There's a kind of Moore's Law for LED bulbs. Every year, they get better, cheaper, lighter, more efficient... The latest offering comes from Philips, who decided to create a 60-watt equivalent LED bulbs and sell it for just $4.97 without utility rebates, making it the most affordable big brand 60-watt LED bulbs on the market. At this rate, soon they'll give them away in cereal boxes, and maybe we'll finally get people to switch from the obsolete and wasteful incandescent bulbs (maybe you think nobody is using them anymore because you've switched, but around 70% of lightbulbs in the U.S. are still the old, inefficient models).
And to celebrate Earth Day, Philips has created a 2-for-1 'value' pack that will be sold for the first 90 days of the bulb's introduction (available online at HomeDepot.com starting now, and in stores starting May 1st).
You used to have to pay $30 or $50 per bulb for a 60W-equivalent! And these new $5 bulbs are extremely efficient, producing 800 lumens with only 8.5-watt, so 94.1 lumens/watt. Even the recently released Philips SlimStyle (the pancake LED bulb) requires 10.5-watt to produce 800 lumens, giving it an efficiency of 76.2 lumens/watt.
Philips writes: "Over the 10-year life of a Philips LED, the 60-watt equivalent will cost just $1.02 per year to run, saving $62 over the life of the bulb, as compared to a traditional incandescent. In addition to a 60-watt equivalent that is available in a 2700k warm white and puts out 800 lumens, the bulb will be available in 60-watt daylight 5000k, and 100-watt A19 LED equivalents. Unlike other 100-watt LED bulbs which are a larger A21 size, the new Philips LED bulb 100-watt is a true A19 equivalent."
They look similar to Philips' previous new bulb, which also didn't have a heavy metal heatsink. I wrote about it here:
The main differences, apart from the price, seem to be that the new one is not officially dimmable (though you can, but it might make a slight buzzing noise), and it doesn't have what Philips calls "Warm Glow" technology which warms up the color as you dim it down.
I've only received my review unit yesterday, so I haven't had a chance yet to compare light quality, but from what I've seen so far, the new $5 bulbs have a emit a perfectly pleasant, warm light, and I would have no problem using them daily.