LED lightbulbs remain the most expensive option for replacing an old-fashioned incandescent light bulb, costing notably more than compact fluorescent (CFL) or halogen bulb — until now.
The new GE Bright Stik is a new kind of LED bulb with a dramatically lower selling price. At less than $4, the Bright Stik runs about half the cost of a comparable CFL bulb, although it’s still much more than the halogen bulb alternative.
Consumers have already begun to transition from CFL to LED bulbs, note GE reps, but the high price has slowed things down. To date, less than 10 percent of the four billion residential lightbulb sockets in the United States are filled with an LED bulb, and more than 30 percent contain a 60-watt CFL bulb.
GE anticipates the share of LED bulbs to grow to 50 percent by 2020. Consumer purchases of LED bulbs will more than double this year as CFL sales decrease, and the introduction of the Bright Stik is expected to accelerate that transition thanks to its low price.
Each bulb in the bunch is the equivalent of a 60-watt incandescent bulb. By comparison, a single 60-watt equivalent Philips SlimStyle flat LED bulb sells for $7.97, a single Philips spiral-style 60-watt equivalent CFL bulb sells for $7.98, and a four-pack of EcoSmart 60-watt-equivalent halogen bulbs sells for $4.97 at the Home Depot website.
Aside from low price, the Bright Stik is also distinguished by its slim tubular design, which should enable it to fit into a wider variety of fixtures than a traditional bulb.
Its rated life is 15,000 hours, or 13.7 years based on three hours of usage per day. While that’s better than a comparable CFL bulb (11 years based on three hours per day) or halogen bulb (0.9 years based on three hours per day), it is not nearly as long as other LED bulbs. Both Philips’ SlimStyle and a Cree 60-watt equivalent LED bulb are rated to last 22.8 years (based on three hours per day).
Back in 2010, the first 60-watt equivalent LED bulbs cost as much as $45 apiece. The price had fallen to $10 by last year.
A three-pack of 10-watt, soft white Bright Stiks is priced at $9.97, while a three-pack of 10-watt daylight Bright Stiks sells for $10.97. They’re sold exclusively at HomeDepot.com now and will be arriving at Home Depot stores in mid-summer.
[Image credit: GE]