GE Lighting introduces CFL lamps that dim to 5% of full output

Aug. 15, 2012
GE Energy Smart and Reveal CFL lamps replace omnidirectional and reflector, incandescent lamps with the ability to dim smoothly to 5% of full light output.
CFL lamp at 20% and 5% levels

While compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are widely used as energy saving alternatives to incandescent lamps, the CFLs have never matched incandescent performance in dimming. GE Lighting says that it has overcome that limitation with the latest Energy Smart and Revel lamps that dim smoothly to 5%.

"Many homeowners have embraced CFLs for their energy savings, but they typically opted for alternative technologies in settings where dimmable lighting was needed. Now they can achieve both needs in one bulb," said Mary Beth Gotti, manager of the GE Lighting Institute. "Consumers should consider this dimmable technology in rooms where their lighting needs fluctuate, such as the media room, kitchen or dining room, and in areas used for entertaining."

The nearby photo illustrates the capability of the new product lines. The lamp in the photo has an Energy Smart Soft White CFL installed. On the left the CFL is dimmed to 20% of full output and on the right to the 5% level.

GE didn't full explain how they achieved the performance but the innovation is apparently in the ballast design. "We changed our complex ballast design to a more simplified version, which increased the power factor, allowing our lamps to dim down to five percent," said Jacint Gergely, design engineer at GE Lighting. "This allows us to give customers energy-saving options and do so without compromising any of the features they love."

14W Reveal CFL replaces 60W incandescents

The new dimming technology is available in a wide variety of CFL bulbs. For omnidirectional applications, the company offers 14W and 26W products in the Energy Smart Soft White and Reveal Spiral lines. The lamps are meant to replace 60W and 100W incandescent lamps. The Reveal line is designed to enhance color rendering.

GE Lighting also offers 15W and 26W reflector bulbs in both the Energy Smart Soft White and Reveal lines. Those products replace incandescent lamps in the range of 65-90W. Major retailers have the lamps in stock. All of the lamps are rated for 10,000 hours of life.