends.