A hybrid bulb is a relatively new innovation in the light bulb market. These bulbs combine the older, more traditional incandescent and halogen light technology with newer, more environmentally friendly compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) technology. Essentially, hybrid bulbs allow the best elements of halogen and CFL light bulbs to work together as one ultra-efficient source of light.
Traditional incandescent and halogen light bulbs have been criticized for being inefficient and often wasteful. Bulbs such as these often do not last more than 1,000 hours and consequently need to be replaced frequently, which creates both monetary and physical waste. Another critique suggests that incandescent and, to a lesser extent, halogen bulbs generate a large amount of heat in addition to light, which is potentially hazardous and also wastes a large amount of energy.
Compact fluorescent light bulbs emerged in response to these criticisms, and are basically smaller versions of the large fluorescent lights that are usually found in office buildings and other public spaces. In addition to lasting up to 13 times as long as incandescent light bulbs and not producing heat, compact fluorescent lamps are credited with reducing carbon emissions, creating less physical waste, and saving energy and money by being more efficient. Unfortunately, compact fluorescent bulbs come with the drawback of a warm-up period, which means consumers have to wait a few moments after flipping the light switch before the bulb produces its maximum amount of light.
The answer to this drawback seems to be the hybrid bulb. Designed to incorporate elements of both traditional and CFL bulbs, the hybrid bulb consists of a tiny halogen bulb nested into fluorescent coils. When a consumer flips the light switch, the hybrid bulb turns on immediately by means of the tiny halogen bulb. After the CFL aspect of the hybrid bulb has had time to warm up and reach its full brightness, the halogen bulb slowly deactivates. One potential problem with this technology could be a noticeable difference in light quality during the transition between bulbs, which, in comparison to the benefits, some may find to be a minute detail.
Combining elements of two types of bulbs presumably creates one ideal light bulb. Hybrid bulbs are touted as environmentally friendly and fiscally responsible because they employ the positive factors of compact fluorescent lamps, yet they also feature the instant activation appreciated by users of traditional incandescent and halogen bulbs.