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GE sheds light on 40W replacement LED bulb


April 9, 2010

The GE Energy Smart LED bulb that has the equivalent lumens output of a 40W incandescent bulb but only uses 9W and lasts 25 times longer

The GE Energy Smart LED bulb that has the equivalent lumens output of a 40W incandescent bulb but only uses 9W and lasts 25 times longer

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With many countries planning or having already implemented the phase out of incandescent bulbs, lighting company GE has unveiled a 40W equivalent Energy Smart LED bulb that consumes 9W, hence providing a 77 percent energy saving over its old-fashioned technological incandescent cousin. GE says the Energy Smart LED will produce nearly the same light output as a 40W bulb but will last 25 times longer. It is expected to be available to consumers later this year or early 2011.

While 40W doesn’t sound like a very bright light, the new LEDs have been designed by GE scientists and engineers to better direct light downward, and not just for use in lampshades and other low-light devices. The company hinted that many consumers are unimpressed with current LED bulbs that produce around 350 lumens. These LEDs will deliver 450 lumens, the equivalent of a 40W globe, which is the threshold to achieve the Energy Star rating the company has applied for.

“This is a bulb that can virtually light your kid's bedroom desk lamp from birth through high school graduation,” says John Strainic, global product general manager, GE Lighting. “It's an incredible advancement that's emblematic of the imagination and innovation that GE's applying to solve some of the world's biggest challenges.”

GE Energy Smart LED bulb is expected to consume just 9W - compared with 40W incandescent/halogen or 10W CFL, while delivering nearly the same light output. It’s also expected to last 25,000 hours, or 17 years if used for four hours per day.

The bulbs are manufactured with a durable solid-state design and no filament to break, they contain no mercury and will be RoHS compliant; and are cooler to the touch than CFLs and far cooler than incandescent bulbs.

“The introduction of high-quality retrofit light bulbs, like the GE Energy Smart LED bulb, is a key next step in the LED lighting revolution,” notes Norbert Hiller, Cree vice president and general manager, LED Components.

The bad news … the bulbs are expected to retail for between US$40-50, but that initial cost is more than offset by their long life.

US lighting facts/legislation

Starting in 2012 and continuing through 2014, standard incandescent light bulbs are being removed from sale as a result of US federal lighting efficiency standards. Also, 100W bulbs can no longer be made after January 2012; 75W bulbs cease in January 2013; and wave goodbye to 60W and 40W bulbs from January 2014.


The new GE light bulb will be a major breakthrough in \"Lighting at low wattage\". When CFLs were introduced I replaced in my home 8 Fluorescent Bulbs and I could save Rs 150(About 4 US$) in my monthly Electricity bill. Now I am waiting for quality LED or allied bulbs to replace all my present lights at home.

Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP),India

Anumakonda Jagadeesh

O.K. if there going to eliminate the 100W incandescent bulbs are they going to make an equivalent 100W L.E.D. light bulb? Some of us still need the lumens and if it can be done more efficiently so much the better just don\'t leave me with a meager 40W (equivalent) of light.


Gee isn\'t interesting that GE brings out an LED bulb that uses 2 times more wattage than any other LED bulb of the same brightness. Do you think it\'s because they make so much money on their turbines that actually putting out a truly efficient product goes directly against six sigma thinking. STOP BUYING THEIR PRODUCTS

John Graven

By \"downward\" do they mean towards the threaded base of the bulb or towards the other end?

All the LED bulbs I\'ve looked at would be very poor for use in a floor lamp that has upwards pointing bulb sockets. They\'d light up the ceiling very well but cast little to no light down.

Those big fins (for cooling?) will make this GE bulb not fit any lamp with a shade that fits close to the bulb. Forget using this one in your ceiling fan or Victorian styled table/desk lamp or many bathroom mirror lamps.

Facebook User

I\'ve been using commercial LED lights in reading lamps and hard-to-reach fixtures for a few years and have been very happy with the results. The promise of brighter LED bulbs to serve a wider variety of applications is exciting. Too bad so many governments have already mandated the use of environmentally dangerous CFLs.

Gary Fisher


The mandate is to eliminate 100w incandescent bulbs. It doesn\'t eliminate 100w-equivalent compact fluorescent bulbs, which last about 10x longer than incandescent or 40% as long as the LED and use only 26w. Although as Gary Fisher above writes, CFLs aren\'t a perfect solution either, thanks to their mercury content. Properly recycled, they\'re not a problem, but we all know that many people are too lazy to recycle or even avoid littering.


Many current LED bulb manufacturers greatly exaggerate their output and/or wattage. GE being (at least more) truthful should not be held against them. One bulb I bought a couple of years ago didn\'t put out 25% of claimed Lumens.

Mark in MI

I have replaced all bulbs in my house and yard with LED bulbs except for a few ornamental incandescent bulbs in a ceiling fan. The CFL\'s were burning out every year! They were supposed to last 5 years, but they are too cheaply made. I have only had one LED bulb go out and I opened it up and fixed it! Have you ever heard of repairing a light bulb? I tried a few different types until I found some with good color that matched a warm white incadescent. Check out LEDlight.com or SuperbrightLEDs.com. They have some nice 450 lumen bulbs.


My own personal experience has been that these CFLs do not last 1/3rd as long as the manufacturer states. And at a cost difference to me at the time of purchase, the energy savings from using a CFL doesn\'t even come close to offsetting the added cost of the CFL at purchase time. I suspect that the same will be true of these LED lights. I have a 3watt LED light that I use on my deck (I have about a dozen on my deck) that give very broad distribution light and cost over $8 each! I\'ve already had to replace 3 of them and they aren\'t even a year old! And at $8/each, that isn\'t cheap! a 3 watt incandescent 3watt bulb would have had more light output, look more natural, last longer and would cost less to replace.

Until they can get these alternative bulbs to be under $2 each, I don\'t see them being a viable alternative! And don\'t forget about the lack of alternative styled bulbs...I cannot find Marquis style CFL bulbs for my bathroom, flame style CFL bulbs for my chandelier and these CFLs do nothing for my Lava Lamps!


Only one of all the CFL\'s I have had for several years have burned out. A couple of cheapo off brand ones didn\'t even work out of the package, so I stopped buying the cheap ones. Prices are lower now for decent ones. At that price, they will save you money. I have seen flame style ones at Lowe\'s recently, and they even came with small screws and larger screw adapters. No, they won\'t work in your laval lamp (!), but they do keep the room cooler in the summer heat.

Mark in MI

Still early days but one assumes they\'ll get there - the CFL\'s weren\'t what they claimed to be in the early days; I wonder if they do give anything like the claimed 7 or 8 thousands hour lifespan.

As regards output, 40W is OK but not near powerful enough for any decent applications - using an incandescent 40W globe is bad for the eyes over the long haul, how many do we use for whole-room lighting, if any at all.

Paul Aarden

Are they also legislate, that the rest of the World cannot use incandescent lights or just Europe and the USA falls back into the Dark Ages? Politicians never had any brains to think, now they will not even see the results. with the same logic of voluntary poverty and regression, I am amazed that suicide for sick people is not advocated as part of the Obama Health Carelessness Package.


Adjusting to the new light-bulbs.....if a lamp is rated to use two 25 Watt incandescent bulbs and I have a "40 Watt replacement bulb" that only "uses 9 Watts," can I use it in the 25 Watt incandescent lamp since the "use" is less than 25 Watts?

Jana Black
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