GE Is Going to Stop Making This Lightbulb

February 1, 2016, 5:06 PM UTC
General Electric Co. Branded Light Bulbs As Manufacturer Makes $17 Billion Bid For Alstom SA's Energy Business
A GE logo sits on the box of a General Electric Biax T/E compact fluorescent lamp, produced by General Electric Co. (GE), in this arranged photograph taken in London, U.K., on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. General Electric made a 12.4 billion-euro ($17 billion) offer for Alstom SA's energy business to open official negotiations with the French company and thwart a potential counterbid from Siemens AG. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Bloomberg Bloomberg via Getty Images

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.