Home LEDs starting to look more normal

Good bye to Philips yellow, groove-laden LED bulb.

Good bye to Philips yellow, groove-laden LED bulb.

Lighting giant Philips says it’ll start selling a newly designed LED bulb in the new year that actually looks like a normal light bulb. Philips’ current LED bulb that can replace a standard 60 watt incandescent bulb is bright yellow and has silver grooves lining it (see left). Philips will start selling its new white LED home bulb (that doesn’t have those grooves) starting in 2013 at Home Depot stores (see right).

Philips says due to a new air cooling technology that it’s developed called AirFlux, the company was able to eliminate the silver grooves (called heat sink fins) on the former bulb. The company also ditched the bright yellow color, which I always found a little off putting.

Philips' newly designed normal-looking LED bulb

Philips’ newly designed normal-looking LED bulb

The new “normal” bulb will cost $25 — which isn’t bad in the LED world — and at launch time interested customers can get $5 off that sticker price. The new bulb is also more energy efficient than the old one.

LEDs are continuing to drop in price and become more mainstream for both industrial and commercial sectors, as well as residential homes. According to GigaOM Pro and Pike Research, by 2020 LEDs will make up nearly half (46 percent) of the $4.4 billion U.S. commercial lamp market.

Startups are also making some headway in the LED market. GE recently bought a startup called Albeo, which makes LED fixtures and platforms. I’ve been testing out the liquid-cooled LED bulb by Switch.