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First six-watt dimmable LED bulb arrives in U.S.

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Lemnis Lighting on Friday announced the U.S. availability of its Pharox60 LED light bulb, a dimmable model shaped like a traditional incandescent bulb that consumes just six watts of power.

Lemnis Lighting on Friday announced the U.S. availability of its Pharox60 LED light bulb, a dimmable model shaped like a traditional incandescent bulb that consumes just six watts of power.

Over a traditional 60-watt bulb, that's a significant savings in electricity.

But this green technology comes at a price: $39.95 through the rest of 2009.

The good news? That's a premium that will, in fact, pay for itself. The difference can be recouped in three years or less, according to the company.

"Compared to the entry price for solar panels, we feel this is a more accessible energy saving investment," Lemnis founder Warner Philips said in a statement. Philip's great-grandfather founded the Dutch lighting giant by the same name.

The LED bulbs are estimated to last 25 years, much longer than compact fluorescent bulbs, which use more electricity. They don't get hot, either.

Unlike CFLS, the Pharox60 bulb can be recycled with metal and glass materials, the company said.

Solid-state lighting, which includes LEDs, consumes one-tenth the power of incandescent bulbs and lasts longer. But price has been a barrier for widespread adoption, particularly in the consumer space.

This isn't the only attempt at reinventing Edison's grand invention.

A novel design for energy-efficient lightbulbs by Seattle-based manufacturer Vu1 was introduced in September, which can produce incandescent-quality light and does not contain mercury like CFLs. They're called electron stimulated luminescence bulbs, and they'll run about $20.

Furthermore, Panasonic recently launched a new household LED lightbulb in Japan that it says lasts 40 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

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Andrew Nusca

Editor Emeritus

Andrew Nusca is editor of SmartPlanet and an associate editor for ZDNet. Previously, he worked at Money, Men's Vogue and Popular Mechanics magazines. He holds degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and New York University. He is based in New York but resides in Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure