Back in 2013, $10 was a sweet deal for a 40-watt equivalent (6-watt) warm-white light-emitting diode (LED) bulb.
Now, consumers can scoop up three LED bulbs for that price with a new offering from GE.
GE unveiled its Bright Stik LED last week, a 60-watt-equivalent bulb that is designed to woo consumers away from compact fluorescents, a technology many users were never thrilled with in the first place.
The time is now to capture the market. GE estimates that LEDs will grow in the residential lighting market from 10 percent today to more than 50 percent by 2020. Five years ago, a 60-watt-equivalent LED was about $45.
GE is not alone in driving down prices. Earlier this year, Philips rolled out a dimmable, warm-light LED for about $5 with utility rebates at Home Depot. The utility rebates are available in more than 40 states. For a non-dimmable bulb, Philips has a current offer of an A19 two-pack for $5. Not to be left out, Wal-Mart’s Great Value brand LED 60-watt equivalent sells for about $4.
By comparison, compact fluorescents at Home Depot sell for about $3 to $10 per bulb.
“As we undergo this lighting technology shift, we collaborate with our vendors to provide our customers with lighting options that save them money and energy,” Joey Corona, Light Bulb Merchant for Home Depot, said in a statement. “With the GE Bright Stik, we worked closely with GE to develop an affordable LED to replace spiral CFLs that offers superior quality light and function.”
For consumers who are wary of LEDs after bad experiences with the light quality of early bulb models -- or frustrated by the performance of CFLs -- the range of affordable LED options, both in terms of shape, color, warranty and performance, could win them over quickly once they are lured by the low prices at the store.
And for more savvy consumers who want features beyond just dimming or color options for their LEDs, the price of connected LEDs is also falling and should drop further as connected-home platforms, such as those from security companies, cable providers, Nest and Apple, continue to drive the market.