GE No Longer Bringing Good Things To ‘Light’

Camila Domonoske,

Brendan Smialowski AFP via Getty Images

General Electric has been making lightbulbs for more than a century but is now selling its lighting business. Above, a lightbulb is displayed at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., in 2015.

Updated at 5:57 p.m. ET

For the first time in its nearly 130-year history, General Electric will no longer be making and selling lightbulbs. GE is selling its lighting business to Savant Systems.

GE was founded in 1892 by a merger between Thomas Edison’s Edison General Electric Co., which made Edison’s famous incandescent bulb as well as other inventions, and a rival business.

Throughout the 20th century, GE kept making lightbulbs — and carried on Edison’s tradition of experimentation and innovation by perfecting the fluorescent bulb, halogen bulb and LED, among other lighting innovations.

But several years ago, GE announced plans to cut off its lighting business, which is only a small part of the modern company. GE may be best known to the public for its lightbulbs and appliances, but the massive conglomerate makes much more money as a lender, defense contractor and manufacturer of everything from jet engines and wind turbines to X-ray machines and ventilators.

GE did not disclose the financial terms of the deal to sell its lighting business. It says the proposal calls for the GE Lighting brand to live on and for the lighting company to continue to be headquartered in Cleveland.

The sale brings a final chapter to the often misheard GE slogan: “We bring good things to life.”

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