New Lighting Standards Begin in 2012
Beginning in 2012, common light bulbs sold in the U.S. will typically use about 25% to 80% less energy. Many bulbs meet these new standards, including incandescents, CFLs, and LEDs, and are already available for purchase today. The newer bulbs provide a wide range of choices in color and brightness, and many of them will last much longer than traditional light bulbs. The lighting standards, which phase in from 2012-2014, do not ban incandescent or any specific bulb type; they say that bulbs need to use about 25% less energy. The bipartisan Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007) established these efficiency standards.
The new energy-saving light bulbs—incandescents, CFLs, and LEDs—are available today and could save you about $50 per year when you replace 15 traditional incandescent bulbs in your home.
Measuring Light in Lumens
The new efficiency standards require light bulbs to consume less electricity (watts) for the amount of light produced (lumens). More traditional inefficient 100 watt (W) bulbs—typically incandescent bulbs—will give way to choices—including newer incandescent bulbs—that use only 72 watts or less to provide you a comparable amount of light (lumens). If you are replacing a 100W bulb, a good rule of thumb is to look for a bulb that gives you about 1600 lumens. Your new bulb should provide that level of brightness for no more than 72W, cutting your energy bill. Learn more about lumens.
As of January 1, 2012, traditional, inefficient 100W incandescent light bulbs will not meet the standards and will no longer be available at most stores.* However, you will have many other options that will save you money. Many of these choices are already on store shelves.
Similar standards will phase in for other types of light bulbs over the next three years. Traditional 75 watt incandescent light bulbs will no longer be available as of January 1, 2013. Traditional 40 and 60 watt incandescent light bulbs will no longer be available as of January 1, 2014.**
New Lighting Standards Will Save You Money
The savings can add up. Upgrading 15 inefficient incandescent bulbs in your home could save you about $50 per year. Since most of the bulbs also have longer life spans, you’ll continue to save into the future. Nationwide, lighting accounts for about 10% of home electricity use. With new EISA standards, U.S. households could save nearly $6 billion dollars in 2015 alone.
Various specialty bulbs, including appliance bulbs, heavy-duty bulbs, colored lights and three-way bulbs, are exempt from the new standards.