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LED light bulb wars heat up: Philips debuts dimmable 12-watt model

LED light bulb wars heat up: Philips debuts dimmable 12-watt model

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On the heels of GE's announcement of a 40-watt LED light bulb, Philips has announced that it will begin selling a 60-watt model by the end of the year.

On the heels of an announcement by General Electric of a 40-watt-equivalent LED light bulb, Philips has announced that it will begin selling a 60-watt model by the end of the year.

The company's new light-emitting diode bulb actually draws 12 watts, three watts more than GE's model, but delivers the equivalent of another 20 watts in equivalent light, for a total of 806 lumens.

Philips is the largest lighting manufacturer in the world.

The new bulb, which will be a part of the MASTER LED lamps line, doesn't last as long as GE's new bulb, which claims a 17-year-lifespan. Philips didn't indicate the exact figure for the lifespan of its new bulb.

Nor did the company disclose a price for the bulb, which is perhaps the only major hurdle LED light bulbs face for mass adoption. GE's 40-watt bulb is forecast to sell for $40 to $50. A rival 60-watt bulb by Panasonic will sell for $50 to $60.

As SmartPlanet readers indicated in the comments on the GE post, cost is a serious issue, and LED bulbs are simply way too expensive for adoption -- to the tune of five times as much, in fact.

Unlike the GE model, Philips's new bulb is dimmable and emits a "warm white light," rather than the usual bluish glow of LEDs or the signature greenish tinge of fluorescent bulbs.

The company is also developing a home lighting system called LivingAmbiance that could offer customizable settings, such as color variation. (Now that's one smart bulb.)

But as impractical as current LED bulbs are for the home, they're a bigger value for municipalities. If cities and towns can install light bulbs in street lights that save money and need to be changed less often, that could make a world of difference on the balance sheet.

Philips said it plans to later introduce long-lasting LEDs for applications like this, in an effort to develop "more livable" cities.

"Lifestyles are changing, urbanization is presenting new challenges for city leaders, and society in general is more environmentally aware," Philips Lighting CEO Rudy Provoost said in prepared remarks. "We are applying the functional and creative potential of LED lighting to address these trends, and to simply enhance life with light."

[via VentureBeat]

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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