||During the late 1990s it came to be recognised that the original family of electronically-ballasted compact fluorescent lamps had perhaps been over-engineered for the residential market at which they were being directed.
The first electronic CFLs were designed of course to supersede their bulky magnetically ballasted predecessors, but their cost was somewhat higher. To help justify this high cost, the very best quality ballasts and discharge tubes were developed to further extend lamp life and efficacy. Lifetimes rose from the usual 6,000 hour level into the 10-15,000 hour region. The price increase however was so high that retail consumers showed only moderate interest; the energy saving compact format was really all they wanted.
Most manufacturers therefore began work on low-cost electronic versions, stripping out quality and returning the lifetime to earlier levels or even less, but maintaining the advantages of compactness. This lamp represents a particular successful model of Philips. It is a Chinese product of considerably lower quality, and it was first launched in 2002 under the Genie brand for the Asian market. Conversely for this local market, it offered a lamp of rather higher quality than was available previously to Chinese consumers. To emphasise this and to deter the plague of copiers, it is packaged in the special holographic boxes that are often found in the Asia pacific region. The cool white daylight colour of this particular lamp is the local preference. Following great success it was transferred to the more quality-critical Western market. Its low cost helped grow retail CFL sales significantly, and confined the earlier Professional series lamps to the commercial markets.