The Global View

Father of energy-efficient light bulb talks

hammerMeet Ed Hammer, the GE engineer behind the energy-efficient light bulb that will play a crucial role in improving the power usage of homes, offices and all kinds of buildings.

ZDNet has a great article about the man, with some details about how his invention was initially shelved by GE, due to the costs involved with setting up a new manufacturing plant.

Although executives at GE liked the idea, they decided not to market it at the time. CFLs would require entirely new manufacturing facilities, which would cost $25 million. “So they decided to shelve it,” Hammer said.

The electronics giant contemplated licensing the design. Unfortunately, the design leaked out. Others copied it before GE started a licensing program.

“That’s how it became widespread,” he said. Still, “it has been a big hit for GE.”

Thank goodness for that.