The good news: The Obama administration has awarded a $10 million prize for a "green" but affordable light bulb that's available to the public.
The bad news: The bulb costs $50.
The “L Prize” was announced by Energy Secretary Steven Chu last year, to push manufacturers to come up with a green bulb “affordable for American families,” The Washington Post
reported. The competition also required parts of the bulb to be made in America.
The L Prize winner is a $50 bulb made by Philips. Similar LED bulbs are going for less than half that cost, the Post reported.
“I don’t want to say it’s exorbitant, but if a customer is only looking at the price, they could come to that conclusion,” Brad Paulsen, Home Depot's light-bulb purchaser, told the Post. “This is a Cadillac product, and that’s why you have a premium on it.”
The $10 million contest was meant to ease the transition away from inefficient incandescent light bulbs to more efficient fluorescent and LED bulbs. President George W. Bush signed legislation in 2007 to phase out the old bulbs.
A Philips spokesman told the Post the L Prize bulb costs more because, as the contest required, it is more energy-efficient than its counterparts. It also lasts longer, is brighter and renders colors better.
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