LED bulbs hit 100 watts as federal ban looms

Posted May 16, 2011, at 10:30 p.m.

NEW YORK — Two leading makers of lighting products are showcasing LED bulbs that are bright enough to replace energy-guzzling 100-watt light bulbs set to disappear from stores in January.

Their demonstrations at the LightFair trade show in Philadelphia this week mean that brighter LED bulbs likely will go on sale next year, but after a government ban takes effect.

The new bulbs also will be expensive — about $50 each — so the development may not prevent consumers from hoarding traditional bulbs.

Creating good alternatives to the light bulb has been more difficult than expected, especially for the very bright 100-watt bulbs. Part of the problem is that these new bulbs have to fit into lamps and ceiling fixtures designed for older technology.