Would You Pay $50 For A Light Bulb?

Photo: Philips/AP

I’m tired of changing light bulbs, especially in those hard to reach spots.  Know what I mean? Even ones that claim to last a long time… really don’t. So this claim caught my attention: a light bulb that will glow for 20 years!

Can you imagine not having to get the ladder out and replacing a bulb until 2032? Starting this Sunday… which happens to be Earth Day… you can buy one at places like Home Depot. But it won’t come cheap.

$50 for a light bulb!

The new LED light bulb from Philips goes for 50 bucks… but it’s claimed to have a lifetime of 30-thousand hours, or 20 years. Philips CEO Ed Crawford told CNN it’s time to change the way we think about light bulbs. “The consumer is used to thinking of light bulbs as something inexpensive that they throw away,” says Crawford. “It’s a disposable product. And really what we need to get consumers to recognize, it’s not how much you pay for a light bulb, it’s how much it costs to run a light bulb.” 

 “I need 45 of those please.”

The Philips LED bulb is said to consume only 10W and is expected to save some $8 a year, if used for four hours a day. Considering the life of the bulb, it should make up for the investment in a few years time itself. But $50? The average U.S. home uses 45 light bulbs, so replacing all of them would run $2,250. Ouch!  Phillips is working with utility companies to offer some deals, slashing costs to $20 or $30 for a bulb, after rebates.

Come Earth Day would you fork over 50 bucks for an energy-efficient light bulb, with hopes it might last 20 years? Or will you keep spending  a quarter for those cheap bulbs and keep that ladder handy to change them?

3 Comments on “Would You Pay $50 For A Light Bulb?

  1. Hi Mark,

    Are these bulbs also filled with mercury (think compact bulbs) and lead like the led Christmas lights? Workers have to evacuate the factory when one breaks in manufacturing. There’s lots of info on the web regarding these long life energy saving bulbs. I believe they shorten our life with toxic products and miserable working spaces. The promises of long life on the existing bulbs don’t come anywhere close to the advertised guarantees… and these lights are dull and dreary.

    Clear sparkling lightbulbs are healthier and give our interiors a visual boost. Daylight and candles for me if my choices are eliminated. Until then back up the ladder… 🙂

    • Well put Nicole. I think there’s a lot we don’t know about these bulbs, including how long they will really last. I’ve read this bulb has some advantages over its compact-fluourescent counterpart. Beside claims of lasting three times longer, it doesn’t contain the toxic mercury vapor inside CFLs, which creates a minor hazard when they break. Hope all is well with you.

      • No more mercury is good news… now if only they were Made in America I’d be sold!

        All is terrific here in West Van… birds are building and magnolias are blossoming… mmm… heaven…
        Happy Spring Mark!

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