One trend to watch in the lighting market is the development of alternatives to the least-efficient incandescent lamps. Manufacturers are racing to develop lamps that will meet the new federal lighting efficiency standards that will ban some of the most common incandescent lamps unless they meet tough new efficiency standards, starting in 2012.
The GE lamp is a hybrid halogen-CFL contained in an incandescent-shaped glass bulb. A press release announcing the launch says GE engineers figured out how to nestle an instantly bright halogen capsule inside the swirl of a compact fluorescent light bulb. The halogen element comes on instantly and turns off once the CFL comes to full brightness, thus preserving the energy efficiency of the bulb. All the workings of the bulb are contained in an incandescent-shaped glass bulb. These new GE lamps offer eight times the life of incandescent bulbs (8,000 hours rather than 1,000 hours).
Kristin Gibbs, general manager of consumer marketing for GE Lighting said in the press release, "It looks like an incandescent in size and shape but it's really three bulbs in one. The instant brightness factor makes our new hybrid halogen-CFL more versatile than other CFLs. It's an optimal choice for use in hallways, stairways, kitchens, bathrooms, and anywhere immediate brightness is important. Just flip that light switch and it's at your service immediately."
These hybrid CFL-halogen light bulbs could shape up to be quite useful, but they will probably be much like hybrid vehicles; by that I mean they will be useful for a time, but they're really just a temporary solution until fully electric options become available (like LED light bulbs
, or for cars, fully electric).