Energy Tip of the Week

Posted: January 25, 2013

The Lighting Facts Label

You’ll find a new label on light bulb packages starting in 2012: the Lighting Facts label. The Federal Trade Commission is requiring the label on all light bulb packages to help consumers easily compare energy-efficient light bulbs. The label includes:

• Brightness, measured in lumens

• Estimated yearly energy cost (similar to the EnergyGuide label)

• Lifespan

• Light appearance (from warm to cool)

• Energy used, measured in watts.

Like the helpful nutrition label on food products, the Lighting Facts label will help you to understand exactly what you are buying and to buy the light bulbs that are right for you

New Lighting Standards

Beginning in 2012, the common light bulbs we use will be required to be about 25% more energy efficient to meet the new efficiency standards of the bipartisan Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007).

As of January 1, 2012, traditional 100 W incandescent light bulbs will not meet the standards and will no longer be available. Similar standards will take effect for traditional 75 W incandescent bulbs as of January 1, 2013, and traditional 40 W and 60 W incandescent bulbs as of January 1, 2014. However, you have many lighting options that are EISA-compliant and will save you money.

In the past, we bought light bulbs based on how much energy, or watts, they use. Wouldn’t it make more sense to buy lights based on how much light they provide?

When you’re shopping for light bulbs, you can choose your next light bulb for the brightness you want by comparing lumens instead of watts. A lumen is a measure of the amount of brightness of a light bulb—the higher the number of lumens, the brighter the light bulb.

If you’re replacing an inefficient 100W bulb, look for an energy-saving bulb that puts out about 1600 lumens. To replace a 60 W equivalent, look for a bulb with about 800 lumens.

So when you’re looking for a new bulb, look for lumens—or how bright the bulb is. Now that’s a pretty bright idea!

Last Updated: January 28, 2013