Retracted: $50 Light Bulb That Replaces A 25¢ Bulb Got A $10 Million Government 'Prize'

Retraction and Apology

On March 12, 2012, American Thinker ran as a blog an article entitled, "$50 Light Bulb That Replaces A 25¢ Bulb Got A $10 Million Government 'Prize'," about the "L" Prize and the winner, Philips Lighting North America.

I offered a spreadsheet based upon analysis offered by eartheasy.com. In the, "KWh of electricity used over 50,000 hours" row I offered a ratio of values rather than actual KWh provided by EarthEasy.

In doing so, I made two mistakes.  First, I mixed units of measure by calculating the ratios.  Second, I chose ratio values that greatly understated the total cost of the incandescent light bulb vis a vis the LED and CFL bulbs.  The values I chose provided the outcome I sought.  So the breakeven point for the LED bulb is actually 1.8 years, not 22.4 years.  The breakeven point for the CFL bulb is actually 1.6 years, not 9 years.

The irony of all of this is that I broke the first two "rules" that I emphasized to my university students: never mix units of measure and then draw conclusions, and never, never be blinded by desired outcome.  I would have to assign myself an "F" had I submitted this work for a grade.

I want it clearly understood that the spreadsheet and interpretation errors were mine alone, that American Thinker had nothing to do with the errors, and that publishing the article in no way should be construed as an endorsement by American Thinker.  I am thankful that commenters found my errors and offered very clear, very easy to understand corrections.

Again, I want to apologize to American Thinker.  I hope that my errors did not damage the credibility of a fine website.

Retraction and Apology

On March 12, 2012, American Thinker ran as a blog an article entitled, "$50 Light Bulb That Replaces A 25¢ Bulb Got A $10 Million Government 'Prize'," about the "L" Prize and the winner, Philips Lighting North America.

I offered a spreadsheet based upon analysis offered by eartheasy.com. In the, "KWh of electricity used over 50,000 hours" row I offered a ratio of values rather than actual KWh provided by EarthEasy.

In doing so, I made two mistakes.  First, I mixed units of measure by calculating the ratios.  Second, I chose ratio values that greatly understated the total cost of the incandescent light bulb vis a vis the LED and CFL bulbs.  The values I chose provided the outcome I sought.  So the breakeven point for the LED bulb is actually 1.8 years, not 22.4 years.  The breakeven point for the CFL bulb is actually 1.6 years, not 9 years.

The irony of all of this is that I broke the first two "rules" that I emphasized to my university students: never mix units of measure and then draw conclusions, and never, never be blinded by desired outcome.  I would have to assign myself an "F" had I submitted this work for a grade.

I want it clearly understood that the spreadsheet and interpretation errors were mine alone, that American Thinker had nothing to do with the errors, and that publishing the article in no way should be construed as an endorsement by American Thinker.  I am thankful that commenters found my errors and offered very clear, very easy to understand corrections.

Again, I want to apologize to American Thinker.  I hope that my errors did not damage the credibility of a fine website.

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