Sharp Corp. will release LED light bulbs designed for home use in July 2009 in Japan. After entering the market for commercial lighting in 2008, the company is now breaking into the residential lighting market.

The main feature of the new LED lamps is their prices. There are no manufacturer's suggested retail prices, but their street prices in the market are expected to be about ¥3,900 (approx US$39.7) for the models equivalent to a 40-watt incandescent bulb and about ¥4,000 for the 60-watt-equivalent models. Thus, in terms of the price per unit time, the new lamps can now rival incandescent bulbs and bulb-shaped fluorescent lamps.

"In general, an incandescent bulb that lasts 1,000 hours is priced at about ¥100, and a bulb-shaped fluorescent lamp with a life of 6000 to 12,000 hours is sold at about ¥1,000," Sharp said. "So, an LED lamp with a life of 40,000 hours is priced at ¥4,000."

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(Pictured: Sharp's new LED lamp to be released in July 2009.)