Power Players

The $50 light bulb you’ve already paid for

Power Players

Spinners and Winners

It costs about 100 times more than an old fashioned one, but a new $50 light bulb is not as crazy as it sounds -- the new bulb can last up to 30 years, is just as bright as the old-fashioned kind, and use a fraction of the electricity.

But even if you do not buy one, you have already helped pay for it. The Department of Energy awarded the bulb's maker, Philips, a $10 million prize for developing the "affordable" light bulb of the future.

The new LED will eventually save you money, even at 50 bucks a pop, both because it lasts longer than other bulbs, and because it uses just 10 watts of electricity to give off as much light as a 60 watt incandescent.

And even the most frugal bulb buyers will eventually have to part ways with that 50-cent light bulb, because congressional-mandated efficiency standards aim to phase out production of traditional incandescents by 2014.

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