Warner Philips, founder of Lemnis Lighting Co. in The Netherlands, claims “CFLs are officially an outdated technology. You can’t recycle CFLs. You can’t get a fully dimmable product. That should make them obsolete.”

This is quite a statement, considering compact fluorescent lamps are just now beginning to replace incandescent lamps.

Philips makes this bold statement based on a new 6-watt LED light bulb his company recently introduced at Lightfair International in New York. He has named the bulb the “Pharox LED Light” and claims that it is equivalent to a 60-watt incandescent light bulb. Unlike most CFL bulbs, the Pharox can be used with dimmer switches and contains no mercury. The LED bulb is supposed to have a life of 36,000 hours or 25 years, eight times longer than a CFL bulb.

Of course, all these advantages come at a cost. Lemnis already sells a 5-watt LED bulb, claimed to be equivalent to a 40-watt incandescent lamp, for about $35, down from its price six months ago of $40. The 6-watt version is set to sell for $50.00 on Amazon.com. Philips believes that the cost of the bulbs will decrease rather quickly.

The 5-watt LED bulb is being sponsored by the Clinton Climate Initiative in Europe and 2.5 million will distributed there.

As always, there is a downside. The LED bulbs last 25 percent less time when used in enclosed fixtures. I am more concerned that the 5-watt LED bulb is advertised to produce about 300 lumens, whereas the familiar 60-watt incandescent bulb produces 900 lumens. The question will be whether these negatives are acceptable considering the benefits of eliminating mercury and recycling.

The Lemnis Lighting site includes a sidebar that states, “If every Dutch household were to replace 4 incandescent bulbs with 4 Pharox lamps, we would save 1.5 billion kWh of energy per year. This energy saving is equal to the annual energy consumption of all households in Amsterdam.”