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They're here already: Second generation LED bulbs

You know technology is maturing when you start to see second and third-generation products. That might well be the case for LED bulbs.

Evidence comes from L-Prize winner Philips, which just came out with an improved version of its LED replacement for 60-W incandescent bulbs. The new version uses just 11 W while putting out over 830 lumens. In so doing, the A-19 LED bulb uses 10% less energy than its 12.5-W predecessor and is almost 5% brighter to boot.

Philips says the new lamp incorporates what's called AirFlux technology, a cooling system that eliminates the heat sink fins that consumers now associate with LED bulbs. The cooling takes place through a chimney effect with vents strategically placed to promote air flow past the LEDs. (Philips has also used AirFlux in its PAR and BR series of LED lights.)

Philips says the sleeker bulb packaging also makes the LED more practical for open fixtures and sheer shades. This LED bulb will also come in two different color temperatures, Soft White and Daylight. The new Philips A-19 LED bulb also can be dimmed down to 2% of power, while working with a broad range of dimmers.

The first of these Philips bulbs recently went on sale at Home Depot stores in Manhattan. They will also be available at www.homedepot.com/lightbulbs and will begin being available at all Home Depot stores the beginning of the 2013.

Designed to exceed Energy Star specifications, the bulb is said to reduce energy consumption by 85%, last 25 times longer and save an estimated $134 in electricity costs during its lifespan, as compared to the traditional 60-W incandescent.

Philips, www.philips.com

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