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Some pricy spring bulbs.

COLUMN: IN OUR OPINION

It may be the light bulb the world has been waiting for, but the price is a shock.

Philips, the Dutch electronics manufacturer, chose Earth Day to introduce its LED light bulb to America. If this is the face of the green revolution, we think it's the green in consumers' wallets that will be revolting. The new bulb's price: $60.

Of course, this is no ordinary bulb. Last August, the U.S. Department of Energy announced that Philips Lighting North America had won its Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize in the 60-watt replacement bulb category. The competition was sparked by new rules requiring greater efficiency in household lighting. While incandescent bulbs are not explicitly banned, they cannot meet the new standards. A move by Congress to defund enforcement of the "ban" was mostly symbolic, as manufacturers have already retooled to make more efficient bulbs.

We're not against more efficient lighting, but it has to offer the quality of light we want at a price we can afford.

In a glowing release last August, Philips noted: "If every 60-watt incandescent bulb in the U.S. was replaced with the 10-watt L Prize winner, the nation would save about 35 terawatt-hours of electricity or $3.9 billion in one year and avoid 20 million metric tons of carbon emissions."

Of course, in that case, American homeowners and businesses would have spent billions on new light bulbs.

We're sure someone will want to fork over $60 for an LED light bulb that is supposed to last more than 25,000 hours. It won't be us. Our stash of incandescent bulbs should hold out until the prices for LED bulbs are within our reach.
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Title Annotation:EDITORIAL
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Article Type:Editorial
Geographic Code:100NA
Date:Apr 24, 2012
Words:283
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