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How Big is GE? [Infographic]

I found this infographic about General Electric today that I found pretty interesting – Do YOU know how big GE is and how big it has become?  I didn’t know that it was one of the original 12 companies from the original Dow Jones.

Check out the infographic from PartSelect – I’ve resized it here, but if you click on it the image opens up full-size.

GE is Entering the L-Prize with A Cree-Driven 60W LED Incandescent Replacement Lamp

If you follow the L-Prize competition, you would have noticed an interesting entry that GE is going to be making – and is currently in development.  GE (General Electric, NYSE:GE) is entering a 60W LED replacement lamp using Cree LED emitters as the light source.  This is pretty awesome, if I do say so myself – I’m a fan of Cree (NASDAQ:CREE), and it’s nice to see a company like GE reach across the aisle and ask help from a company that is making some pretty impressive strides in light-emitting diodes.  I was extremely impressed seeing their LMR-4 at LightFair, and in reading of the news of the TrueWhite technology kinda blows the mind when you look at LED research and development to date.

Check out an example of Cree’s TrueWhite Technology – it’s a short video, 1:55 – totally worth your time:

Cree and I disagree a little on the death of incandescents, but disagreement is what drives innovation.  I also disagree with my bestie Greg about throwing things off of balconies.  Innovation.

Ok – now think of what GE could possibly be coming up with using some rocking Cree LEDs?  Will it be another one of those “multi-fingered hand grasping at a blob of milk” lamps?  WHO KNOWS!  At least the light coming from it will look good.  Let’s see what GE does about heat dissipation this time.

Oh – as of right now (Tuesday, July 5, 2011), the L-Prize website is broken.  That’s a little concerning, huh – I mean, being that it’s supposed to be a really important honor and all.

You might be asking yourself – self, what exactly IS the L-Prize?  Well, it’s a competition that is basically driven to “spur lighting manufacturers to develop high-quality, high-efficiency solid-state lighting products to replace the common light bulb.”  Ok, fair enough.  The Department of Energy runs this contest, and the prize for the best 60W incandescent replacement lamp is about ten million buckaroos.  For a PAR38 replacement?  Only five million bones.  Only.

There are requirements for entries into the L-Prize – from the wikipedia article on the L-Prize, since the site ain’t workin':

More on the L-Prize soon, I’m waiting to hear back from them.

Here’s the initial GE press release about their entry into the L-Prize (also located here):

EAST CLEVELAND, OH (June 30, 2011) : GE Lighting engineers and scientists are developing a 60-watt replacement LED bulb that meets the specifications for the Department of Energy’s Bright Tomorrow Lighting (L Prize) competition. GE recently submitted a Letter of Intent to the Department of Energy to enter the competition.

“The objective of our product research and development is simple,” says Steve Briggs, vice president of marketing and product management, GE Lighting Solutions, LLC. “We exist to create advanced lighting solutions based on customer needs and expectations. Our L Prize journey is inspired by the challenge to deliver advanced technology in a form factor that delivers on consumer expectations. We won’t be the first to submit an L Prize candidate but we believe our solution will more closely match consumer preference for an incandescent look and feel.”

GE has collaborated with Cree to accept the stringent L Prize challenge yet deliver a lamp without remote phosphor, which appears yellow in an unlit state. Cree has designed a custom LED component that features Cree TrueWhite® Technology to deliver superior efficacy and light quality. GE lamp designers incorporated the component into an advanced thermal, optical and electrical system to achieve L Prize performance.

The L Prize is the first government-sponsored technology competition designed to spur lighting manufacturers to develop high-quality, high-efficiency solid-state lighting products to replace the most widely used light bulb in America, the 60-watt incandescent bulb. To learn more about the L Prize competition, visit www.lightingprize.org.

GE Invents A CFL/Halogen Lamp?! Wait, What?

I just got a press release on a new upcoming lamp from GE.  This image was in the press release:

Everybody, I think we just saw the results of a drunken lamp party in which compact fluorescent lamps and halogen lamps learned how to be sentient and mate, producing the above (and below) results:

I am so confused and curious.  Let’s hope I see this at LDI.  Apparently the 15-20W CFL/Halogen hybrid lamp is supposed to replace the output from a 60W incandescent.  The halogen capsule inside?  It apparently only lights up until the CFL is at full output.  Oh, also – they claim a low percentage of Mercury (or HYDRARGYRUM, for those in the know).

The press release from GE – and since I don’t normally post press releases, you know that I find it interesting if it makes the site!

CLEVELAND, OH (October 20, 2010)—Consumers searching for the latest hybrid can soon look beyond their local car dealership. Starting in 2011, GE Lighting brings hybrid technology to the lighting aisle in the form of a unique, new incandescent-shaped light bulb that combines the instant brightness of halogen technology with the energy efficiency and longer rated life of compact fluorescent (CFL) technology.

The initial product launch will bring U.S. and Canadian consumers GE Reveal® and GE Energy Smart® Soft White varieties that offer significantly greater instant brightness than current covered CFLs, while preserving the energy efficiency and long life attributes that have elevated CFLs as a lighting staple in many households.

“When you look at our prototype incandescent-shaped bulb with that little halogen capsule nestled inside our smallest compact fluorescent tube, you’re seeing a byproduct of our intense customer focus and our innovation mindset,” says Kristin Gibbs, general manager of North American consumer marketing, GE Lighting. “We’ve constantly improved the initial brightness of our CFLs but customers haven’t been wholly satisfied. This is a giant leap forward.”

The halogen capsule inside GE’s new hybrid halogen-CFL bulb comes on instantly, allowing the bulb to operate noticeably brighter in less than a half a second. The capsule shuts off once the CFL comes to full brightness.

GE scientists engineered the bulb to operate with an exceptionally low level of mercury: 1 mg. Currently available CFLs range from 1.5 mg to 3.5 mg. The hybrid halogen-CFL bulbs will be RoHS compliant and offer eight times the life of incandescent bulbs (8,000 hours vs. 1,000 hours). Less frequent replacement due to longer light bulb life can reduce landfill waste.

First to launch will be 15-watt and 20-watt hybrid halogen-CFL bulbs that are considered viable replacements for 60-watt and 75-watt incandescent bulbs, respectively. Retail pricing and specific retail store availability will be announced in the coming months.

Stock Market – Lighting Edition

Something hilarious happened to me last week – well, hilarious to me.  I was watching the news early in the morning, and as I flipped through the various new sources it was literally “the stock market” this, and “the blue chips” that, and “Main street took another hit today.”  Oh – and JP Morgan irked the United States a few weeks ago when it unveiled its plans for high pay and big bonuses.  Again.

I could not help but thinking that no one talks about lighting industries’ stocks.  We provide the world with the ability to light up the darkness – we bring innovation to innovation.  While people in our industry lose their jobs one after the other and stimulus money gets tossed into projects across the nation, don’t you wonder how the companies IN our industry are doing?

I captured some 90-day stock market charts last week for a handful of companies in the lighting markets.  Obviously this is not an exhaustive list – if there are stocks you follow that you think I should be following, will you either post a comment below or send me a comment through the contact form?  Pretty please?

Okay, let’s start out with Barco (Barco NV – BAR):

On January 26, 2010, Barco’s stock closed out at $28.94 per share, down 47 cents (or -1.6%).  Barco’s market cap is $369.35 million – “market cap” or market capitalization is a number that represents a corporation’s outstanding number of shares multiplied by their price.  What this means is that Barco has 12,760,000 shares of stock, each valued at around $28.94 each.  Multiply $28.94 X 12,760,000 and you get around $369,350,000, their current market cap.

Something that strikes me as a bit sad, whether it is related or not, is when you put news against the market reports.  For example, look at their stock price around the beginning of December, right when they laid off a bunch of High End Systems workers.


Look at Lighting Science Group – a company that engineers and makes LED products (Lighting Science Group Corporation – LSGC):

LSGC’s stock as of 1/26 was at 88 cents per share, with 30,460,000 shares outstanding – giving LSGC a market cap of $25,890,000 (remember, shares X cost = market cap).  That share cost was up 3 cents (or 3.53%).  For those of you following the news, LSGC announced at the beginning of the month that they were taking on Zachary Gibler, Carlos Gutierrez, Michael Kempner, Joe Montana and Michael Moseley to their board of directors.  You might recognize Carlos Guitierrez as a CNBC news contributor and Commerce Secretary under George W. Bush.  And yes, Joe Montana is THE Joe Montana, the football guy.

LSGC just this last week announced that they were commencing a rights offering for up to about 25 million Series D shares of non-convertible preferred stock (and warrants), which represents the right to purchase up to about 25 million shares of common stock.  All of these terms are extremely confusing to people (like myself) who don’t follow the market nose first.  LSGC’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings on this news are here.

You might be asking yourself, “What on earth are “Series D Non-Convertible Stocks?”  Preferred stocks are debt instruments (like all stocks) that have a higher payout priority than common stocks.  This means that dividends must be paid to preferred stock holders first before common stock dividend payouts.  In the case of these stocks, the holders don’t have the option to convert them to common stocks, and preferred stocks normally don’t have voting rights.  It’s all very complicated in my humble opinion.


Now look at General Electric (General Electric Company, GE):

GE has not had that great of a time lately as far as the stock market is concerned.  As of January 26, their stock was down 6 cents at $16.29, and they were having one of the worst periods in their almost 120 year history.  GE lost its AAA credit rating last year, and its GE Capital division ain’t doing so well – their commercial real estate division is getting hammered with vacancies and all that kind of real estate crap.  GE is a HUGE company though – their market share is 173.48 billion – that’s $173,480,000,000 – with 10,650,000,000 shares outstanding at about $16.29 a share.  That’s a lot of zeros.


Let’s move on to a company that people are hoping will do some amazing things with their Electron-Stimulated Luminescence technology, or ESL – the VU1 Corporation (VUOC):

VU1 is actually up 5 cents from the time I polled these numbers – but as of January 26 it was at $0.49 a share, with almost 86 million shares outstanding.  Their market cap was $42,050,000 approximately, and they were down about a dime a share last quarter.  The ESL technology is interesting, and on the VU1 blog there is talk of progress on an ESL replacement for the typical fluorescent tube.


Ok, now look at semiconductor manufacturer Cree, Inc (CREE):

Cree is having a great time right now – their stock price is up over 10 bucks since October 2009, and set a new record for the company’s stock prices on January 19, 2010.  They’re actually down 2 bucks since January 26 when I pulled this report, but they’re still kicking some tail.  With 106 million shares at around 60 bucks is giving Cree a market cap of 6.31 billion dollars – $6,310,000,000.  I love to actually type out the digits, it really gives you perspective.

I wish I had a few extra buckaroos to invest, because I’d probably toss some of it into Cree stock.  Analysts are flipping out over Cree’s prices and growth.  I hope their growth spawns new and excellent technologies that are positive advancements towards our growth as an industry and not just the same old stuff for more money.

Some news I did not expect to hear lately was the agreement that one of their competitors Arrow Electronics signed with Cree to provide Arrow’s customers with Cree power products (Silicon Carbide JBS).  Go, Cree!


The last company I want to actually talk about is Philips (Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV – PHG):

From when I pulled this report, Philips’ stock is down a buck or so per share.  Philips is another enormous company with so many divisions – they have almost a billion shares of stock outstanding – 927,460,000 shares.  Their market cap (927.46 million shares at around 30 bucks a share) is $29.17 billion dollars.  Huge.

Philips is a monster in the LED business, and if you’re in the lighting industry you’ve heard of their LumiLED products.  TIME Magazine gave Philips the honor of calling their LED replacement lamp as one of the best inventions of 2009, and people rave about their other product lines – LED wash fixtures, high output LEDs, and their various lines of consumer non-LED products, including incandescent and fluorescent products.  They’re an industry leader.


None of this stuff is easy to understand, and believe me – I’m a lighting designer, not a market analyst.  But it doesn’t take a Merrill Lynch quant to break down the major components into understandable pieces.  I kinda look at it like this – when more people understand what is going on with a subject, it becomes that much more difficult for insiders in that industry to screw the public over.  If I can help make that happen even a little bit, then we have collectively made an investment in our future and success.

I’m not gonna talk about the reports below, but they’re just graphs of some other companies’ stocks that I follow.  If you have suggestions of companies I should watch, drop me a line or comment below, will ya?

Tatsuta Electric Wire and Cable – HOLY CRAP – $14.15 billion dollar market cap (for only 65 million shares), and their stock is at $217 a SHARE!

Chung Wa Picture Tubes:

Molex Inc – everybody knows Molex, right?

Why Did You Do That, General Electric and Jeff Immelt?

Prepare yourselves, JimOnLight.com readers, I’m about to ramble.

jeff immelt GE

I just read a very disappointing article by Mike Elk at the Huffington Post.  I guess at this point in the scope of American manufacturing, money handling, crooked business practices, and corporations rear-ending the population out of everything we’ve saved in past years that I shouldn’t be surprised.

Oh, but I am.  I am surprised, and I’m starting to get a little more than frustrated with all of the lies and corporate BS.

Jeff Immelt, the CEO of General Electric, a major player in lighting and sustainable electricity generation, has been leading the charge over the last bit of time on bringing jobs to the United States and doing all kinds of butt-kicking exporting.  He even made a nice little speech a few weeks ago in Detroit.  I’ve gone ahead and highlighted some portions for you to emphasize my point:

Throughout my career, America has seen so much economic growth that it was easy to take it as a given. We prospered from the productivity of the information age. But, we started to forget the fundamentals and lost sight of the core competencies of a successful modern economy. Many bought into the idea that America could go from a technology-based, export-oriented powerhouse to a services-led, consumption-based economy – and somehow still expect to prosper.
That idea was flat wrong. And what did we get in the bargain? We’ve seen a great vanishing of wealth. Our competitive edge has slipped away, and this has hit the middle class hard.

As a nation, we’ve been consuming more than we earn, saved too little and taken on far too much debt. Growth in research and development has slowed. Our country has made too little progress on some of the defining challenges of our time – like clean energy and affordable health care. Our budget and trade deficits have reached levels that are clearly not sustainable.

While some of America’s competitors were throttling up on manufacturing and R&D, we deemphasized technology. Our economy tilted instead toward the quicker profits of financial services. While our financial services business has performed well, I can’t tell you that we were entirely free of these errors. We weren’t.

Leaders missed many opportunities to add to the capabilities of America. In 2000, the U.S. had a positive trade balance of high-tech products. By 2007, our trade deficit of the same products reached $50 billion. We have already lost our leadership in many growth industries, and other new opportunities are at risk. Trust in business is badly shaken, and it is going to take awhile to get it back.

Third: We must make a serious commitment to manufacturing and exports. This is a national imperative. We all know that the American consumer cannot lead our recovery. This economy must be driven by business investment and exports.

We should set a national goal to create high value added jobs and have manufacturing jobs be no less than 20 percent of total employment, about twice what it is today. And we should commit ourselves to compete and win with American exports.

Wow, this is really uplifting, right?  GO AMERICA!  Unfortunately, at the same time Immelt was barking at the American exporting tree, he was also canceling a large order for wind turbine parts from a company called ATI Casting Service in LaPorte, Indiana, and ordering the parts from a Chinese company for import.  Way to go, Jeff.  That doesn’t seem to me to be a good way to keep your stock price up, you know what I’m sayin’, Jeffy?

The one thing I don’t think I’ll ever understand (probably because I’ll never be obscenely rich) is how much money you have to have to be happy.  I can’t see myself being all Scrooge McDuck with a big pool of cash, but I feel like I’m the kind of person that would feed back into the growth of things like, well, my industry, for one.  I certainly wouldn’t lie about it, especially if I was the CEO of General Electric.

Just recently, this company ATI Casting made a large investment in operations to meet the demands of GE’s need.  From Mike Elk’s article:

Recently, ATI made $30 million worth of investments to buy, convert, and modernize a shuttered factory in economically ravaged Michigan so the company could provide more parts to GE as the green economy expands with federal stimulus funding. But a Chinese firm underbid ATI, and the factory faced having to lay off 302 union workers and shutter the plant.

In an aggressive bid to keep the factory open, ATI offered to match the price of the Chinese producers. GE once again said they would prefer to buy from China. The ATI plant is now closed, the jobs gone.

Oh yeah – did I mention that Jeff Immelt is on President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board?  Did I also mention that GE is bagging millions in economic stimulus money?

An article at the Detroit Bureau comments more on Immelt’s “all-go-no-quit-big-nuts” commentary on exporting:

Immelt said the only way out of the current predicament is for the U.S. to invest more in research and development. Second, the U.S. needs to address the challenge of clean energy and affordable health care and third, make a serious commitment to manufacturing and exports. Manufacturing jobs should represent 20% of the U.S. employment base not the current 10% which is shrinking.

China is pushing manufacturing, he said. “America has got to get back in the game,” said Immelt.

Immelt also said U.S. business should welcome government intervention as a catalyst for change.  “Over the last generation, America’s ‘Service strategy’ was too weak and our goals were too low,” he said.

Really.  I mean, I totally agree – but how, Jeffy My Boy, are we supposed to be exporting jobs and sinking money into American technology when you’re dumping money into China’s economy and NOT dumping it into the economy you keep preaching needs saving?  Pick one, already!

Jeffy boy, if I could offer a little advice – if you lie, you have to remember all of the parts and pieces of your story.  If you tell the truth, that’s all you have to remember.  You and Tim Geithner need to have some classes in etiquette.

Thanks to Mike Elk, Senator Sherrod Brown, Businessweek, and NPR.

OLED Demo – Hey, Should I Get A Hole Punch?

GE’s research lab working with OLEDs made a short video of some interesting OLED durability “tests” for all to see.  Now every solid state device needs to come with a hole punch and some scissors so I can cut light into pieces.

<chirp, chirp>

I’ll be right back, I have to run to the joke store and return that glistening piece of crap I just laid on you.  Check out this video:

General Electric – How Are They Really Doing?

One of my favorite aspects of keeping up with the lighting industries is watching the business news, and what information companies voluntarily put out – as well as information they do not voluntarily put out.  Reading as much news and articles about huge companies like Philips and General Electric teaches you to dig down and actually read each article you come across, and not to skim.  Sometimes the whole point of the article is the seven words in the middle.

Such is the case with a lot of the news stories about General Electric.  One week we’re hearing about how they lost their AAA credit rating, and other days we’re hearing about huge investments.  Everything is so up and down lately with everything – one day we’re hearing about how AIG paid out bonuses to some of the same quants that caused all of this crap in the first place, and the next day we’re hearing about how our NEMA Lighting Index just experienced the worst quarter in a decade.  There’s good ol’ musical comedy quality news all over the place!

I get a lot of press releases from about a hundred companies every couple of days; as much as I hate that I do it, I also keep a loose eye on the stock market for a ton of these companies.  It just feels good to know as much information about the industries as I can – you would be amazed at how much news you can get by reading press releases.

I found two different stories about GE today, and they’re both positive bits of news from the company’s standpoint.  GE’s stock traded at $10.41 today, down two cents.  How do you think GE’s investments are going?  Everyone gets freaky at the talk of something like losing their credit rating, but what does it really mean?  It just means that GE might have a little difficulty selling their commercial paper on the market.  I’m certainly no stock analyst, though, that’s for sure.

GE’s two news stories related to investments  – the first was about an investment that was made by GE Capital into Georgia Gulf Corporation – a $175 million accounts receivable securitization agreement.  There are all kinds of details involved in this agreement – but essentially Georgia Gulf Corp needed $175 million for some working capital.  Who knows why the investment was made – Georgia Gulf is a leading manufacturer of chlorovinyls, aromatics, and vinyl-based building products.  They’re experiencing hard times just like everyone else – they needed GE’s $175 million, and they also just got a NYSE warning that they’re experiencing low market capitalization and equity.  Georgia Gulf did, not GE.  From the press release:

NORWALK, CT– March 23, 2009 — GE Capital’s corporate lending business today announced it provided a $175 million accounts receivable securitization facility to Georgia Gulf Corporation, a leading chemicals company. The proceeds will be used for working capital needs.

In this type of structure, GE provides an asset-based loan secured by the company’s accounts receivables.

Georgia Gulf Corporation is a leading, integrated North American manufacturer of two chemical lines, chlorovinyls and aromatics, and manufactures vinyl-based building and home improvement products. These products, marketed under Royal Group brands, include window and door profiles, mouldings, siding, pipe and pipe fittings, and deck, fence and rail products. Georgia Gulf, headquartered in Atlanta, GA, has manufacturing facilities located throughout North America.

“GE worked closely with us to quickly understand our business objectives and structured a facility to meet our needs,” said Greg Thompson, CFO of Georgia Gulf Corporation. “We appreciated their ability to commit to the entire facility amount and close quickly.”

The second bit of news involved an agreement that GE Hitachi Nuclear just entered into with the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) and Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) to essentially raise India’s nuclear-generated electricity supply from 4.1 GW today to 60 GW by 2032.  From the release:

WILMINGTON, N.C.–23 March 2009– GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) today announced the signing of two agreements with the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) and Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) as the companies prepare to collaborate on building multiple GEH-designed nuclear reactors to help meet India’s energy production goals.

GEH, a world-leading nuclear technology and services provider, signed separate agreements with Mumbai-based NPCIL, India’s only nuclear utility operating 17 reactors, and New Delhi-based BHEL, the country’s leading manufacturer and supplier of power generation equipment and components.

The two government-owned companies are helping lead India’s efforts to expand electricity generation from nuclear energy in the world’s largest democracy more than tenfold over the next two decades, from 4.1 GW today to 60 GW by 2032.

So, what do you think?  Apparently things can’t be too bad.  What a weird situation to be stuck with at these times, though – you’re General Electric, the economy sucks nails, but you have to keep on truckin’.

Check out GE Hitachi Nuclear‘s website and GE Capital‘s website.

The Principles of Electricity

I found a video released in 1945 by General Electric – a twenty minute video about the principals of electricity.  It’s pretty interesting to see and hear how electricity was explained in 1945.

If you have twenty minutes, check it out!

Part one:

Part two (nine minutes or so):

Thanks, BoingBoing!