New U.S. Energy Efficiency Requirements

As of Jan. 1, 2011, in California and Jan. 1, 2012, throughout the U.S., incandescent light bulbs must now meet more stringent lumens/watt requirements. In other words, the bulbs must produce the same amount of lumens (light output) for less wattage (energy).

The changes began with the 100 watt everyday incandescent light bulb, which must now use no more than 72 watts to produce a comparable brightness. Additional bulbs will be affected over the next several years:

CLEAR, FROSTED AND SOFT WHITE GENERAL SERVICE INCANDESCENT LIGHT BULBS

Current Wattage Lumen Range New Max Wattage Minimum Lifetime Effective Dates
100 1490-2600 72 1,000 hours 1/1/2012
75 1050-1489 53 1,000 hours 1/1/2013
60 750-1049 43 1,000 hours 1/1/2014
40 310-749 29 1,000 hours 1/1/2014

 

MODIFIED SPECTRUM GENERAL SERVICE INCANDESCENT BULBS (Like GE Reveal)

Current Wattage Lumen Range New Max Wattage Minimum Lifetime Effective Dates
100 1118-1950 72 1,000 hours 1/1/2012
75 758-1117 53 1,000 hours 1/1/2013
60 563-787 43 1,000 hours 1/1/2014
40 232-562 29 1,000 hours 1/1/2014

 

Additionally, new packaging requirements in the U.S. has changed the way we refer to light bulbs. Instead of buying a "72-watt light bulb," we now purchase a "1500 lumens light bulb" or "2500 lumens light bulb."

In Canada, similar energy efficiency regulations and packaging requirements have also been proposed. 

Confused about which ENERGY STAR light bulb to use? Check out the ENERGY STAR Choose a Light Bulb Guide, which shows you the different kinds of ENERGY STAR light bulbs and tells you where they work best. You can also view the different color temperatures ENERGY STAR bulbs are available in.