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Jason_Pic130EverLedPanasonic has released an LED bulb that purportedly lasts 19 years. The drawback? It’s only available in Japan (for now, anyway). Could the EverLed line jumpstart solid state lighting?

According to Panasonic, the screw-in LED bulb lasts 40 times longer than equivalent incandescents. Obviously, independent testing is needed, but this is an impressive figure. Overall, the EverLed line presents significant long-term savings, but there’s the short-term investment—about $40, according to Nikkei.

The recurring narrative with LEDs, solid state lighting, and new tech in general, is short term investment vs. long-term savings. In terms of luminous efficacy (lm/W), LEDs are far more efficient than incandescents. Incandescents average 10-18 lm/W, while LED’s vary from 25-64 lm/W (depending on correlated color temperature or CCT). The highest efficiency is claimed by Nichia, whose white LED purportedly gets 150 lm/W. LEDs typically use 1/8th the power of incandescents. Therefore, an LED bulb costs $3 a year vs. $25.80 for an incandescent.

Will consumers make that initial investment? History suggests that “early-adopters” will eventually bring down costs on all new tech (unless it fizzles away), but at what point? The DOE’s goal is 160 lm/W LEDs in “cost-effective, market-ready systems” by 2025. I doubt the market can wait that long (particularly with so much invested in solid state lighting) The EverLed line, and comparable items, may speed the process.

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