If you’re among the holdouts who cling to their incandescent light bulbs like plastic eggs on Easter morning, you may want to loosen that grip. A new 60-watt equivalent LED bulb from Philips could be what finally convinces you to upgrade your lamps with a tiny dose of the future.
There are more capable and longer-lasting LEDs than the new Philips LED A16 bulbs, but you won’t find any that are cheaper. A single bulb, rated for ten years, will set you back $4.97 once they go on sale in May at Home Depot. That’s already a significant savings over Philips’ existing $9.97 60w equivalent, and in line with the most affordable options in the market. But what makes the new bulbs especially notable is that for the first three months they’re available, you’ll be able to get two bulbs for that same five bucks.
It's time to upgrade your lamps with a tiny dose of the future.
That is very cheap! It’s cheaper, in fact, than a two-pack of GED incandescent 60w bulbs that are roughly as bright and that last about one-tenth as long. Another fun point of comparison? The new Philips 60w has an estimated yearly energy cost of just $1.02, versus $7.23 for those same GE bulbs. For the lighting spec-trackers, it puts out 800 lumens, and will be available in both 2700k and 5000k color temperatures.
As LED lights have increasingly matched their incandescent counterparts in warmth, shape, and brightness, the last frontier of acceptance—aside from just good ol’ fashioned resistance to change—has been price. Over a long enough time horizon LEDs may end up saving you money, but it’s hard to see those benefits over the drug store (or in this case, hardware) aisle price tag. Philips hopes that $2.50 a pop will be low enough to allay any cost concerns, especially in low-stakes areas like your laundry room.
That’s also why these new bulbs can be charitably described as “functional;” they don’t feature the dimming capabilities and the more incandescent-like warmth of the $10 Philips 60w LED bulb that will remain on sale. A Philips spokesperson described the new offering as a “transitional” product. Think of it, then, as a gateway drug, a chance to hook people on more efficient lighting and, eventually, the more expensive, more capable LEDs in the Philips arsenal. This is, after all, the same company that sells a single, internet-connected, color-shifting Philips Hue LED bulb for $60.
Even if you have no interest in stepping up to brighter prospects in the future, though, these entry-level LEDs are worth serious consideration. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say that they don’t require much consideration at all; during the 90-day promotional period, they’re a combined 20 years of illumination for slightly more than two king-sized Snickers bars. That’s a small amount to stake on a light bulb that lasts longer than most relationships.