For those homeowners who want to go green but can't quite get used to swirly-shaped CFLs, GE will soon hit the market through retail channels with its covered Energy Smart compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb, which features its Spiral CFL inside the glass bulb. The new CFL's design is protected by more than a dozen U.S. patent applications. Because GE managed to fit the necessary electronics in the neck of the bulb, the bulb's profile is virtually identical to a standard incandescent light bulb.

The bulb debuted nationwide at Target on Dec. 28, at selected Ace Hardware stores in January, and more broadly around Earth Day (April 22, 2009) at retailers such as Sam's Club and Walmart. The equivalent of a 60W incandescent bulb, the new 8,000-hour rated life CFL is guaranteed for five years based on four hours of daily use. Between April and June 2009, GE plans to introduce 9W and 20W incandescent-shaped covered GE Energy Smart CFLs, 40W and 75W equivalents, respectively. Each will offer an 8,000-hour rated life and five-year guarantee based on four hours of daily use. The 20W CFL will have a slightly taller profile that mirrors a standard incandescent three-way bulb. A 100W equivalent, incandescent-shaped GE Energy Smart CFL and other inventive products for household applications could be introduced as early as 2010.

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