The battle to unseat the popular 60-watt incandescent bulbs with more efficient LEDs is moving to retail outlets.
Osram Sylvania today said that home improvement store Lowes will carry Sylvania's general-purpose LED bulb, which gives off as much light as a 60-watt incandescent bulb and uses 12 watts.
The Ultra A-Line bulb will be available online this month and in all Lowe's stores by the second quarter of next year. The price will $39.98, according to Osram Sylvania. Home Depot is offering a 60-watt replacement LED from Philips for $39.97.
LED bulbs in this category are significant because millions of 60-watt incandescents and equivalent compact florescent bulbs are sold every year. Also, these latest LEDs, which give off light more evenly the spotlight LEDs, are designed for general lighting, such as desk lamps and overhead fixtures.
The Sylvania Ultra A-Line 12-watt LED, which is dimmable, gives off 810 lumens of light, slightly more than the competing bulb from Philips. The color temperature is 2,700 Kelvin, which means it will have yellow color similar to an incandescent. The color rendering index, a measurement of accuracy, is 90. The rated life is 25,000 hours.
Osram Sylvania intends to make a brighter LED which would give off as much light as a 75-watt incandescent which will be available in 2011, according to a company representative.
Lowe's already sells LEDs from Sylvania, including a 40-watt equivalent in the G25 globe shape for $30.87.
In addition to making brighter lights, manufacturers are seeking to ramp up the volume of LED bulb production, which is expected to lower the price of general-purpose LED bulbs. Some lighting company executives forecast that within two years, LED bulbs in the 800 lumen category will cost less than $10.
Updated at 10:06 a.m. PT with price and timing on follow-on bulb.