Update: Since this post was published, I’ve switched to Cree LED bulbs for most uses. Cree has cracked the problem of creating a low-energy bulb with a color spectrum nearly as good as an incandescent while drawing only 9W. I’m also using Philips Hue bulbs for certain rooms in the house; these bulbs are even more expensive than the L-Prize bulb but look much better in exposed fixtures and have some really awesome smartphone integration and color-changing features. I’ve now got zero incandescent bulbs in my house and only a few remaining CFLs.
I got a Philips L Prize bulb from Amazon today. At nearly $40 USD, the price is still ridiculous but this is the first LED bulb that’s truly a suitable replacement for an incandescent or a good CFL. Until switching to CFLs a few years back, my bulb of choice was the 75W GE Reveal incandescent. I only switched when GE came out with a 25W Reveal CFL that had a color temperature as nice as their incandescents (I’m insanely picky about lighting color in my rooms). GE still hasn’t made a quality LED, but Philips has accomplished something impressive with the L Prize bulb. The only drawback is that the bulb is a truly hideous safety-yellow when turned off that makes it look more like a power tool accessory than an Edison bulb; you’ll want to keep this in a fixture that doesn’t leave the bulb visible. But at 10W, it draws less than half the power of my 25W CFLs but emits color that’s equally as nice. Nice.