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$3 gets you an Osram LED light bulb that lasts for 10 years

Most LED bulbs last for about 20 years of average use, but a new approach from Osram Sylvania says that’s way more than we need. By cutting the life expectancy of its A19 LED bulb from the standard 20,000 or 25,000 hours to about 11,000 hours, Osram brings the price of its 60-watt equivalent bulb down to a $3 price tag. Hopefully, that will help even more people make the jump to LED technology.

“When LEDs get more efficient (and emit more lumens per watt), you don’t need as many LEDs,” said Osram LED product group manager Alfred LaSpina in a press release. Although LEDs get a lot of attention as the lighting solution of the future, it has taken some time for them to become an affordable option. Even in 2008, most 60-watt equivalent LED bulbs cost in the $100 range. Almost 10 years later, major LED manufacturers are working to keep their competitive edge against mass producers threatening to take on the industry.

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Osram’s approach is to keep the subtle details of high quality LEDs at the forefront, while trimming off a few years of each bulb’s life expectancy. After all, 10 years is still a very long time to keep a $3 bulb. And in terms of subtlety, Osram believes the most successful LED bulbs are the ones that mimic traditional incandescent options. People don’t typically notice unless the features go missing, but things like light distribution and reflection, and the semicircle of light produced by the bulb, all influence how people react to LEDs.

If Osram is right, focusing on those discreet features will make the transition from standard incandescent lighting to LED bulbs even easier for consumers. And if energy savings, sustainability, and a 10-year lifespan aren’t enough to encourage you to make the leap, Osram hopes that the $3 price tag on their popular A19 bulb will be that last missing piece. You can find the bulbs on shelves as part of the Sylvania 10 Year LED Lighting portfolio.