MATTOON — GE Lighting plans to add 30 jobs at its Mattoon Lamp Plant as a result of increased customer demand for energy-efficient bulbs and an investment in new equipment, the company said Thursday.
The plant, which currently employs 205, produces halogen capsules and assembles energy-efficient soft white bulbs and other types of lighting.
"We're already hard at work converting five production lines to support increased demand for GE Energy-Efficient Soft White bulbs," plant manager Joshua Smith said in a company release.
"We'll add two more lines next year and begin (job) recruitment for those in April with an eye toward full-production capacity by the end of 2014," he said.
GE Lighting announced Thursday that it would invest $30 million and add more than 150 new manufacturing jobs at plants in Mattoon and the Ohio cities of Bucyrus and Circleville.
The Bucyrus Lamp Plant, 30 miles east of Mansfield, will add 70 jobs, while the Circleville Lamp Plant, 30 miles south of Columbus, will add 50 jobs.
Additional production at the three plants will start in the first half of 2014, the company said.
Also Thursday, GE Lighting and Wal-Mart announced an agreement to put American-made energy-efficient soft white bulbs on Wal-Mart shelves in the summer of 2014.
The bulbs offer the same size, shape and dimming capability and nearly the same brightness as traditional incandescent bulbs, while using 28 percent less energy, the company said.
Compared with a 60-watt incandescent bulb, a 43-watt energy-efficient bulb provides $2.05 in annual energy savings based on three hours of operation a day and an electricity rate of 11 cents per kilowatt-hour, according to GE.
Besides assembling energy-efficient soft white bulbs, the Mattoon plant also assembles:
— Automotive lighting.
— Halogen parabolic aluminized reflector bulbs used in recessed and track lighting.
— Multifaceted reflector bulbs used in residential and retail lighting.
— HIR lighting, which uses an infrared reflective coating.