The LED technology is Almost There

For mass adoption to be a real potential for the LED bulb it is going to have to come down in price. Even I am not quite willing to drop twenty to forty dollars on a single bulb in hopes that my electricity bill will decline precipitously. As the technology improves and the economies of scale grow larger this is a problem that is already beginning to take care of itself. There is one brand that has already found a way to sell their bottom of the line LED bulbs for under $5.

Lemnis Lighting announced last month that they are going to be selling their Pharox Blu LED bulb for a price that others just can’t compete with yet. Although it is currently out of stock you can order it on their website when it returns. I have to say that right now this price point only provides bragging rights for Lemnis. This light bulb won’t work well for most of your lighting needs. It is only equivalent to a 20 watt incandescent and doesn’t have some of the features (like dimmability) that you might want.

Although this particular light bulb isn’t going to change the way we light our homes and save us big money on our electricity every month due to its low level of versatility, it serves as a milestone. As the LED bulb industry grows larger and more competitive, prices will continue to evolve and we as consumers will reap the benefits. We’ll have great LED light and super low energy bills in the very near future. A great sub $5 bulb is the key. I just hope it becomes a reality soon in the form of a bulb that we can really use in most lighting situations.

27 Comment responses

  1. Avatar
    March 23, 2013

    I have replaced all of my non-enclosed light fixtures with LED bulbs. They cost more but they burn brightly, are non-hazardous (unlike UV-cancer-causing, mercury-laden, CFLs that burn out in six months or less), and last a long time. I have the first two I bought three years ago that are still burning, used eight hours a day. You can get a good LED bulb 60W-equivalent (I think that is 800 lumens) for the price of a week’s worth of Starbucks coffee, for the price of a family movie night, for the cost of two pizzas delivered to your house.

    Clark, in this instance you are just plain wrong.

    Reply

    • Avatar
      March 23, 2013

      Hey Ken,

      Thanks for your comment. And it isn’t Clark writing this by the way, it is Joel, his producer. Sorry you thought I was wrong. I was just trying to make the point that LED bulbs are definitely coming down in price which is a huge benefit to most of America that hasn’t switched over due to the high costs associated with the change. I already have a few that I have purchased on sale and I think they are awesome. I haven’t, however, felt that it was worth it to spend upwards of $30 yet on a bulb. I think most Americans have felt that way. That is why this $5 bulb is such a great promise of low LED prices to come (at least in my estimation).

      Reply

  2. Avatar
    March 23, 2013

    We bought a 60 watt equivalent for $9 at one of the home stores a few months ago. It’s brighter than our CFL 60 watt equivalents, and the light color is better.

    CFLs are one of the worst, most expensive lies foisted on us. While we haven’t had one burn out in just 6 months, as Ken has, 2 years has been the average of ours (4 different brands).

    A 20 watt equivalent LED is useless for most people, even at $5. I shake my head in wonder at whey you even bothered to write this entry—give us news we can really use.

    Reply

    • Avatar
      March 23, 2013

      Hey Bruce,

      That sounds like a really good deal for an LED bulb. I got one on Newegg.com for a similar price and am happy with it.

      I agree that LED’s are certainly the future, not CFL’s, and that is why I wrote the post. Sorry you didn’t find it helpful. I thought it to be a very cool price breakthrough that I wanted to share with everyone. We are getting really close to that mass adoption price point.

      Reply

  3. Avatar
    March 23, 2013

    I believe the bulb will be useful for a ceiling fan that takes 3 or 4 or as I have done use them as night lights.

    Reply

    • Avatar
      March 23, 2013

      Good point Daniel. I’m sure there are some who could find a use for it. I have some 30 watt equivalent LED lights in a couple of places that I pretty much always leave on. It is nice to know that they aren’t sucking up electricity like the older bulbs.

      Reply

  4. Avatar
    March 23, 2013

    I leave you all figure out what is best, incandecent, CFL or LED then I come back in 5 years. For now I just turned all the lights off and I am learning Braille.

    Reply

    • Avatar
      March 23, 2013

      That sounds like a serious commitment Jorge. It’ll save you on electricity though.

      Reply

  5. Avatar
    March 23, 2013

    I have purchased LED bulbs at Home Depot and Walmart for under $10.00 a bulb.

    Reply

    • Avatar
      March 23, 2013

      Wow. Nice Elle. Were they on sale? Cause I haven’t seen them for that price normally when I walk through.

      Reply

  6. Avatar
    March 23, 2013

    Are 75-watt comparables available yet? And what’s the cheapest LED for that?

    Reply

    • Avatar
      March 23, 2013

      Hey Thrifty Mom,

      There are companies making 75 watt equivalent bulbs. They aren’t, however, very cheap. I have had good luck on newegg.com with LED bulbs. They seem to have better prices than some of the big box stores. Check them out. I think you can get 75 watt equivalent for about $25 apiece. You can get 60 watt equivalent for even cheaper – closer to $12. Not too shabby when you consider how much energy they save you. Often you can make up for the up front cost in energy savings in 15 months.

      Reply

      • Avatar
        March 26, 2013

        Thank you! I’ll check Newegg. I saw Costco has the 60-watt and 40-watt comparables. It’s nice to see the prices beginning to drop!

        Reply

    • Avatar
      March 23, 2013

      One other thought – Cree is a light bulb manufacturer that has come out with 60 watt bulbs that cost $13 at Home Depot. They come with a 10 year warranty as well, which can’t hurt considering that the LED bulb technology is rather new.

      Reply

  7. Avatar
    March 24, 2013

    their webpage expired yesterday on GoDaddy – got the message: NOTICE: This domain name expired on 03/23/2013 and is pending renewal or deletion

    Reply

    • Avatar
      March 24, 2013

      Weird. I’m not having any issues with their site.

      Reply

      • Avatar
        March 24, 2013

        Joel, I got the message that it was expired, too. You may have a cached copy on your computer or phone.

        Reply

        • Avatar
          March 24, 2013

          The Lemins lighting website that I referred too is giving you that message? I just tried to pulling it up on a few different computers and it was working fine. Weird.

          Reply

  8. Avatar
    March 24, 2013

    I bought one for $14 at Home Depot yesterday with the intention of putting in our living room lamp which is on most of the time. My wife demanded that I take it out because she hated the blue tint of the light. She said that if LEDs are the wave of the future, she’ll stock up on candles.

    Reply

  9. Avatar
    March 24, 2013

    Clark often talks about early adopters, and that is the key to bringing prices down for the consumer masses. Just like the first HD televisions were not a bargain at $5000+, it takes those early adopters to spread the cost and allow companies to have capital to find better ideas, to tinker with the product and make it better.

    Same goes here…I hope to see LED costs decrease. I love the light of incandescent bulbs, but I know they’re wasteful by the excess heat given off (heat is wasted energy). I have a couple of compact fluorescent bulbs. I don’t particularly like them, they’re slow to come to full brightness, the light isn’t too bad for me, though. LED is the future, and it will take the price dropping to make them affordable.

    All this said, I don’t believe in outlawing any type of lighting source. Let the free market work. Let the more efficient lights show their worth. Let the consumer make the choice. I think the choice will become clearer over time, with price drops and increases in bulb life…

    Reply

  10. Avatar
    March 24, 2013

    The first LED adopters have certainly paid a pretty penny. In the next year I think we’ll see an LED that people can actually use in most of their fixtures for under $5. That will be the magical price point because then the bulbs will pay for themselves in only a matter of months, and the savings will just keep going for the consumer.

    Reply

  11. Avatar
    October 31, 2013

    nice information about LED technology bulbs

    Reply

  12. Avatar
    December 06, 2013

    Joel, I think you may be a bit behind the curve where residential LED lighting is concerned. It has been possible to get really good quality (including dimmable) LED bulbs for sub $15 for well over a year now. I know – I have a house full of them and the savings in electricity costs paid for them within about one year. Recently I even saw high quality 4W LED spots for under $10 in my local store. Check it out. Kat

    Reply

    • Avatar
      December 06, 2013

      This was published about 9 months ago. Things have certainly changed now. I just don’t think mass consumer adoption will happen at the $15 price point. I think at $5 people will feel comfortable making the purchase because the payback can be calculated in months as opposed to years. All that being said, I have found some great 60w equivalent name brand bulbs at Costco recently for $5.99. That’s pretty compelling.

      Reply

  13. Avatar
    December 31, 2014

    They’ve nearly taken over in outdoor lightning and their use in cars is also becoming a catchy trend.

    Reply

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