GE Dims Lights On Incandescents

by | Oct 8, 2007

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General Electric is restructuring its lighting business to help the company “better respond to customer and industry demands -? particularly the global market move to more energy-efficient products.” The move directly affects the companies ability to manufacture incandescent light bulbs while GE increases its focus on the development and production of products like LEDs, organic LEDs, and high efficiency incandescents.

The move will affect a number of facilities and positions globally, including: the closing of all lighting operations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, impacting approximately 900 jobs, and the closing of some lighting operations in the U.S., impacting approximately 425 jobs. About 80 positions will be transferred to other operations.

The move is a continuation of recent activity that included facility closures, work transfers, layoffs and the sale of operations at GE sites in Europe, China, Indonesia, the U.S., Latin America, and India that impacted more than 3,000 positions.

“We are proposing these actions in order to continue our leadership in an industry that is in the midst of significant change. Global market demand for the most common household lighting product -? the incandescent bulb -? has dramatically declined over the past five years, and is accelerating due to new efficiency standards and technology advancements,” said Jim Campbell, president & CEO of GE Consumer & Industrial.

But GE is still working to elevate the energy efficiency of incandescents to levels comparable to compact fluorescent lamps. In February, the company announced that over the next several years, advancements could lead to the introduction of high-efficiency incandescent lamps that provide the same high light quality, brightness and color as current incandescent lamps while saving energy and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.

This is just the latest of a string of announcements that will affect the use and manufacture of incandescents worldwide.

Over the next 10 years, China, which makes 70 percent of the world’s lightbulbs, has agreed to phase out incandescent bulbs in favor of more energy-efficient ones.

In March, EU leaders decided that The European Union’s 490 million citizens will have to use energy-efficient lighting by the end of the decade.

Australia has announced it would phase out incandescents and Greenpeace has asked India to follow Australia’s lead.

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