An overhead GE LED Edge light due in the first half of next year.

(Credit: GE Lighting)

General Electric next week will show off overhead LED light fixtures designed to replace florescent tubes with thin, flat plates of light.

The company tomorrow is expected to announce the line of LED Edge lighting fixtures that can be suspended from ceilings or recessed flush with ceiling tiles. The first of the products, a square troffer fixture design for recessed lighting, will be available by the end of this year. More stylish suspended fixtures are slated for release in the first half of next year.

The four fixtures are built around coin-size LED light sources and a textured optical screen made by PC memory company Rambus to disperse light. The effect is to spread light across the full surface of a flat screen. Light can also be focused on specific areas, according to GE.

The first product from GE&39's Edge LEDs will be this recessed light.

(Credit: GE Lighting)

"We're providing lighting designers and end-users with innovative fixture styling and optical control that's customized to serve their very specific application and illumination requirements," Jaime Irick, president and CEO of GE Lighting Solutions, said in a statement. "Some of our biggest commercial customers are already thinking about how to put these systems to work."

GE is pitching the LED fixtures as more attractive and long-lasting alternatives to overhead fluorescent lights. The lights will have a color rending index over 80 and last 35,000 hours (which is eight years at 12 hours of daily use), compared with 20,000 hours for traditional fluorescent fixtures.

The fixtures won't contain mercury, lead, or glass, and materials from the fixtures can be recycled. LED maker Cree last month introduced its own line of overhead LED lights designed for office use.

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