Friday, October 22, 2010

Green-Conscious GE Develops Hybrid Lightbulb (GE)

FAIRFIELD, CT—One year after pledging to develop more energy-efficient products, General Electric Co. unveiled a product it is calling its most eco-friendly lighting source to date: the first-ever gasoline-electric hybrid lightbulb.

"With the price of gas escalating as its supply dwindles, now is the perfect time to introduce innovative lighting technology that only relies on this fast-depleting, nonrenewable resource for a portion of its power," GE chairman Jeff Immelt said in a statement released Monday.

If the Wisebulb, which will be available in stores by November for the retail price of $89.99, is used only for recommended short-term, dim, and frequent on-and-off lighting, it could eliminate nearly 80 percent of global-warming pollution that would be caused by using solely gas-powered lightbulbs, GE spokesman Brian Tormey said.

"A full tank of gas can illuminate a hybrid bulb for an average of two weeks," Tormey said. "Once the 1.5-gallon tank is empty, all customers have to do is drive their lightbulb to the gas station and fill it up for only about $6."

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The hybrid bulb's structure—slightly more complex than the older filament-and-wire models—features a small, efficient four-cylinder internal-combustion engine at the base of the bulb that powers an electric generator attached to the glass mount. The generator produces electricity that is then fed to the electric motor, which ignites a small flame inside the glass casing. Any excess electricity is used to charge the bulb's 300-volt lead-acid battery, which at full capacity is capable of independently lighting a 60-watt bulb for up to 30 minutes....MORE 
Okay, as you probably recognize, this article was from America's Finest News Source (2006!).
Here's the GE Story, from Engadget:

GE introduces 'hybrid' bulb with both halogen and CFL elements, instant-on meets efficiency
GE introduces 'hybrid' bulb with both halogen and CFL elements, instant-on meets efficiency
We're pretty okay with waiting the second or so it takes a typical CFL to light up, but sometimes, when we're checking for monsters in closets and other inconspicuous places, it'd be nice if things were a little more expedient. For those times (and for generally impatient people) GE is introducing its Hybrid Halogen-CFL bulb. It's basically a typical CFL unit, but look closely inside those coils and you'll spot a wee halogen bulb peeking out. It's like two bulbs in one, the halogen unit powering on almost instantaneously then fading off once the CFL element gets itself all riled up. We're wondering how well the output from the two elements match, whether you'd be able to notice the transition, but we're even more curious about the cost. GE says we'll have to wait a few months to learn that bit of info, and the same holds true if you're looking for a release date more specific than "2011." Hopefully it isn't too late in the year, as LED bulbs are getting cheaper by the minute.