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Consumers Warm to LED Bulbs as Prices Fall

Thanks to subsidies from utilities, improved quality, and lower manufacturing costs, sales are expected to rise significantly this year. Part of shift is by default. Since last year, incandescent bulbs are being phased out. The 75-watt and 100-watt bulbs are no longer being manufactured, and the 40- and 60-watters will be eliminated next year. While today's prices are a big plunge from $70 for a bulb in 2009, it still seems exorbitant for people used to paying 50 cents for an incandescent. But a 60-watt LED bulb for $13 pays for itself in about two years. $10 a bulb is seen as the tipping point where many consumers will try LED as a replacement for 40- or 60-watt incandescents, which make up 80 percent of North America's residential bulbs.

4/08 Star Tribune