Frequently Asked Questions

 

Light bulbs can burn out quickly for a variety of reasons. The first thing to do if a bulb seems to burn out quickly is check the fixture. Light fixtures can wear out over time and develop wiring problems that blow out bulbs. If bulbs are repeatedly burning out quickly in the same light fixture, it's probably the fixture. (Of course, be sure you're following the fixture manufacturer's specifications for light bulb wattage, voltage, and bulb shape.)

The second thing to consider is the type of bulb you're buying. Some new bulb types have a longer bulb life than regular incandescent light bulbs. If you want bulbs that last longer, look for our GE energy smart® CFL and LED bulbs. Some CFLs last up to ten years, while some LEDs last over two decades.

For more information about bulb life, read: How long should light bulbs last?

 

We're sorry if you've encountered a problem with one of our lighting products; we strive to deliver the highest quality products available. For the quickest and most effective service, please return the product to the retailer where it was purchased, who will be able to provide you with an immediate solution. If you have a problem that prevents you from returning the product to the retailer, please contact us.

Concerned about short light bulb life? look for our GE energy smart® CFL and LED bulbs. Some CFLs last up to ten years, while some LEDs last over two decades.

For more information about bulb life, read: How long should light bulbs last?

 

Light bulb manufacturers, including GE, adhere to a standard industry rating for light bulb life called “rated life.” Check your light bulb package to see the rated hours of life for your particular bulb.

The rated life is a measure of the median time in hours that it takes for a light bulb to burn out. This is the point in laboratory testing at which half the test bulbs have burned out and half the test bulbs are still burning.

A 60-watt incandescent bulb may have a rated life of 1,000 hours. However, not all bulbs of this type will last exactly that long. That rated life is the median — the point in lab testing when 50% of the test samples have burned out and 50% are still burning.

 

If you think you have a defective holiday light set, please return it to the retailer where it was purchased for the quickest and most effective service.

GE holiday light sets and holiday replacement bulbs are available from Nicolas Holiday, Inc. which has a licensing agreement with GE to make and distribute all GE holiday lights. From their website, www.geholidaylighting.com, you can get instructions on replacing fuses and bulbs, get live online help from a customer service representative, send them email, and more. You can also call Nicolas Holiday, Inc. toll-free at 1-877-398-7337 Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (EST). (Hours may be extended during the holiday season.)

 

Fluorescent light bulbs need a ballast because they use a gas to create light. Regular light bulbs (also known as incandescent bulbs) create light by heating a filament inside the bulb. The heat makes the filament white-hot, producing the light that you see. In a fluorescent bulb, when the gas is excited by electricity, it emits invisible ultraviolet light that hits the white coating inside the fluorescent bulb. The coating changes the ultraviolet light into light you can see. (A lot of the energy used to create the heat that lights an incandescent bulb is wasted. Because fluorescent bulbs don't use heat to create light, they are far more energy-efficient than regular incandescent bulbs.)

The combination of gas, electricity, and coating in a fluorescent bulb is so effective at producing light that, without something to regulate the electricity flowing into the bulb, the light will continue to gain intensity until the bulb stops working. That's where a ballast comes in — it supplies the initial electricity that creates the light, and then it regulates the amount of electricity flowing through the bulb so that the right amount of light is emitted.

 

A ballast is an electrical component used with a fluorescent bulb (or mercury vapor lamp or arc lamp) to conduct electricity at each end of the tube. It supplies the initial electricity to the bulb that creates light, and then it regulates the amount of electricity flowing through the bulb so that it emits the right amount of light.

 

Fluorescent light bulbs (including compact fluorescents) are more energy-efficient than regular bulbs because of the different method they use to produce light. Regular bulbs (also known as incandescent bulbs) create light by heating a filament inside the bulb; the heat makes the filament white-hot, producing the light that you see. A lot of the energy used to create the heat that lights an incandescent bulb is wasted. A fluorescent bulb, on the other hand, contains a gas that, when excited by electricity, hits a coating inside the fluorescent bulb and emits light. Because fluorescent bulbs don't use heat to create light, they are far more energy-efficient than regular incandescent bulbs.

 

Regular fluorescent light bulbs used in your home and office do not produce a hazardous amount of ultraviolet light (UV). Most light sources, including fluorescent bulbs, emit a small amount of UV, but the UV produced by fluorescent light bulbs is far less than the amount produced by natural daylight. (Ultraviolet light rays are the light wavelengths that can cause sunburn and skin damage.)

Your safety is important to us; that's why, for all of our light bulbs designed for general public use, we strive to minimize the amount of UV light emitted.

If you're looking for a low-UV bulb for an especially sensitive area, try our Saf-T-Gard® bulbs. They block most ultraviolet light emissions, and they're also shatter-resistant.

 

Please refer to our state disposal policies page. In most states, fluorescent and compact fluorescent light bulbs used at home can be disposed of in the same way as regular light bulbs. While all fluorescent bulbs contain a trace amount of mercury, the quantity is so minute that disposal is not regulated by federal standards (established by the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency). You would have to dispose of an incredibly large amount of fluorescent
bulbs — around 360 4-foot fluorescent tubes — before you would be subject to federal disposal standards. However, individual states and provinces also have established disposal standards, so you should check the disposal policies in your area.

 

Regular light bulbs, known as incandescent bulbs, create light by heating a filament inside the bulb; the heat makes the filament white-hot, producing the light that you see. Halogen light bulbs create light through the same method. Because incandescent and halogen bulbs create light through heat, about 90% of the energy they emit is in the form of heat (also called infrared radiation). To reduce the heat emitted by regular incandescent and halogen light bulbs, use a lower watt bulb (like 60 watts instead of 100).

Fluorescent light bulbs use an entirely different method to create light. Both compact fluorescent bulbs and fluorescent tubes contain a gas that, when excited by electricity, hits a coating inside the fluorescent bulb and emits light. (This makes them far more energy-efficient than regular incandescent bulbs.) The fluorescent bulbs used in your home emit only around 30% of their energy in heat, making them far cooler than regular bulbs and an ideal choice whenever reducing heat from bulbs is important.

 

The white powder that you see inside a fluorescent lamp is called phosphor, which is a substance that emits white, visible light whenever it absorbs light waves. Both compact fluorescent bulbs and fluorescent tubes contain a gas that gives off invisible light when excited by electricity. This invisible light travels to the phosphor coating on the bulb, where it is transformed into light visible to the human eye.

 

Blacklights are fluorescent lights that are designed to emit a specific type (UVA) of ultraviolet light (although a small amount of visible light is emitted as well). Blacklights are good for making certain substances that would normally be invisible glow (or “fluoresce”). For example, you may have had your hand stamped at an amusement park with an invisible ink that, when viewed under a blacklight, glowed a bright neon color. Blacklights are available in fluorescent and incandescent. Fluorescent blacklights are great to use for a party or blacklight poster; incandescent blacklights are an inexpensive way to create a party atmosphere.

Blacklight-blue bulbs are designed with a special deep-blue glass that filters out visible light, producing the maximum amount of ultraviolet light possible. If you're looking for a blacklight that produces the minimum amount of visible light for an especially sensitive area, blacklight-blue bulbs are an ideal choice.

 

In the United States, GE car headlights and bulbs are available at Wal-Mart, Fred Meyer, and Ace Hardware.

 

Want to know the right GE headlights and bulbs to fit your car? Use our car headlight and bulb wizard. All you need to know is the make, model, and year of your car. We will show you a list of bulbs that will fit your vehicle. Consult your owners manual to identify the proper base and wattage for the bulb you are replacing. This information will help you identify the proper product for your needs.

 

GE makes a variety of premium car replacement headlights for you to choose from, including Nighthawk™, SUV, Super Blue, Extra Long life, and High Output automotive lights.

  • Nighthawk is GE's brightest headlight. The exclusive design produces ultra bright light. This lamp is highly recommended when seeking the maximum light on the road.

  • SUV (Sport Utility) is a custom-designed product for the SUV, truck or van owner seeking a refined light.

  • Super Blue headlights produce a whiter light than regular headlights. (They don't produce blue light. They're called Super Blue because the whiter light they produce falls in towards the blue section of the color spectrum.)

  • Extra (“Xtra”) Long Life (XL) headlights are designed to last up to 2-1/2 times longer than regular headlights.

  • High Output (HO) headlights are produced to provide a brighter light than the standard product and can last up to 2 times the life of standard lamps.

 

Fluorescent light bulbs (including compact fluorescents) are more energy-efficient than regular bulbs because of the different method they use to produce light. Regular bulbs (also known as incandescent bulbs) create light by heating a filament inside the bulb; the heat makes the filament white-hot, producing the light that you see. A lot of the energy used to create the heat that lights an incandescent bulb is wasted. A fluorescent bulb, on the other hand, contains a gas that produces invisible ultraviolet light (UV) when the gas is excited by electricity. The UV light hits the white coating inside the fluorescent bulb and the coating changes it into light you can see. Because fluorescent bulbs don't use heat to create light, they are far more energy-efficient than regular incandescent bulbs.

 

The primary difference is in size; compact fluorescent bulbs are made in special shapes (which require special technologies) to fit in standard household light sockets, like table lamps and ceiling fixtures. In addition, most compact fluorescent lamps have an “integral” ballast that is built into the light bulb, whereas most fluorescent tubes require a separate ballast independent of the bulb. Both types offer energy-efficient light.

 

While a regular (incandescent) light bulb uses heat to produce light, a fluorescent bulb creates light using an entirely different method that is far more energy-efficient — in fact, 4-6 times more efficient. This means that you can buy a 15-watt compact fluorescent bulb that produces the same amount of light as a 60-watt regular incandescent bulb.

Don't worry about the math, though — we make it easy for you to figure out which compact fluorescent bulb to buy by displaying the equivalent regular watts you're used to prominently on the package. Just look for the wattage you would normally buy in a regular bulb.

In case you're curious, here are the watts needed by regular incandescent bulbs and compact fluorescent bulbs to produce the same amount of light.

Standard Bulb CFL Bulb
40w = 10w
60w = 13w-15w
75w = 20w
100w = 26w-29w
150w = 38w-42w
250w-300w = 55w

Because the wattage of a CFL bulb is much lower than that of an incandescent, you can use higher wattage CFL giving you the equivalent light of a higher wattage incandescent. For example: If your fixture says not to exceed 60 watts, you can use a 15 watt CFL to get the same amount of light as an incandescent bulb or use up to a 42-watt CFL and increase the amount of light.

Related information: How does a compact fluorescent light bulb work?

 

To use a compact fluorescent bulb on a dimmer switch, you must buy a bulb that's specifically made to work with dimmers (check the package). GE makes a dimming compact fluorescent light bulb (called the Energy Smart Dimming Spirals®) that is specially designed for use with dimming switches. We don't recommend using regular compact fluorescent bulbs with dimming switches, since this can shorten bulb life. (Using a regular compact fluorescent bulb with a dimmer will also nullify the bulb's warranty.)

 

GE does make CFL bulbs for use in 3-way lamps. Check the package for this application. If a regular CFL is use in a 3-way switch, it will work on the middle (medium) setting and it should not damage the bulb. The 3-way switch does not alter the performance of the bulb.

 

The first compact fluorescent bulbs flickered when they were turned on because it took a few seconds for the ballast to produce enough electricity to excite the gas inside the bulb. Thanks to the refined technology in our new GE compact fluorescent bulbs, there is now no significant flicker (less than 1 second). GE also offers a Bright from the Start™ CFL, which provides full brightness the instant you flip the switch.

Related information: How does a compact fluorescent light bulb work?

 

Compact fluorescent light bulbs may generally be used in enclosed fixtures, and GE offers dimmable CFLs for use in track and recessed fixtures.

 

Many CFL bulbs can be used outdoors if used in an enclosed fixture. To be certain, look for the package or bulb to say that it can be used outdoors and verify the lowest operating temperature for the area where the product is being used.

 

Yes, GE screwbase CFL bulbs can be used in any operating position unless there is text printed on the lamp or packaging that indicates a required operating position.

 

Generally it is not recommended to use CFLs in vibrating environments. Vibration can cause the electronics in the CFL to fail. There is one CFL bulb (FLE11) that is available for use in a ceiling fan. Check the package for this application.

 

Many electronic devices, such as radios, televisions, wireless telephones, and remote controls, use infrared light to transmit signals. Infrequently, these types of electronic devices accidentally interpret the infrared light coming from a compact fluorescent bulb as a signal, causing the electronic device to temporarily malfunction or stop working. (For example, your television might suddenly change channels.) Fortunately, this only happens when light is produced at the same wavelength as the electronic device signals, which is rare.

To reduce the chance of interference, avoid placing compact fluorescent bulbs near these kinds of electronic devices. If interference occurs, move the bulb away from the electronic device, or plug either the light fixture or the electronic device into a different outlet.

 

Yes. CFLs, when compared with standard incandescent bulbs, offer many benefits. First, they help save energy and money. They use 2/3 less energy than standard incandescent light bulbs, and last up to 10 times longer. Replacing a 60-watt incandescent with a 13-watt CFL can save you at least $30 in energy costs over the life of the bulb. Second, CFLs offer convenience, because they last longer, and come in different sizes and shapes to fit almost any fixture. In addition, CFLs produce about 70% less heat than standard incandescent bulbs, so they're safer to operate and can help cut energy costs associated with home cooling. When shopping, always look for ENERGY STAR®-qualified CFLs.

 

CFLs contain a very small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing — an average of 5 milligrams (roughly equivalent to the tip of a ball-point pen). Mercury is an essential, irreplaceable element in CFLs and is what allows the bulb to be an efficient light source. By comparison, older home thermometers contain 500 milligrams of mercury and many manual thermostats contain up to 3000 milligrams. It would take between 100 and 600 CFLs to equal those amounts.

There is currently no substitute for mercury in CFLs; however, manufacturers have taken significant steps to reduce mercury used in their fluorescent lighting products over the past decade.

 

CFLs are safe to use in your home. No mercury is released when the bulbs are in use and they pose no danger to you or your family when used properly. However, CFLs are made of glass tubing and can break if dropped or roughly handled. Be careful when removing the lamp from its packaging, installing it, or replacing it. Always screw and unscrew the lamp by its base, and never forcefully twist the CFL into a light socket by its tubes. Learn how to dispose of used CFLs properly.

 

The vast majority of CFLs reach the end of useful life and fail passively. In some cases, electronic components in the ballast power supply (such as capacitors and resistors) may fail in a manner that will result in some smoke, odor, or discoloration (browning) of the plastic housing. The failure of some electrical components can result in an audible “popping” or “sizzling” sound. It is the function of the ballast housing to contain such failures and prevent the plastic or failed components from igniting. GE CFLs are ENERGY STAR qualified and meet UL standards, which require the materials to be self–extinguishing. It is the nature of fire retardant materials to exhibit some deformation or discoloration in a protective mode. At the first sign of any odor, smoke or erratic behavior, disconnect power to the lamp. Allow it to cool and unscrew it from the socket by the handling the base, not by the glass.

 

The vast majority of CFLs do not produce either an odor or smoke when the CFL either fails or reaches its normal end of life. However, CFLs, like many electrical or electronic products, can sometimes fail in a way where one of the electrical components or plastic materials will briefly produce a very irritating odor and possibly some smoke. Any smoke or odor produced is in a low concentration, which will not result in a hazard. However, in the relatively small number of cases where this might occur, it can produce a very pungent smell that is certainly not pleasant.

If this situation occurs, the easiest way to eliminate any odor is to follow the same approach that one would use to eliminate any other unpleasant odor or smell. Briefly leave the immediate area if it is very irritating. Next, after waiting 10 or 15 minutes, air out the room by opening any doors or a window if there is one. This will quickly dissipate the remaining fumes or smell. If available, a normal portable household fan or ceiling fan will accelerate the process. Properly dispose of the lamp.

 

Like paint, batteries, thermostats, and other hazardous household items, CFLs should be disposed of properly. Do not throw CFLs away in your household garbage if better disposal options exist. To find out what to do first check www.earth911.org (where you can find disposal options by using your zip code) or call 1-800-CLEAN-UP for local disposal options. Another option is to check directly with your local waste management agency for recycling options and disposal guidelines in your community. Additional information is available at www.lamprecycle.org. Finally, IKEA stores take back used CFLs, and other retailers are currently exploring take back programs.

If your local waste management agency offers no other disposal options except your household garbage, place the CFL in a plastic bag and seal it before putting it in the trash. If your waste agency incinerates its garbage, you should search a wider geographic area for proper disposal options. Never send a CFL or other mercury containing product to an incinerator.

ENERGY STAR®-qualified CFLs have a two-year warranty. If the bulb fails within the warranty period, return it to your retailer.

 

Because there is such a small amount of mercury in CFLs, your greatest risk if a bulb breaks is getting cut from glass shards. Research indicates that there is no immediate health risk to you or your family should a bulb break and it's cleaned up properly. You can minimize any risks by following these proper clean-up and disposal guidelines:

  • Sweep up—don't vacuum—all of the glass fragments and fine particles.

  • Place broken pieces in a sealed plastic bag and wipe the area with a damp paper towel to pick up any stray shards of glass or fine particles. Put the used towel in the plastic bag as well.

  • If weather permits, open windows to allow the room to ventilate.

Additional information available from the EPA.

 

Mercury is an element (Hg on the periodic table) found naturally in the environment. Mercury emissions in the air can come from both natural and man-made sources. Utility power plants (mainly coal-fired) are the primary man-made source, as mercury that naturally exists in coal is released into the air when coal is burned to make electricity. Coal-fired power generation accounts for roughly 40% of the mercury emissions in the U.S. EPA is implementing policies to reduce airborne mercury emissions. Under regulations issued in 2005, coal-fired power plants will need to reduce their emissions by 70 percent by 2018.

CFLs present an opportunity to prevent mercury emissions from entering the environment because they help to reduce emissions from coal-fired power plants. A coal-fired power plant will emit 13.6 milligrams of mercury to produce electricity required to use an incandescent light bulb, compared to 3.3 milligrams for a CFL.

Even in areas without significant coal-fired power generation as part of the electricity mix (e.g., Alaska and the Pacific Northwest), there are other, equally positive environmental impacts from saving energy through the use of CFLs: reduction of nitrogen oxides (which cause smog), and prevention of substantial quantities of CO2, a greenhouse gas (which is linked to global warming), as well as other air pollutants.

Airborne mercury poses a very low risk of exposure. However, when mercury emissions deposit into lakes and oceans, they can transform into methyl mercury that builds up in fish. Fish consumption is the most common pathway for human exposure to mercury. Pregnant women and young children are most vulnerable to the effects of this type of mercury exposure. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that most people are not exposed to harmful levels of mercury through fish consumption. However, the FDA and state agencies do issue public health advisories.

EPA offers additional information and resources on all sources of mercury at www.epa.gov/mercury.

 

Regular fluorescent light bulbs used in your home and office do not produce a hazardous amount of ultraviolet light (UV). Most light sources, including fluorescent bulbs, emit a small amount of UV, but the UV produced by fluorescent light bulbs is far less than the amount produced by natural daylight. (Ultraviolet light rays are the light wavelengths that can cause sunburn and skin damage.)

Your safety is important to us; that's why, for all of our light bulbs designed for general public use, we strive to minimize the amount of UV light emitted.

If you're looking for a low-UV bulb for an especially sensitive area, try our Saf-T-Gard® bulbs. They block most ultraviolet light emissions, and they're also shatter-resistant.

 

Regular light bulbs, known as incandescent bulbs, create light by heating a filament inside the bulb; the heat makes the filament white-hot, producing the light that you see. Halogen light bulbs create light through the same method. Because incandescent and halogen bulbs create light through heat, about 90% of the energy they emit is in the form of heat (also called infrared radiation). To reduce the heat emitted by regular incandescent and halogen light bulbs, use a lower watt bulb (like 60 watts instead of 100).

Fluorescent light bulbs use an entirely different method to create light. Both compact fluorescent bulbs and fluorescent tubes contain a gas that, when excited by electricity, hits a coating inside the fluorescent bulb and emits light. (This makes them far more energy-efficient than regular incandescent bulbs.) The fluorescent bulbs used in your home emit only around 30% of their energy in heat, making them far cooler than regular bulbs and an ideal choice whenever reducing heat from bulbs is important.

 

The white powder that you see inside a fluorescent lamp is called phosphor, which is a substance that emits white, visible light whenever it absorbs light waves. Both compact fluorescent bulbs and fluorescent tubes contain a gas that gives off invisible light when excited by electricity. This invisible light travels to the phosphor coating on the bulb, where it is transformed into light visible to the human eye.

 

Ordinary bulbs produce dingy yellow rays that can leave your home not looking its best. Fortunately, you don't have to settle for inferior light quality. Use our quality of light scale to decide which bulb is right for the different rooms in your home.

Quality of Light Scale

Best light quality:
GE halogen light bulbs provide the bright, crisp light used by designers to make homes look their best — and some are guaranteed to last 2 years* or longer.

Great light quality:
GE reveal® light bulbs provide cleaner, whiter-looking light for rooms where pure, true light is important.

Good light quality:
GE soft white bulbs provide regular, everyday light for the less-traveled areas of your home.

Pick a room. Change the bulbs. See the results. You won't believe the difference redecorating with light can make in how your home looks.

 

You don't have to settle for the dingy yellow rays produced by inferior bulbs. Instead, transform every room in your home from ordinary to extraordinary with reveal® bulbs. reveal's unique neodymium glass filters out the dull, yellow rays of regular soft white bulbs, leaving you with enhanced, vivid surroundings. You'll be delighted with the difference — guaranteed.

Pick a room. Change all the bulbs. See the results. You won't believe the difference light quality can make in how your home looks.

 

GE light bulbs are available from most home improvement, drug, discount, office supply, and grocery stores. Unfortunately, we can't tell you which store will have the exact bulb you need in stock. If you're looking for a hard-to-find bulb, an Internet store may be a convenient source.

 

If you think you have a defective holiday light set, please return it to the retailer where it was purchased for the quickest and most effective service.

GE holiday light sets and holiday replacement bulbs are available from Nicolas Holiday, Inc. which has a licensing agreement with GE to make and distribute all GE holiday lights. From their website, www.geholidaylighting.com, you can get instructions on replacing fuses and bulbs, get live online help from a customer service representative, send them email, and more. You can also call Nicolas Holiday, Inc. toll-free at 1-877-398-7337 Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (EST). (Hours may be extended during the holiday season.)

 

If you think you have a defective holiday light set, please return it to the retailer where it was purchased for the quickest and most effective service.

GE holiday light sets and holiday replacement bulbs are available from Nicolas Holiday, Inc. which has a licensing agreement with GE to make and distribute all GE holiday lights. From their website, www.geholidaylighting.com, you can get instructions on replacing fuses and bulbs, get live online help from a customer service representative, send them email, and more. You can also call Nicolas Holiday, Inc. toll-free at 1-877-398-7337 Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (EST). (Hours may be extended during the holiday season.)

 

Ordinary bulbs produce dingy yellow rays that can leave your home not looking its best. Fortunately, you don't have to settle for inferior light quality. Use our quality of light scale to decide which bulb is right for the different rooms in your home.

Quality of Light Scale

Best light quality:
GE halogen light bulbs provide the bright, crisp light used by designers to make homes look their best — and some are guaranteed to last 2 years* or longer.

Great light quality:
GE reveal® light bulbs provide cleaner, whiter-looking light for rooms where pure, true light is important.

Good light quality:
GE soft white bulbs provide regular, everyday light for the less-traveled areas of your home.

Pick a room. Change the bulbs. See the results. You won't believe the difference redecorating with light can make in how your home looks.

 

Both regular incandescent bulbs and halogen bulbs create light by heating a filament (made of tungsten) inside the bulb; the heat makes the filament white-hot, producing the light that you see. Usually, the bulb burns out when the filament wears out.

The filament on a regular incandescent bulb wears out over time because the tungsten on the filament evaporates and is redeposited on the bulb's glass. (This is also why bulbs often appear darker when they burn out; what you're seeing is tungsten deposits on the inside of the glass.) Halogen bulbs last longer because the halogen gas inside the bulbs redeposits the tungsten back onto the filament as it evaporates. A halogen bulb will still eventually burn out, because the tungsten isn't redeposited evenly on the filament, and the filament will eventually develop a weak spot. Even so, halogen bulb technology is a great improvement over regular bulbs — they last around 4 times longer while providing a superior quality of light.

 

With the exception of under-cabinet fixtures and night lights, GE Lighting does not make light fixtures for the home. If you're looking for home light fixtures, you might try your local lighting distributors and home improvement centers.

 

For outdoor fixtures, it's important to buy a bulb with a package that says it was designed for outdoor use. To see GE bulbs rated for outdoor use, visit our Outdoor Lighting page. Of course, be sure you're following the fixture manufacturer's specifications for light bulb wattage, voltage, and bulb shape. If you have a special fixture type and aren't sure which light bulb to use, contact the fixture manufacturer. 

Of course, be sure you're following the fixture manufacturer's specifications for light bulb wattage, voltage, and bulb shape. If you have a special fixture type and aren't sure which light bulb to use, contact the fixture manufacturer.

 

We offer a wide range of GE energy-efficient light bulbs, including bulbs that meet the U.S. government's ENERGY STAR® performance standards. In fact, we were honored to have once again been named the EPA ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year.

 

Some new bulb types have a longer bulb life than regular incandescent light bulbs you're used to. If you want bulbs that last longer, look for our GE energy smart® CFLs and LEDs. We also offer a line of energy-saving Soft White bulbs guaranteed to last 2-8 years* (depending on bulb type).

For more information about bulb life, read: How long should light bulbs last?

 

Light bulb and lighting product rebates are only offered through local stores. To find out if any lighting product rebates are currently available, please check with light bulb retailers in your area.

 

Seasonal affective disorder (or SAD) is a form of depression caused by the lack of sunlight. It usually occurs in winter when natural light levels decrease. A common treatment for this condition is phototherapy, in which a light box is used to expose the patient to high levels of light for prolonged periods. Because of the high level of light used and the risk of eye damage due to ultraviolet radiation exposure, people who may be suffering from SAD should consult a health professional, who can suggest the most appropriate treatment. If a light box is recommended, your health professional should monitor the light intensity, length of exposure, number of treatments, and time of day that the treatments should be administered.

We do not make a GE light box or light bulbs for use in phototherapy light boxes or visors. Regular light bulbs used in the home and public buildings, whether incandescent, fluorescent, compact fluorescent, or halogen, do not produce the intensity of light needed to treat seasonal affective disorder. If you believe you may suffer from SAD, contact a qualified health professional.

 

Please refer to our state disposal policies page. In most states, fluorescent and compact fluorescent light bulbs used at home can be disposed of in the same way as regular light bulbs. While all fluorescent bulbs contain a trace amount of mercury, the quantity is so minute that disposal is not regulated by federal standards (established by the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency). You would have to dispose of an incredibly large amount of fluorescent
bulbs — around 360 4-foot fluorescent tubes — before you would be subject to federal disposal standards. However, individual states and provinces also have established disposal standards, so you should check the disposal policies in your area.

 

If you're looking for a shatter resistant bulb, try our Saf-T-Gard™ light bulbs. They have a coating that helps contain shattered particles if the bulb is broken.

 

If you're looking for a low-UV bulb for an especially sensitive area (like a photography dark room), try our Saf-T-Gard™ bulbs. They block most ultraviolet light emissions, and they're also shatter-resistant.

 

Blacklights are fluorescent lights that are designed to emit a specific type (UVA) of ultraviolet light (although a small amount of visible light is emitted as well). Blacklights are good for making certain substances that would normally be invisible glow (or “fluoresce”). For example, you may have had your hand stamped at an amusement park with an invisible ink that, when viewed under a blacklight, glowed a bright neon color. Blacklights are available in fluorescent and incandescent. Fluorescent blacklights are great to use for a party or blacklight poster; incandescent blacklights are an inexpensive way to create a party atmosphere.

Blacklight-blue bulbs are designed with a special deep-blue glass that filters out visible light, producing the maximum amount of ultraviolet light possible. If you're looking for a blacklight that produces the minimum amount of visible light for an especially sensitive area, blacklight-blue bulbs are an ideal choice.

 

We're currently unable to find a cost-effective source for light meter repair and calibration. Fortunately, these meters are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased through your local lighting distributor.