Photograph by Bloomberg Bloomberg via Getty Images
By Claire Zillman
February 1, 2016

It’s lights out for the compact fluorescent lamp.

General Electric on Monday announced that it will stop producing its coiled CFL lightbulbs this year in the U.S. It’s opting instead to focus on LED bulbs.

The CFL bulbs, which heat gas instead of a filament, gained popularity in 2012 when the U.S. government required that incandescent light bulbs use 30% less energy. Even though CFLs once made up 30% of U.S. light bulb sales, consumers complained that the CFL light “was too harsh, didn’t work with dimmers, flickered and took too long to warm up and light a room,” according to GE (ge).

GE’s shift from CFLs to LEDs was prompted—in large part—by the dramatic drop in LED prices. The bulbs now retail at $3.33 apiece at Sam’s Club. They sold for between $40 and $50 in 2012.


GE said in a statement that LEDs account for 15% of the 1.7 billion bulbs sold annually in the U.S. “GE expects that by 2020, LEDs will be used in more than 50% of U.S. light sockets,” the company said.


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