Don’t count Thomas Edison out yet. GE says that advancements to the light bulb invented by GE’s founder Thomas Edison could potentially elevate the energy efficiency of this 125-year-old technology to levels comparable to compact fluorescent lamps. Over the next several years, these advancements could lead to the introduction of high-efficiency incandescent lamps that provide the same high light quality, brightness and color as current incandescent lamps while saving energy and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.
According to GE, the new technology could be expanded to all incandescent types. The target for these bulbs at initial production is to be nearly twice as efficient, at 30 lumens-per-Watt, as current incandescent bulbs. Ultimately the high efficiency lamp technology is expected to be about four times as efficient as current incandescent bulbs and comparable to CFL bulbs, GE says
The question is, does GE have three years to improve the efficiency of incandescents? California Assemblyman Lloyd Levine introduced legislation to make his state the first to ban incandescent lightbulbs. Earlier this week, Australia announced it would phase out incandescents and Greenpeace asked India to follow Australia’s lead.
One positive for GE is that Incandescents don’t face the recycling hurdles that CFLs do. CFLs contain mercury, a neurotoxin, and manufacturers, retailers, and the government have yet to come up with effective ways to recycle them.