They may cast a warmer glow than CFLs, but LED bulbs are still a long way from becoming energy-efficient incandescent bulb replacements. That’s because the bulbs cost in the $40 to $50 range, while CFLs hover around $4 and incandescents sell for as little as 50 cents. If you’re cash-strapped, you’re probably going to go with the bulb that’s 100 times cheaper. That may soon change, however, thanks to Lighting Science Group and Dixon Technologies, which are teaming up to produce an LED bulb that the companies claim will cost less than $15 and last for eight years.
According to its creators, the Lighting Science Definity bulb will fit into any standard socket and act as a replacement for a standard 60-watt incandescent, much like Philips’ upcoming 60-watt replacement. The Philips bulb will cost just under $18 when it is released.
U.S. customers shouldn’t get too excited for Lighting Science’s bulb just yet. The bulb will first be sold in India at the end of this year, where the LED lighting market is expect to balloon to $400 million by 2015, growing at a rate of 53% each year. In a market that is hungry both for affordable and energy-efficient products, the Definity bulb could thrive.
Eventually, the Lighting Science bulb will be sold in the U.S. as well. And while it will have competition from Philips and other ambitious companies like Switch, the Definity has a price tag that can’t be beat. It’s hard to say at this point whether the Definity will give off an ultra-pleasant light, but it may not matter: just being nicer-looking than CFLs–and cheaper than the competition–could give the Definity an edge.