GE introduces 'hybrid' bulb with both halogen and CFL elements, instant-on meets efficiency
We're pretty okay with waiting the second or so it takes a typical CFL to light up, but sometimes, when we're checking for monsters in closets and other inconspicuous places, it'd be nice if things were a little more expedient. For those times (and for generally impatient people) GE is introducing its Hybrid Halogen-CFL bulb. It's basically a typical CFL unit, but look closely inside those coils and you'll spot a wee halogen bulb peeking out. It's like two bulbs in one, the halogen unit powering on almost instantaneously then fading off once the CFL element gets itself all riled up. We're wondering how well the output from the two elements match, whether you'd be able to notice the transition, but we're even more curious about the cost. GE says we'll have to wait a few months to learn that bit of info, and the same holds true if you're looking for a release date more specific than "2011." Hopefully it isn't too late in the year, as LED bulbs are getting cheaper by the minute.

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GE Unveils Unique Hybrid Halogen-CFL Light Bulb Coming in 2011

Press Release Source: GE – Appliances & Lighting On Wednesday October 20, 2010, 9:29 am EDT

CLEVELAND--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Consumers searching for the latest hybrid can soon look beyond their local car dealership. Starting in 2011, GE Lighting brings hybrid technology to the lighting aisle in the form of a unique, new incandescent-shaped light bulb that combines the instant brightness of halogen technology with the energy efficiency and longer rated life of compact fluorescent (CFL) technology.

The initial product launch will bring U.S. and Canadian consumers GE Reveal® and GE Energy Smart® Soft White varieties that offer significantly greater instant brightness than current covered CFLs, while preserving the energy efficiency and long life attributes that have elevated CFLs as a lighting staple in many households.

"When you look at our prototype incandescent-shaped bulb with that little halogen capsule nestled inside our smallest compact fluorescent tube, you're seeing a byproduct of our intense customer focus and our innovation mindset," says Kristin Gibbs, general manager of North American consumer marketing, GE Lighting. "We've constantly improved the initial brightness of our CFLs but customers haven't been wholly satisfied. This is a giant leap forward."

The halogen capsule inside GE's new hybrid halogen-CFL bulb comes on instantly, allowing the bulb to operate noticeably brighter in less than a half a second. The capsule shuts off once the CFL comes to full brightness.

GE scientists engineered the bulb to operate with an exceptionally low level of mercury: 1 mg. Currently available CFLs range from 1.5 mg to 3.5 mg. The hybrid halogen-CFL bulbs will be RoHS compliant and offer eight times the life of incandescent bulbs (8,000 hours vs. 1,000 hours). Less frequent replacement due to longer light bulb life can reduce landfill waste.

First to launch will be 15-watt and 20-watt hybrid halogen-CFL bulbs that are considered viable replacements for 60-watt and 75-watt incandescent bulbs, respectively. Retail pricing and specific retail store availability will be announced in the coming months.

Lighting legislation overview

New lighting efficiency laws in the U.S. identify minimum light output levels for light bulbs based on energy use (wattage). A phase out of traditional light bulbs will begin in 2012 when 100-watt incandescent bulbs will no longer be produced, then 75-watt incandescent bulbs (2013), and finally 60-watt and 40-watt incandescent bulbs (2014). GE has consumers covered each step of the way with a variety of alternatives such as halogen, CFL and LED bulbs-available today-that already meet the new efficiency standards. Learn more at GELighting.com/2012.

About GE – Appliances & Lighting

GE – Appliances & Lighting spans the globe as an industry leader in major appliances, lighting, systems and services for commercial, industrial and residential use. Technology innovation and the company's ecomaginationSM initiative enable GE – Appliances & Lighting to aggressively bring to market products and solutions that help customers meet pressing environmental challenges. General Electric (NYSE:GE - News), imagination at work, sells products under the Monogram®, Profile™, GE®, Hotpoint®, Reveal® and Energy Smart® consumer brands, and Tetra®, Vio™ and Immersion® commercial brands. For more information, consumers may visit www.ge.com.

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