Some folks just don’t want to give up incandescent light bulbs, so GE developed a “customer-inspired” bulb to ease the transition.  The GE Energy Smart hybrid halogen/CFL bulb is being shipped nationally with soft white and Reveal options.  The new bulb — a blend of three light bulb technologies — has the shape of an incandescent, the efficiency of a CFL, and the immediacy of a halogen.

The halogen technology offers instant, no-delay lighting, a feature missing in some CFLs.  To save energy, though, the halogen element shuts down when the CFL element reaches full brightness.

GE started shipping the hybrid light bulb and it should be available nationally by Earth Day, April 22, 2011, according to a recent press release.  Pricing is subject to retailer discretion, but GE expects something in the range of $5.99-$9.99 per bulb, depending on the line and wattage.

The Energy Smart hybrid lasts about eight times longer than a typical incandescent (e.g., 1,000 versus 8,000 hours) and has less mercury than a typical CFL (e.g., 1 versus 2-4 milligrams).  The soft white bulb is 2700 Kelvin with 800 lumens (15 watt) and 1,100 lumens (20 watt).  The Reveal is 2500 Kelvin with 740 (15 watt) and 1,050 (20 watt).

Photo credits: GE.