We’ve been telling Toolmongers about the slow-but-mostly-inevitable move from incandescents to more energy-efficient lighting for a while now, like last year when the possibility of voting down anti-incandescent legislation arose. We even took on our own long-term experiment to see how CFLs hold up. At that time we mused that CFL pricing had dropped significantly, LEDs — the ultimate in low-lower, long-life light — remained massively out of range at around $40/bulb. It looks like that’s changing. Pharox recently announced the 200 Blu, a 200-lumen bulb with a lifespan of 10 years — to sell for just $5.
That’s the good news. There’s mediocre news, too, of course. A quick look around the Googleverse tells me that a normal 40 watt incandescent delivers about 280 lumens, so this bulb is gonna be a little bit dimmer than a standard 40 watt. Still, this is a pretty big jump in price improvement over the existing Pharox 200 LED bulb, which streets for around $20. It looks like that savings comes at the price of control. The cheap-o 200 Blu, for example, isn’t dimmer compatible. But it does deliver white light, and hey, it might not work that bad in low-light applications like a bedside lamp. 15,000 to 35,000 hours of runtime for $5 is a hell of a deal. And $2 more gets you another hundred lumens in the 300 Blu.
What’s really exciting, though, is that in our experience pricing like this tends to beget more price decreases. Maybe we’re witnessing the real beginning of the end for incandescents. Legislation aside, once you can buy brighter versions of this light in various application form factors for only, say, 2-4 times the cost of an incandescent, I’m betting we all flock to ’em. Why not? Changing light bulbs is a pain in the ass, and I’d pay a couple bucks a bulb to avoid doing it but once ever decade. $40/bulb? No. But $4? Sure. Why not?
Pharox Blu [Pharox]