published Saturday, March 10th, 2012

Federal government gives $10 million prize for creation of $50 light bulb

If you need a fresh symbol of the Obama administration's impractical green energy pursuits, a new $50 light bulb should do it. The bulb is made by Philips, which won a $10 million prize from the federal government for creating it.

The prize was part of a contest designed to create an energy-efficient but "affordable" light bulb, according to Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

The Washington Post reported: "A Philips spokesperson declined to talk in detail about the bulb or its price because the product has yet to be formally launched. ... But the spokesperson said the ... bulb costs more because, as the contest required, it is even more energy-efficient, running on 10 watts instead of 12.5 watts. It is also brighter, renders colors better and lasts longer."

Great. But to repeat, this "affordable" light bulb costs $50 -- in addition to the taxes you paid to give a $10 million government award to the company that developed it.

Do you think it's worth all that?

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conservative said...

Who will be the biggest buyers of this boondoggle bulb? Why the federal government of course. That means the taxpayer. The Chattanooga Housing Authority will place them in all the hallways only to be stolen once the word gets out about the value of the boondoggle bulbs.

March 10, 2012 at 7:04 a.m.
EaTn said...

If the conservatives had their choice we would regress a few years where coal-oil would be the light source and the ice-man would deliver ice to fill the icebox once a week. Both of which I can remember as a kid on the farm.

March 10, 2012 at 7:22 a.m.
shifarobe said...

EaTn, can you afford a $50 light bulb? How is that progress. Stupid, just stupid. The whole "green" thing is a scam. You must be old the remember that. There's nothing more sorry than an old liberal who just wants his and to hell with everyone else.

March 10, 2012 at 8:03 a.m.
EaTn said...

You short sighted conservatives have forgotten that technology like the new bulbs have an incremental cost decrease over time. That's the reason led TV's, cell phones, computers, etc cost a fraction of what they did when brought to market.

March 10, 2012 at 8:22 a.m.
conservative said...

No EaTn, we Conservatives have not forgotten anything about the market. You Lieberals either don't understand the market or hate the market when you do. Phillips would never have brought this $50 dollar bulb to market unless the federal government ( the taxpayer ) had not subsidized the cost involved. In addition rebates, ( more tax dollars ) will be given to encourage the purchase of the $50 dollar bulb.

No reasonable company management would try to sell a $50 dollar bulb to the public if it involved their own money or the stockholder's money simply because us "short sighted" conservatives, just like you hypocritical Lieberals would not buy it.

March 10, 2012 at 9 a.m.
EaTn said...'re correct. Corporations nowdays are conservative and short sighted and don't want to stick their neck out for new technology. That's why we have the drug companies putting out repeat drugs like the cholesterol type instead of investing in new drugs. If our country depended on the greedy corporations for long term goals, we wouldn't get very far. That's why we depend on the govt subsidies.

March 10, 2012 at 9:35 a.m.

So you're happy with your dollar for an incandescent instead? Well, unless you don't use it, there is more to the story than just the purchase price.

This bulb was designed to replace a sixty-watt bulb. That saves you fifty watts multiplied over the bulb's lifetime. Which is designed to be thirty thousand hours, compared to the one thousand of an incandescent. So you're also buying twenty-nine more bulbs (and changing them, which is a cost in itself) and we haven't even gotten to the electrical costs yet. Care to multiply fifty watts times thirty thousand hours times the cost you pay for that electricity?

And do note that the price of this bulb has already dropped. Economies of scale and all. So is the two hundred dollars you'll pay for the same light from an incandescent worth the eighty or ninety the LED will cost in total?

If the true costs were what you paid attention to when buying the bulb, you'd pick the LED every time. And those corporations know other countries are smarter than the regressive antagonism we get here, so they know they will have to make energy-efficient bulbs anyway.

BTW, speaking of the government, did you know a congressman has already wasted your tax money by forcing the Capitol staff to switch out the energy-efficient bulbs they did have? One congressman even tried to ban CFL bulbs from the Capitol. What's another fifty dollars a light socket? There can't be that many in the building.

March 10, 2012 at 9:35 a.m.
hambone said...

The cost per pound for a few trips to the moon make this $50 light bulb look like a short candle.

But the benifit to mankind can't be measured!

March 10, 2012 at 9:39 a.m.
conservative said...

Phillips knew they could make a boondoggle lightbulb that used 10w instead of 12.5w but never would have unless the government with taxpayer dollars funded the effort. They knew they could do it but they also knew the free market would not buy it. Who in their right mind would try to sell a $50 boondoggle lightbulb that used 2.5 less watts?

Government did not invent the lightbulb and as you fellows maybe have not realized did not invent this one either.

All of you will blindly try to justify wasting taxpayer dollars on this $50n dollar boondoggle bulb but I dare say not one of you will put YOUR money where your mouth is and buy one.

March 10, 2012 at 10:04 a.m.
EaTn said... a couple years or so you will be able to buy this bulb for about a buck with the label made in China, but at least you'll be saving electricity and keeping our environment cleaner.

March 10, 2012 at 10:14 a.m.
conservative said...

EaTn..... please explain to this "short sighted" Consevative how this $50 dollar boondoggle bulb will only be about $1 dollar in a couple of years or so.

March 10, 2012 at 10:38 a.m.

Actually, conservative, I've bought about a dozen LED bulbs. All but two by Phillips, and before this prize was announced. Not to mention the LED nightlights I have instead of the incandescent ones. So you'd be wrong. I'll even buy some of these bulbs when they come out. Which won't be at fifty dollars either. As I said, costs dropped. Not to the dollar price, but as I said, with true costs, you're spending more on incandescent bulbs anyway.

I don't know why you think trying to shift the goalposts now to the 2.5 watts difference, which is from the original minimum goal for the prize, isn't a transparent ploy, but the reality is, this bulb was designed to replace sixty-watt bulbs. Comparing it to the minimum standard is silly. Do you even have a price for that hypothetical bulb, or are you just throwing arguments out there and hoping we won't notice how flawed they are? Did you even know that the L-prize had numerous components to it besides power-consumption? Color, lifespan, vibration, power-quality and more mattered. This bulb far exceeded the minimum, not just in lumens per watt, but other aspects of performance. It was tested very extensively. Look up the tests, I dare you.

And did you know Phillips wasn't the only company involved? GE had a bulb, as did many others. And Phillips own CEO said their investment far exceeded the prize amount, so don't fool yourself into thinking they just did it for that. They were investing before their was a prize. They expect to recoup the costs by sales, not prizes.

Also, if you actually check out Edison, he took considerable amounts of money from the government for various things. Not to mention how his companies got rights of way due to government intervention, and patent/copyright protection.

If your problem is with the competition idea, blame the conservative ideologues who came up with it. They do it for military hardware, power plants, and Gingrich even wants to use it for a moon base prize. It's part of their concept of incentivizing the private sector to save the government money. It's not a liberal idea at all, it's coming from your side.

But you want to say this prize is dumb? I'm okay with that. Just don't make your faulty arguments about the bulbs costing more. That's only if you buy them to sit on your shelf, in which case, why buy them at all? As collectibles go, I think you can find something better, but you could get them free once they burn out.

March 10, 2012 at 11:07 a.m.
hambone said...

A good analogy would be the personal computer. In 1976 a PC with 64K memory cost nearly $20,000. Now days Cell-phone providers give you a cell phone free, with much more memory for a 2 year contract.

March 10, 2012 at 11:41 a.m.
hambone said...

Phillips won a $10 million prize.

A few years ago they would have got a NO BID CONTRACT !!

March 10, 2012 at 12:39 p.m.
conservative said...

Phillips already had a 12.5w, 60w equivalent LED bulb on the market. It can be purchased at for as little as 28.75, a lot less than the $50 dollar boondoggle bulb at 10w. However has an 8w, note 8w, LED 60w equivalent bulb for $19.99 and a 10w 75w equivalent, note 75w equivalent LED bulb for $24.99!

It was not necessary for the federal government using taxpayer dollars to hand Phillips $10 million for a boondoggle $50 dollar bulb when the technology already existed and was already on the market.

Is there any wasted tax dollars spent on "green" energy that Lieberal sheep will not defend?

March 10, 2012 at 5:44 p.m.

And if the only difference was the slightly less wattage, you might have a point, but guess what? There's even more improvements in the current generation bulb than that. It's designed to produce a better color, be made in America, and be more reliable. But I notice you're backing away from claiming that incandescent bulbs are a better idea? Well, that's certainly an improvement, though you could at least admit it directly instead of trying to duck this issue with a tangent.

Still, if you want to say the L Prize was a bad idea, you're welcome to doing that. Oppose the whole Prize system.

Too bad for you this was actually a common conservative plan for providing incentives the private market. For all you know, it was Murkowski, Lugar, Domenici, or Craig who added it to the bill.

Ok, so it was probably some lobbyist who wrote it for them, or some aide, but still, you're complaining about something conservative swoon over, the idea of giving money to private industry once they accomplish some goal set by the government.

And you know who wrote the standards right? It was George Bush's Department of Energy, not Obama's.

March 10, 2012 at 6:25 p.m.

Also, do check out the 2005 Energy Policy Act. It's full of BILLIONS in incentives for oil development.

How's the oil industry doing? Barely getting by with record profits you say?

March 10, 2012 at 6:42 p.m.
conservative said...

Now for for some Anti-Lieberal math ( yes, I know, all math is Anti-Lieberal ). The difference between a 12.5w bulb and a 10w bulb is 2.5watts. Remember Phillips already had a 12.5w LED on the market, so just how much could be saved by 2.5w reduction? The average cost of electricty in Tennesse is about 9 cents a killowatt hour. If you ran a 10w bulb CONTINUOUSLY for one month it would cost about 66 cents. If you ran the 12.5w bulb CONTINIOUSLY it would cost about 82 cents. The difference is 16 cents a month, $1.92 a year, ONLY if you run the bulb CONTINIOUSLY for a whole year!

The average homeowner would not run a bulb more than 12 hours in a day, so the difference between the electical cost of the 10w bulb and the 12w would be less than $1 dollar a year!

So EaTn, et al, do you favour spending $50 dollar for a boondoggle bulb and giving a "corporation" ( remember corporations are evil ) $10 million dollars for bulbs and technology which are already on the market and rebates ( more taxpayer dollars ) as well?

I wonder if the writer of this article set you people up.

March 10, 2012 at 7:29 p.m.

Sorry, but the program was for an alternative to 60-watt bulbs that met certain criteria established by law. One of which was 90 luments per watt and being under 10 watts. Want to do your math for the 60 watt incandescent? No? Why not? Is it scary?

If you wanted them to accept a bulb that got 65 lumens per watt instead of 90, or was more than 10 watts, you should have spoken up to Congress when they were writing the Energy Independence and Security Act. Did you not have Dick Lugar's phone number? Pete Domenici? Or the Bush Department of Energy when they added the domestic manufacturing requirements when they started the program in 2008?

But yeah, I'd rather give 20 million for this than the 4 billion we pay in subsidies each year to oil companies while they're already swimming in profits.

Still, if you want to get both sets of money back...then great, go for it!

March 10, 2012 at 8:11 p.m.
conservative said...

If anyone would like to spend half the price of the $50 dollar boondoggle LED bulb which Obamination gave $10 million taxpayer dollars for and which even more taxpayer dollars will be spent on rebates, then go to the Compusa website and see the $24.99 LED bulb offered.

It is the Aluratek ALB10W A19 Dimmable LED Lightbulb - 10W, 75W Equivalent, 850 Lumens bulb which claims a 50,000 life span. This bulb will cost about 66 cents a month to run if left on continiously.

March 10, 2012 at 8:57 p.m.

Nice idea, but that's not a general purpose lamp. It's spot illumination, and the temperature is 4500K. Not a lot of people like that particular light quality.

You'll probably be unhappy if you get that one without testing it. I suggest buying from a local store instead, there's several available at Home Depot, Lowe's, Ace, Harbor Freight, and several smaller stores. Tigerdirect can be a real pain about returns. (You do know that CompUSA is just one of their nameplates, right??)

March 10, 2012 at 9:10 p.m.
sodabread said...

Not having to buy Expensive bulbs:

The South Carolina repeal Light Bulb ban bill will soon go to Gov. Nikki Haley for signing Legal in Texas. June 2011 signed into law by Gov Perry

US light bulb regulations, the Burgess Dec 2011 amendment, and 10 state repeal ban bill updates .

March 11, 2012 at 2:24 p.m.
jweiss said...

The 60w equivalent, Philips A19, 12.5w EnduraLED bulb is currently selling for $14.95 at Home Depot. This bulb started out at $39.95 and has dropped in price over the last year as more people buy it. Another great feature of these bulbs is the omni-directional light pattern that make them perfect for use in an existing table lamp. The "boondoggle" bulb, as you are calling it, has additional cost because it is assembled in the USA which costs more than building them in China. However, I expect the cost of this bulb to decrease rapidly. It is possible that it will replace the existing EnduraLED 12.5w bulb. I expect these bulbs to eventually get down to $10 to $15. There are already some "cheap" LED bulbs in that price range. I have replaced almost all of the incandescent bulbs in my home with LED or CFL bulbs. I am waiting for a 60w and 100w equivalent LED bulb that will work in an closed fixture. Currently, only the GE 40w equivalent bulb can be used this way. All of the Philips bulbs specify they must be in open fixtures.

March 25, 2012 at 9:33 p.m.
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