Philips shows off its $10 million LED light bulb

Most people are familiar with the various X Prizes that have been offered for achievements in flight and space travel, but how many know that the US Government has offered an L Prize for energy efficient lighting? The idea is to come up with a 21st century replacement for the 60 Watt light bulb, with the goal of saving 34 Terawatt-hours of power nationwide per year.

Entries must deliver at least 900 Lumens output, with a consumption of less than 10 watts, and must have a lifespan of at least 25,000 hours. There are also rules about light quality and color temperature. The top prize is $10 million.

Philips is the first company to submit an entry, and they showed off their baby Thursday evening at the EcoFocus event in New York.

I think the real question is how much the bulbs will cost to buy. It's hard to convince people to spend big bucks on a bulb, even after you explain the long term savings on their electric bill. I asked if they would sell me the prototype, and they said sure, but it would cost me $10 Million.

L Prize