Panasonic has launched a new household LED lightbulb in Japan that it says lasts 40 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
The screw-in bulbs are part of the EverLed line, and they're scheduled to hit stores in Japan on October 21, with monthly production at 50,000 units. No changes to lighting equipment used for incandescents are required.
If used an average of five and a half hours per day, the new bulbs can last up to 19 years, according to Panasonic. That's 40 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
The bulbs use only an eighth the power of incandescents. That means a 60-watt-equivalent LED bulb would cost only 300 yen (about $3) a year instead of 2,380 yen ($25.80)--a significant savings over a lifetime.
Panasonic hasn't set a price for the new EverLeds, but Nikkei suggests standard versions will cost about 4,000 yen (about $40).
LED bulbs aren't new. Their relatively high cost is one factor keeping them from gaining popularity, but in Japan at least, Panasonic represents about 50 percent of the domestic bulb market. That means EverLeds should raise the LED profile there considerably.
Panasonic is also doing market research to launch EverLeds in the U.S., Europe, and Southeast Asia.