GE To Phase Out CFL Bulbs In Favor Of LED

Both retailers and consumers are increasingly choosing higher-efficiency LED lights over incandescent and compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs, and General Electric is responding, announcing plans to end CFL production in favor of providing more LED options.

GE announced Monday that it would phase out the sale of CFL bulbs in the US over the next year.

The company plans to work with retail partners, like Walmart and Sam’s Club, to manage its shift to LED.

While CFL bulbs — which use gas instead of a filament — were once seen as a more cost- and energy-efficient alternative to incandescents, GE says CFL demand has waned in recent years, with the bulbs only accounting for about 15% of sales.

According to GE, the light from the bulbs was too hard, didn’t work with dimmers, flickered, and took too long to warm up and light a room.

Advancing technology and increased demand has allowed manufacturers to improve the light quality and cut the costs of LED bulbs. According to GE, LED sales increased by 250% in the last year.

LEDs now account for 15% of the 1.7 billion bulbs sold in the U.S. each year, GE says, with use of the lights expected to reach 50% of households by 2020.

“These LED lightbulbs are starting to replicate what the electrical filament has done for over 100 years — providing that look and warm ambience that people are used to,” GE Lighting chief operating officer John Strainic said in a statement.

GE says the shift to LED production fits in with its digital transformation, which includes a new division called Current. That part of the company integrates LED, solar, energy storage, and electric vehicle businesses with cloud-based platform that identifies and delivers cost-effective energy solutions.

[via The Verge]

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  1. oomingmak says:

    I have a house full of dimmer switches and both CFL and LEDs still stink with dimmers. Dimmabe CFLs are borderline unusable. LEDs look fine until you try to dim them and the bright warm light turns green and sickly. I’m sticking with incandescents as long as I can and i’m glad that a bunch of companies have found loopholes around the no-incandescent rules.

    • GoldHillDave says:

      I, on the other hand, have many LED bulbs on dimmers and have found them entirely satisfactory. (One must, of course, buy dimmable LED’s.) I’ve never tried a dimmable CFL – it never seemed like a good idea. (The spell-checker on Firefox doesn’t approve of the word dimmable.)

      I am happy at the trend toward LED’s – CFL’s were a stopgap measure, have now served their purpose, and should go away. I do agree with what I would expect oomingmak’s opinion would be, namely that incandescents should remain available, without government restriction. I use LED’s not because they’re politically correct but because they will save me money. But I do use use a few incandescents in places like storage areas where they are not on more than a few hours per year. In such uses, at least at today’s prices, the payback time for an LED bulb would be many years!