New U.S. Light Bulb Packaging

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission now requires manufacturers of incandescent, compact fluorescent and LED light bulbs to use new labeling on consumer packaging to help consumers choose the most efficient bulbs for their needs.

For the first time, a "Lighting Facts" label on the side or back of the package emphasizes a bulb's brightness as measured in lumens, rather than a measurement of watts.

“While watt measurements are familiar to consumers and have been featured on the front of light bulb packages for decades, watts are a measurement of energy use, not brightness,” stated the FTC in its press release. “As a result, reliance on watt measurements alone make it difficult for consumers to compare traditional incandescent bulbs to more efficient bulbs, such as compact fluorescents.”

The new front-of-package labels also includes the estimated yearly energy cost for the particular type of bulb.

The back of each package must have a “Lighting Facts” label modeled after the “Nutrition Facts” label that is currently on food packages.

The Lighting Facts label provides information about: * Brightness, as measured in lumens (not watts)
* Estimated yearly energy cost
* Life expectancy
* Light appearance (for example, “warm” or “cool”)
* Energy used (as measured in watts)
* Whether the bulb contains mercury