GE to Phase Out CFLs in Light of New Energy Star Specs

Today, GE posted a satirical break-up letter addressed to the compact fluorescent lamp (CFL). The company is moving the focus of its consumer lighting business to the light-emitting diode (LED) lamp. It has already ceased manufacturing of some CFL models, and it plans to cancel the manufacture of all CFLs by the end of 2016.

The lighting industry is generally seeing this as good news, a signal of progress as LEDs have reached a sustainable low cost to the end user and the appeal of CFLs has declined. Consumer lighting has been plagued in recent years as end users have had difficulty deciding which solution to buy. The elimination of CFLs means simpler choice and greater buy-in for LEDs. Moreover, LEDs have many advantages over CFLs, considering they are more efficient and much less toxic to dispose of.

Moreover, we know from our last Profile of the Electrical Contractor that 44 percent of contractors are doing green building work, and of this work, lighting upgrades including sensors and controls is growing. LEDs provide many more opportunities here. We expect to see this trend continue in our 2016 Profile, coming in the July issue.

With Energy Star's lamps specification V2.0 reaching the final stage in December (now in revision), it is expected that lamps manufactured after June 1, 2016 will be required to meet these new specifications. It would have been difficult for CFL technology to meet Energy Star's new specifications, so GE has made the decision to focus on LEDs. It is expected that other manufacturers will follow suit.

GE is also taking the opportunity to offer a $2-off coupon for any GE lighting product.

About the Author

Timothy Johnson

Editor—Digital

Timothy Johnson is the former digital editor for ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine.

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