Light Bulb News

CFL’s Phasing Out

A few years ago, the compact fluorescent light (CFL) was the ideal energy efficient alternative to the standard incandescent bulb. But LEDs have rapidly improved as more manufacturers have entered the market – improving quality, accelerating technology, and driving prices down.

On Monday, one of the largest producers of lightbulbs, General Electric, announced that it will no longer manufacture or sell CFL’s in the US.  They expect to phase them out of the market by year end.

“Now is the right time to transition from CFL to LED,” said John Strainic of GE Lighting.

While dramatically more efficient than incandescent light bulbs, CFL’s were slow to gain consumer acceptance.  Harsh light, delayed start up and flicker were among the most common complaints, along with a concern about trace amounts of mercury.

LED’s are superior by any measure; quality, efficiency, service life, safety, etc.  They produce no harmful UV or Infrared light and almost no heat.  Not surprisingly, they were initially quite expensive, costing around $30 per bulb. Last year the price dropped below $8. 

In 2014, LEDs made up about 5% of the American market. By the end of last year, their share had grown to 15 percent - a 237% increase.

Businesses were quick to take advantage of huge discounts offered by utility companies offering cash incentives to reduce electrical consumption. In addition, Energy Star standards are changing, meaning fewer CFL’s will qualify in the future.

Virtually all retailers are expected to make major shifts toward LED’s in 2016.  Not only in terms of what they stock and sell, but in how they light their own stores.

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