Government Bulbs: Slightly More Efficient, Vastly More Expensive
...the incandescent bulb is turning into a case study of the way government mandates can spur innovation.
... The first bulbs to emerge from this push, Philips Lighting's Halogena Energy Savers, are expensive compared with older incandescents. They sell for $5 apiece and more, compared with as little as 25 cents for standard bulbs.
But they are also 30 percent more efficient than older bulbs. Philips says that a 70-watt Halogena Energy Saver gives off the same amount of light as a traditional 100-watt bulb and lasts about three times as long, eventually paying for itself.
It's a case study in the way that mandates can spur innovation, but I'm not sure the news is as good as the New York Times seems to think it is. A government mandate has so far managed to make incandescent bulbs 30% more efficient and 1900% more expensive. This is progress?