GE's new halogen-CFL hybrid light bulb is an interesting concept. At this point they don't seem to have a specific name for the hybrid, which will for now inherit the name of whichever product line it joins; for example, GE Reveal and GE Energy Smart Soft White. Those are the two varieties of light bulbs
that the hybrid will join initially.
Kristin Gibbs, general manager of North American consumer marketing at GE Lighting had this to say, "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. We've constantly improved the initial brightness of our CFLs but customers haven't been wholly satisfied. This is a giant leap forward."
A leap forward, indeed. GE scientists engineered the bulb to operate with the lowest level of mercury yet: 1 mg. Most current compact fluorescent light bulbs have 3.5 mg, plus or minus 1 mg. The halogen capsule inside the CFL portion of the light bulb fires instantly when the light bulb is turned on, which eliminates the delay to full brightness that plagues standard compact fluorescent light bulbs. Once the CFL portion of the bulb reaches full brightness, the halogen capsule shuts off.
These hybrid light bulbs could turn out to be the perfect solution to the complaints people have for compact fluorescent light bulbs. The first wave of hybrids launched will be 15-watt and 20-watt, which are considered viable replacements for 60-watt and 75-watt incandescent light bulbs. I'd like to try these light bulbs out, as I am quite familiar with the delay to full brightness that compact fluorescent light bulbs exhibit.