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GE debuts hybrid halogen-CFL light bulb

GE debuts hybrid halogen-CFL light bulb

Posting in Energy

GE's new hybrid halogen-CFL bulb looks like a fluorescent bulb shoved inside a traditional incandescent bulb.

GE Lighting on Wednesday announced a new light bulb that is effectively a mashup of old and new.

Its new hybrid halogen-CFL bulb looks like a fluorescent bulb shoved inside a traditional incandescent bulb, bringing the Thanksgiving tradition of the turducken straight to a socket near you.

The idea is to combine the instant-on quality of a halogen bulb with the energy efficiency of a compact fluorescent. The halogen capsule is used to turn the bulb on within a half-second, then turn off when the bulb reaches full brightness.

Unfortunately, the bulbs still contain mercury -- about 1 mg per bulb. (Existing CFLs range from 1.5 mg to 3.5 mg.)

The new bulb is coming to the U.S. and Canada in 2011, first with 15-watt and 20-watt bulbs that are direct replacements for 60-watt and 75-watt incandescent bulbs.

Nevertheless, the hybrid bulb is a stepping stone toward more efficient general lighting. That's because new regulations in the U.S. are forcing the lighting industry to phase out traditional bulbs in 2012 -- first 100-watt incandescents, then 75-watt incandescents in 2013, then 60- and 40-watt incandescents in 2014.

GE did not release retail pricing and availability.

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Andrew Nusca

Editor Emeritus

Andrew Nusca is editor of SmartPlanet and an associate editor for ZDNet. Previously, he worked at Money, Men's Vogue and Popular Mechanics magazines. He holds degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and New York University. He is based in New York but resides in Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure