GE's Hybrid CFL Saves Energy, Turns on Instantly

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GE's new CFL-halogen hybrid bulb saves energy, like other CFLs, but provides instant brightness and contains less mercury. Photo: General Electric

Hybrid cars aren’t the only eco-friendly hybrids around anymore.

General Electric announced last week that its new hybrid halogen-CFL light bulbs will be hitting stores nationwide in the weeks leading up to Earth Day, April 22.

A halogen capsule in the compact fluorescent bulb allows the bulb to turn on instantly – addressing the common complaint about CFLs that it takes several seconds for the light to come on. Once the bulb reaches full brightness, the halogen switches off and the energy-efficient CLF takes over.

Read: Yes, You Pay More For CFLs, But Are They Worth It?

The bulbs, which look like a curly compact fluorescent inside a traditional round incandescent bulb, also contain a lower amount of mercury than other CFLs on the market. According to GE, their hybrid bulbs have 1 milligram of mercury, while the EPA estimates that the average CLF contains 4 milligrams.

GE says the lifespan of the new hybrid CFLs is 8,000 hours – eight times the life of an incandescent.

The hybrid bulb can replace 60- and 75-watt incandescents or CFLs that do not turn on quickly enough, GE says. Customers can expect to pay $5.99-9.99 for the bulbs, depending on wattage.

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