The first L Prize -winning bulb made its debut on retailers' shelves nationwide in late April in honor of Earth Day. Philips Lighting North America  released its LED lamp, which won the L Prize’s 60W replacement category  last year.
The LED bulb, which underwent stringent testing by the U.S. Dept. of Energy  (DOE), uses just 10W of energy and has a lifetime of 30,000 hours.
“Philips is the first and only company to meet the stringent L Prize requirements for a bulb that produces over 900 lumens, a color rendering index (CRI) of 90 and 2700K color temperature, features that allow it to closely mimic an incandescent bulb,” Ed Crawford, Philips’ GM of Lamps, Lighting Electronics and Controls, said in a statement. “Because the new bulb is 83 percent more energy efficient than the standard 60W incandescent, consumers can now experience new savings for their pocketbooks by putting this technologically advanced product to use in their homes.”
According to Philips, the bulb will retail for $50, but the company is also providing an instant rebate of $10. In addition, Philips has partnered with nearly 300 utility providers to provide additional rebates, which should bring the price down to as little as $25. An additional 200 utility companies are expected to join the rebate program in June, when the bulb is expected to receive Energy Star  certification.
While the price might seem high, it’s representative of a change in thinking when it comes to purchasing light bulbs.
“We knew that it would be an important driver for the industry, spurring innovation and adoption for an alternative to a product that has remained largely unchanged for over a century,” Crawford said in a statement. “With LED bulbs, we are looking at a wholesale change in buying lighting technology, going from a disposable good to a durable good. Consumers are no longer looking at a product that will last just six months to a year, they are looking at a product that is much more efficient and will be with them for decades.”
The L Prize was established by Congress in the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007, and the DOE officially launched the competition at Lightfair Intl.  in 2008. The 60W replacement category is now closed to new entries, but the second category for PAR38 replacement lamps  was re-opened last month.
Requirements for the 21st Century Lamp, the third and final category in the L Prize competition, have not been finalized. The only requirement that has been announced is that the lamp must deliver more than 150 lumens per watt.