GE has introduced an incandescent-shaped light bulb that combines the instant brightness of halogen technology with the energy efficiency of a compact fluorescent (CFL) bulb.
"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," explained GE spokesperson Kristin Gibbs.
"We've constantly improved the initial brightness of our CFLs but customers haven't been wholly satisfied. This is a giant leap forward."
According to Gibbs, 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," explained Gibbs.
"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). [And of course], less frequent replacement due to longer light bulb life can reduce landfill waste."
So, when will the new hybrid bulbs be available?
Well, first to launch in 2011 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 is expected to be announced in the coming months.