As lighting manufacturers race to produce long-lasting LED bulbs that can turned on and off via smartphone, transform your powder room into a discothèque, and/or cause a sticker shock-related stroke in the aisle of your local Home Depot (and don’t forget about IKEA!), Osram Sylvania has become the first company to bring a 100-watt equivalent LED incandescent replacement bulb to the market.

Back in May, I wrote about the 27-watt Energy Smart LED, a 100-watt replacement bulb from GE and Nuventix that features an innovative jet-based cooling system. The last I heard, that bulb won’t be released until early next year so it looks like Osram Sylvania beat ‘em to the punch.

However there are a couple of key differences between the two omnidirectional A-Line bulbs, both meant to replace near-extinct 100-watt incandescent bulbs (to be clear, thanks to evil incandescent overlord Michele Bachmann Congress, those bulbs haven’t technically been phased-out as was initially planned but their manufacture has pretty much ceased anyway).

For one, the new bulb from Osram Sylvania — a bulb that will be joining the company’s existing line of Ultra LED 40-, 60-, and 75-watt replacements — is larger than the GE 100-watt replacement bulb with a size of A21. This may prevent it from fitting in all fixtures whereas the GE bulb’s A19 size renders it a bit more versatile. And although physically larger, the Osram Sylvania bulb consumes 20 watts of electricity while the GE bulb consumes 27 watts. Both have projected lifespans of 25,000 hours — about 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. Osram Sylvania projects that over its lifetime, the 100-watt replacement Ultra LED will score consumers in the ballpark of $220 in energy savings (calculated at a cost of $0.11/kWh) compared to a standard incandescent.

Osram Sylvania’s new bulb boasts a CRI of 80, an output of 1600 lumens, and a warm white color temperature of 2700k. It’s also dimmable and, of course, free of mercury and lead.

Sporting a price tag of, gulp, $50, the bulb will be sold at Lowe's. With a price tag like that, most consumers will likely continue to opt for inferior 100-watt replacement bulbs of the CFL variety until the cost is halved. And then halved again. And then halved one more time.

Via [The New York Times]

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.