GE Lighting to promote halogen-CFL hybrid bulb with Target

The newest Bright from the Start halogen-CFL bulbs are capable of replacing 100W incandescent lamps and offer a 75% reduction in energy usage.

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GE Lighting has launched a campaign to ramp interest in its hybrid light bulbs that combine separate halogen and compact fluorescent (CFL) sources inside the globe. The lamps called Bright from the Start use the halogen element to come on instantly and GE now has a 100W equivalent that it will promote with partner Target and in particular using a NASCAR racing partnership that the retailer has with driver Juan Pablo Montoya.

GE says that the 100W-equivalent lamps will save consumers $39 in energy over the life of the lamp based on three hours of operation each day. The company is promoting the technology by offering a GE Lighting VIP Race Pass for two at the May 2014 Charlotte Cup. You can enter the sweepstakes on the GE Lighting Facebook page.

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Ironically, the timing for the announcement could have hardly been worse. Just last week, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, which fields the Target-sponsored car for Montoya, announced that the driver would not return in 2014. That said, the Target sponsorship could follow Montoya to another team or perhaps remain with Ganassi.

Meanwhile, the promotion includes having the Montoya family use the Bright from the Start bulbs in their home. "I love the energy savings that CFLs provide, but didn't like the amount of time it took to warm-up for full brightness," said Connie Montoya. "GE's Bright from the Start bulbs are instantly bright, but use a lot less energy than traditional bulbs." The CFL sources take over once the lamps warm up and the halogen source is extinguished.

The issue for many consumers for the Bright from the Star lamps is cost. Indeed, the cost premium is similar to the story we covered on GE's recent announcement with Walmart to promote pure halogen incandescent lamps. The 100W-equivalent lamps aren't yet available on retailer websites. But the 60W-equivalent lamps announced earlier sell for almost $11 on the Home Depot website.

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Clearly, the halogen capsule that GE calls a Brightness Booster adds significantly to manufacturing cost. The prices are certainly lower than 100W-equivalent LED-based lamps today, but the LED products are dropping in price every day. And LED lamps offer even longer lifer and lower energy use.

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