The Philips SlimStyle LED is as innovative as it is unusual-looking. So far, most other LEDs have stayed pretty close to the rounded shape of a traditional incandescent lightbulb. This creates a challenge because, while LEDs produce a lot less heat than incandescents, they are also a lot less heat-resistant, so a way to efficiently dissipate heat was needed. This usually meant metal heatsinks that added a lot of weight and cost to LED lightbulbs, but Philips thought out-of-the-box and came up with a flat-shaped LED bulb that basically increases the surface area for heat to dissipate while keeping individual LEDs (see below) away from each other. This genius move means that you don't need a metal heatsink, which brings costs down...
$9.97$8.97, the SlimStyle LED was already pretty cheap if you take into account how long it lasts and how much electricity you'll save over time (it more than pays for itself).
But now thanks to the fact that the SlimStyle received an Energy Star certification, this LED has just become a no-brainer: In most states power utilities offer rebates on Energy Star bulbs. These vary, but on average they should be significant. Here's the info that we have from Philips:
"As of this week, customers of Efficiency Maine will be among the first to see prices as low as $1.97, marking the beginning of the sub-$2 LED.
In addition, states such as CT, HI, IN, MA, ME, MI, NJ, NV, RI, UT, WA and Washington, DC, consumers could see pricing as low as $3.97 on shelf at The Home Depot, making the SlimStyle an innovative, affordable rival to the incandescent."
You can see a map here with info from 600 utilities across the US.
The Home Depot is a partner, so once the rebates are in effect (we're hearing next week), you should be able to go to your local store or online (pick your local store if it doesn't auto-detect it) and see the rebates on the SlimStyle LED prices.
What I'm hoping is that this forces other LED makers to also figure out how to make truly low-cost LED bulbs and that very soon, we can finally say goodbye forever to the inferior technology of incandescents and CFLs. This would save a huge amount of electricity (and thus reduce pollution from power plants).
You can find more details in my short review of the Philips SlimStyle LED.