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Price of L Prize winning LED draws sharp criticism

If you’ve missed the story so far, the “L Prize” was a cash award of $10 million offered by the Department of Energy to the lighting manufacturer that produced an LED bulb—a replacement for the traditional 60W incandescent—that offered as much light (lumens) as the Edison original.

Above: Zia Eftekhar, CEO, Philips Professional Luminaires; Dr. Arun Majumdar, DOE Senior Advisor to the Secretary and Director of ARPA-E; and Ed Crawford, CEO, Philips Lighting North America.

Philips won the prize and now the LED replacement for the 60W lamp is coming to market. It’s the price of the prize-winning bulb that is producing criticism for both Philips and the U.S. government. According to many reports, the price is $50.

According to Brad Paulsen, a merchant at The Home Depot, told http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/government-subsidized-green-light-bulb-carries-costly-price-tag/2012/03/07/gIQAFxOD0R_story.html”>TheWashington Post, “I don’t want to say it’s exorbitant, but if a customer is only looking at the price, they could come to that conclusion. This is a Cadillac product, and that’s why you have a premium on it.”

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20120309006096/en/Philips-Lighting-North-America-Statement-Response-Erroneous”>Philipshas responded to the price complaints, saying, “The ultimate price—versus the MSRP [manufacturer’s suggested retail price]—of the L Prize bulb will arrive through a partnership between the manufacturer and utility partners across the country. The target price of $22, as originally outlined in the competition parameters, will be achieved through utility rebates of up to $30 through in-store purchases once the L Prize bulb is available to consumers next month.”

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