In our ongoing quest to bring you the most up-to-date news about good-looking, energy-efficient lightbulbs, we would like to present another newcomer to the area, the GE Energy Smart. You may remember that it was just a few weeks ago we were covering another of GE's innovative bulbs, a halogen-CFL hybrid. Like the hybrid bulb, the Energy Smart lasts a long time: 22,000 hours or almost 23 years. But unlike that hybrid bulb, the Energy Smart contains an LED. Thanks to a series of fins along its perimeter, it's a multi-directional LED light, and—the best part—it's available now.Also quite charming is the minisite for the bulbs, which was designed by Doyle Partners. It opens with the same lamp (and we assume, the same bulb) in a bedroom where a mother cradles a newborn and, later, the same young woman buttons up her wedding dress. That might help to ease the sticker shock of the Energy Smart: It's a whopping $50 for a single bulb. But GE has all the calculations to back up their claims for how the Energy Smart will save money and prevent greenhouse gas emissions over time. Basically, you're buying a lightbulb that last 20 times longer and uses 77 percent less power. Does $50 seem right for that kind of math?
The good news about more bulbs entering the market is that we're seeing more and more innovation around a simple product that could have widespread impact—if the business models are appealing enough to get consumers to buy them.