Hybrid Light Bulbs

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In case you missed the article about GE’s release of the hybrid light bulb earlier this year, here’s a little recap of the product.

Why it’s a hybrid
The new GE light bulb is considered a hybrid because it borrows its shape from the traditional incandescent light bulb but uses halogen and compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) technology to generate light.

How it works
When the light bulb is switched on, both the halogen and CFL technology is activated. The halogen portion reaches full brightness immediately, eliminating the sometimes inconvenient 5-10 second “warm-up” period common with CFL-only bulbs. However, halogen technology is less energy efficient than CFL technology so it is only used to bridge the delay gap. Once the CFL technology has reached its full brightness, it takes over and the halogen portion shuts off.

Why it’s better
The hybrid is expected to last eight times longer than an incandescent bulb (8,000 hours vs. 1,000 hours), but has about the same lifespan as a regular CFL. It also contains 1/4th the mercury of a typical CFL, making it safer for the environment when it’s disposed.

In summary: hybrid light bulbs
(Pros) Save energy, instant-on, lasts longer than incandescent, contains less mercury than regular CFLs
(Cons) Requires safe disposal despite lower amounts of mercury in bulb

Related links:
Where to buy: BrightenSM Online Energy Store

GE lighting: http://www.ge.com/products_services/lighting.html