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GE Ends Development of Incandescent Bulbs, Focuses on LEDs

[social_buttons]According to Clean Break, General Electric has dumped all plans for revitalizing their century-old incandescent lightbulb. Instead, it plans to focus on light-emitting diodes (LED) and its organic counterpart — the OLED.

It was February of 2007 that GE announced a high efficiency incandescent (HEI) bulb that was comparable to that of compact fluorescents (CFL). The HEI bulb provided better light quality and without any nasty mercury. The bulb was expected to hit the market sometime in 2010.

But announcements of Australia, Canada, and even some U.S. states planning to ban the bulb made companies like GE and Philips question their longevity. Especially when these bans would start as early as 2012.

So in October of 2007, GE announced it would be closing plants and even cutting hundreds of jobs in order to restructure its light bulb business. Harvard business school professor Daniel Snow claims that GE’s HEI was the company’s “last gasp” of inspiration on the Edison bulb.

GE spokesman David Schuellerman said this about GE’s current plans:

GE Consumers & Industrial and GE Global Research have suspended the development of the high-efficiency incandescent lamp (HEI) to place greater focus and investment on what we believe will be the ultimate in energy efficient lighting — light emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs). Research and development of these technologies is moving at an impressive pace and will be ready for general lighting in the near future. LEDs and OLEDs used in general lighting are now poised to surpass the projected efficiency levels of HEI, along with other energy-efficient technologies like fluorescent, and have the additional benefits of long life and durability.

I was actually looking forward to the HEI bulb – I love CFL efficiency but the sterile light gives me seizures. Hopefully LED lighting can mimic that of incandescents. If not, you might catch me joining forces with that crazy Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

Photo: © Jonoman1 |

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Written By

is a web developer, part-time blogger, and a full-time environmentalist. His crusade for all things eco started twenty years ago when he ditched his meat-and-potatoes upbringing for something more vegetarian-shaped. His passions include cooking, green tech, eco politics, and smart green design. And while he doesn't own a car anymore, he loves to write about those too. Jerry studied at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA. During his time there he was a DJ at the campus station KCPR and he also wrote for the campus paper. Jerry currently resides in San Francisco, CA with his cat Lola. You can stalk him on Twitter @jerryjamesstone.


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