Philips' Prototype LED Could Replace Fluorescents and Save the US Billions AnnuallyS

Office parks and convenience stores across the country rely on fluorescent lights. These flickering gas-filled tubes suck down far less energy than the incandescent bulbs they replaced but still consume some 200 TWh of electricity every year. This new super-efficient LED prototype from Philips, however, puts florescents to shame.

It's a matter of lighting efficiency—how much light, measured in lumen, you can squeeze out of every watt of electricity consumed. Incandescent bulbs pull a paltry 15 lumen per watt on average, fluorescent bulbs produce maybe 100 lumen per watt. The prototype Tube LED (TLED) from Philips—200 lumen per watt. That's not only double what a flourescent can do, it's nearly double what existing LEDs, like the Philips T8, can achieve as well. That would mean a 60-watt, 2700k equivalent would consume just 5 watts of power. And if every fluorescent in the US were replaced with these new bulbs, the company estimates we'd save over $12 billion annually while preventing the release of 60 million metric tons of CO2.

"This is a major breakthrough in LED lighting and will further drive the transformation of the lighting industry," said Rene van Schooten, Philips chief executive of light source and electronics in a press statement. The company hopes to deliver commercial and industrial versions to market by 2015 with consumer products quickly following. [BBC - Image: Philips]