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GE's Bright Idea is a Halogen/CFL Hybrid Bulb

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 42 comments

The instant brightness of incandescent and the energy savings of a CFL.

We know that compact fluorescent (CFL) is the better lighting technology for those who want their energy to go into light production rather than making heat. Still, the the CFL technology does have its drawbacks, such as a warm-up time that makes those first few minutes of "on" rather dim.

GE has a solution to that, and it's a hybrid bulb that combines the instant brightness of halogen technology with the energy efficiency and longer rated life of 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.

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.

Source: Engadget

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  • 15 Hide
    LePhuronn , October 22, 2010 11:26 AM
    Still give me a migraine - roll on viable LED lighting
  • 12 Hide
    TheRockMonsi , October 22, 2010 11:23 AM
    I personally prefer a CFL all the way through, I've never had a problem with those first few minutes of "on". I also just like how it lights up a room; when you compare it to a halogen, they yellow makes the room darker imo whereas the white of CFL just makes it seem brighter.
Other Comments
  • 12 Hide
    TheRockMonsi , October 22, 2010 11:23 AM
    I personally prefer a CFL all the way through, I've never had a problem with those first few minutes of "on". I also just like how it lights up a room; when you compare it to a halogen, they yellow makes the room darker imo whereas the white of CFL just makes it seem brighter.
  • 15 Hide
    LePhuronn , October 22, 2010 11:26 AM
    Still give me a migraine - roll on viable LED lighting
  • -8 Hide
    Shuge1 , October 22, 2010 11:47 AM
    well, it is a 'bright' idea... Though i rarely use the lights in my house... I find the light from the screen sufficient..
  • -7 Hide
    g00ey , October 22, 2010 11:56 AM
    Nothing goes up against a dozen of good strong 35-50W 12volts halogen lights. Low voltage halogen has a whiter and crisper light than high voltage halogen, because low voltage lamps use a much thicker filament than the high voltage lamps which makes it possible for the low voltage lamps to glow at a higher temperature which gives rise to a considerably "whiter" light.
  • 2 Hide
    aje21 , October 22, 2010 12:00 PM
    Just wonder how much extra they'll charge for it.
    I want a low energy bulb which can be used with a conventional dimmer swich - while the halogen part would probably do so, the CFL won't.
  • 1 Hide
    nukemaster , October 22, 2010 12:57 PM
    Interesting, but with many cfl users transitioning away to cool white and daylight bulbs, this may be too little to late.

    Maybe they should allow the user to choose what they want similar to the CFL/LED nightlight bulbs on the market. hit the power switch on the wall, CFL, off then on again within 5 seconds halogen. This would allow users to dim the halogen without damage to the CFL

    While there are Dimmable CFLs, they still do not dim very well(think of turning a 60 watt down to a 40, not much dim).
  • -5 Hide
    bildo123 , October 22, 2010 12:59 PM
    IMO CFL is garbage. Yes technically they last a "long time" but they get dimmer and put of a yellower tinge over time. Has a nice touch of mercury as well. LED needs a wee bit more advancement. If they can make a decent 75W incandescent equivalent LED bulb I'll be happy.
  • 2 Hide
    jacobdrj , October 22, 2010 1:34 PM
    Just another stopgap on the way to LED salvation...
    CFLs have perceivable flicker, weird hues, take too long to turn on in some situations (which this bulb aims to fix) hand dim noticeably over its life... CFLs do bother my migraines and can't be dimmed...

    Only problem with LEDs are expense, light focus that needs much diffusing, and brightness... Their power transformer would probably die before the diode itself...
  • 2 Hide
    g0rilla , October 22, 2010 1:48 PM
    bildo123IMO CFL is garbage. Yes technically they last a "long time" but they get dimmer and put of a yellower tinge over time. Has a nice touch of mercury as well. LED needs a wee bit more advancement. If they can make a decent 75W incandescent equivalent LED bulb I'll be happy.


    I wish they would have developed the LED technology before releasing it to the public. LED lighting is not ready yet and it will be hard to convince the general consumer that LED is good when the only impression they have is a cold, dim bulb. This is similar to when CFL rolled out initially - it was slow to turn on and very cold in color and now the general consumer hates CFL for those reasons. CFLs are much better now, but people won't buy them because they have bad first impressions.
  • 4 Hide
    warezme , October 22, 2010 1:48 PM
    GE always has these great ideas but wants you to pay like $50 for a single light bulb. forget it GE.
  • 0 Hide
    thechief73 , October 22, 2010 2:23 PM
    I never really caught on to CFL, I dont know if its my bad luck or what but even the name-brand ones usually dont last a year in my house, ontop of that I cannot stand the light characteristics, I feel like in in some kind of scientific lab, not my house. And with them not lasting(At least for me) the years the are supposed to, the price premium and the fact they have mercury in them doesnt seem to be helping the environment too much besides the power savings. I am all for LED as long as they can make the light look less sterile than the CFL.
  • -3 Hide
    Ransom22 , October 22, 2010 2:26 PM
    Using mercury in the CFL lights is a horrible idea. I can't wait to replace my CFL bulbs with anything other than CFL. Personally, I'd like to see the new ESL lighting technology get released soon.
  • 1 Hide
    Onus , October 22, 2010 3:53 PM
    I've been using CFLs for years (and the small circlines before them), and although I saw a lot of light quality issues with the earliest models (and some of the cheaper ones), all of those problems are pretty much past. I don't notice any flicker, and light quality is excellent. Speed to full brightness is even pretty decent, and really wasn't much of a concern to me anyway. Except for some appliances, touch-lamps, and motion-sensor floods, every other light in my house is a CFL. For those concerned about mercury, every Home Depot now recycles them, although I think I've only replaced 3-4 of them in the last six years.
    I'm eagerly awaiting the LEDs, but what I've seen so far is outrageously expensive.
  • 6 Hide
    bayouboy , October 22, 2010 4:06 PM
    Ransom22Using mercury in the CFL lights is a horrible idea. I can't wait to replace my CFL bulbs with anything other than CFL. Personally, I'd like to see the new ESL lighting technology get released soon.


    So, how is using mercury in a florescent lighting a horrible idea? This makes no sense, you have to use mercury, there is no other alternative. Also, the 5 milligrams of mercury in a CLF is little to worry about. Even throwing them in the trash is not a big deal, but it is still a good idea to recycle them if you can.

    Unknown to most idiots, opps I mean people, mercury is actually a naturally occurring element and is readily found all over the world. I have seen streams on the surface and underground with lethal levels of mercury in them due to the strata through which they flow. No human interaction needed. That is not to say that humans have no impact. We humans are doing a fine good job of dumping tons of it into the ocean every year ourselves and have changed the balance of mercury in the oceans. This could someday become a problem.

    CLF's actually prevent far more mercury from entering the environment than they contain. Just don't break them open and lick the glass and you will be ok.
  • 4 Hide
    nottheking , October 22, 2010 4:27 PM
    CFLs have been the main type of bulb I've been using for several years now. Personally, I enjoy the reduced electricity bill, as well as the convenience of not having to replace them. With these modern ones, (as in, they're only a few years old) I get none of the problems previously associated with CFLs. Aside from the fact that they tend to dimply glow green for a bit after turning them off, there's nothing bad with them that isn't really universal for all bulbs. (That includes the mercury: read below)

    bildo123IMO CFL is garbage. Yes technically they last a "long time" but they get dimmer and put of a yellower tinge over time. Has a nice touch of mercury as well. LED needs a wee bit more advancement. If they can make a decent 75W incandescent equivalent LED bulb I'll be happy.

    I dunno which CFLs you have, but the ones I've got have lasted for years without any noticeable decrease in effectiveness.

    Similarly, they may contain mecury, but guess what? Mercury is put into the atmosphere by the generation of electricity to both produce bulbs and power them. So what it has in mercury content is made up for by the reduced mercury pumped into the atmosphere due to lower electrical costs, and fewer bulbs needing to be made. And of course, many places allow for "recycling" of CFLs, making the mercury content a moot point for pollution.

    I do agree that LED lamps have promise as well, but as a practical solution they're still in the future. Right now, CFLs ae the best we've got.

    Ransom22Using mercury in the CFL lights is a horrible idea. I can't wait to replace my CFL bulbs with anything other than CFL. Personally, I'd like to see the new ESL lighting technology get released soon.

    Read what I said above about the mercury: simply PRODUCING any bulb, or powering it, means mercury's going into the atmosphere. At least when it's in the bulb, it has the potential to be handled in recycling.
  • 1 Hide
    mr_tuel , October 22, 2010 5:37 PM
    My CFLs take maybe 30 seconds at most to warm up. BTW they are the GE soft white (2700K) 60W equivalent. Been quite happy with them as I prefer the warmer incandescent tones myself.
  • 0 Hide
    mr_tuel , October 22, 2010 5:40 PM
    I should add that if you can combine the light of the white ones and warm one, you get what looks alot like daylight
  • 2 Hide
    mavroxur , October 22, 2010 6:19 PM
    g00eybecause low voltage lamps use a much thicker filament than the high voltage lamps which makes it possible for the low voltage lamps to glow at a higher temperature which gives rise to a considerably "whiter" light.



    Wrong on soooo many levels. They use a thicker filament to generate a lower resistance lamp. To achieve 50 watts at 12 volts, it takes 4.16 amps, which means the lamp has an operating resistance of 2.88 ohms. A lamp operating at 120 volts would need an operating resistance of 28.88 ohms to operate at 50 watts (current being .416 amps). Thus, a thicker element provides a lower resistance to current flow. All properly designed halogen lamps operate at a specific temperature range to sustain a halogen cycle, and color temperature is a function of the filament's operating temperature. Manufacturers can apply special glass coatings and change the optical characteristics of the glass that the bulb is made of to filter out the warm tones that are generated, and give lamps a "whiter" light, but when you look at the technical side of it, 12v versus 120v really has nothing to do with it.


  • -5 Hide
    TunaSoda , October 22, 2010 6:42 PM
    Who cares, when they started making those stupid new toxic lighbulbs that take 5 mins to fully turn on I went to home depot and got me 6 cases of incandescent bulbs so I could care less what they come out with... ;) 
  • -5 Hide
    f-14 , October 22, 2010 6:43 PM
    CFl sucks balls, the headaches you get from it are due to the noise and the flicker they create. i want to see better not make my eyes worse and get a headache worth killing the CFL inventor/engineers over.
    cfl has been around for so long the only places that use it are the ones with high energy bills and don't give a damn about their employees.
    only bulb i buy now is halogen here's a quarter it'll pay for that bulb use every month and still have change and is 1 million times better then cfl which makes it worth it.
    cfl is as bad as 1950's 3D with the funny glasses.
    technology gets better, not worse anybody promoting cfl needs to go back to using a commodore64 to do their computing and F'off and stop wasting mine and everyone elses time with stumping for bad obsolete technology.
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