Remember the awesome LED that the government declared the greenest lightbulb ever? Well, you can buy it now. But you probably won’t. Because you like to do things like eat and pay rent.

We knew this sucker was going to be expensive. The number that was floating around was $40, and green commentators near and far thought most consumers would have sticker shock at that price.

Turn out, Phillips is selling the bulbs for $50. Fifty bucks! That is HALF OF A HUNDRED DOLLARS.

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I know — rationally — that the bulbs will last for 10,000 hours and will save money in the long run. But that’s a huge investment to make in a light bulb. I just bought shoes that cost less than that! I could splurge on an amazing dinner for that! More topically, I could buy a whole bunch of CFLs for that!

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This is exactly the problem. Humans are not very good at delayed gratification. Even if a $50 bulb works forever, people are going to balk at handing over five Hamiltons for an LED — “forever” is pretty far in the future, and the sting of spending $50 is happening right now.

But actually, the “working forever” bit is part of the problem, too. It doesn’t do me too much good if my lightbulbs last 22 years — to a 20-something like me, 22 years is an eternity. I don’t want to schlep my lightbulbs from house to house! And while I know none of this is entirely rational, for whatever reason, $50 is just past my lightbulb price point, unless the thing also makes a sandwich and does my taxes. Especially when perfectly sufficient CFLs are still out there.