Design » Lighting » Saving Energy » Standards

The New Lighting Laws – The Details

Published: Thursday, December 15th, 2016

I received several calls and emails on my article entitled Lighting and Cost Savings.

People wanted to know the details, so here are some of the key details from an objective point of view:

What does the Government legislation say?

Simply put, between 2012 and 2014, standard 40-watt up to a standard 100-watt incandescent light bulbs must use 30% less energy, but produce the same light output as the incandescent bulbs most of us use today.

In other words, the light bulb has to do the same job as your current light bulbs, but use last at least 30% longer and use less energy.

What does this mean for you?

Cost savings and energy savings for starters.

While you won’t be required to throw out your existing bulbs, after 2012, you’ll find that these bulbs will have to be replaced with energy-efficient options, such as Halogen, CFL and LED light bulbs.  And yes, they will all fit into your existing sockets.

How much energy can the new light bulbs really save?

The most common alternative to incandescent bulbs used today is the CFL. While these cost more upfront, the cost is more than offset in money savings and product longevity.

What replacement options are there beyond CFL’s?

LED’s and halogen lighting are the two other options that meet the requirements of the 2012 Lighting Legislation. There are GE and Philips Halogen options for nearly every fixture in the home. GE Energy Smart® LED’s are a great option for accent lighting.  Philips has similar products.

Other Replacement Options:

LED Bulbs

LED lighting supports sustainable design in several ways. It uses less energy than most other types of bulb, lasts longer (which means les

s frequent replacement and therefore reduced waste), is mercury-free, and can be housed in most light sockets.

They say that the bulbs last up to 13 years based on rated life at 4 hours/day usage.  Somehow, my bulbs never last as long as they claim.  It’s like gas mileage claims.  However, they will last a very long time.

Cost as low as $.08/year to operate based on $.10/kWh electric rate and 1,500 hours use/year.  While I agree that the cost to operate them is lower, knowing that energy costs are constantly rising, (we get constantly gauged by ComEd in my region), it is unfair to make the above claim except to use it as an example.

Halogen bulbs

These bulbs last up to 50% longer than incandescent bulbs and retain brightness over the course of its life.

They also produce a bright, crisp light.

Two of the key features for me are that they instantly reach full brightness and are fully dimmable.

For more information, I recommend you consult this discussion on, the GE Lighting Website, The Philips Lighting website or just Google 2012 Lighting Legislation.

The easiest way to find out which is right for you is to go your local Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Loews or Menards and talk to their lighting guy.  He or she will point you in the right direction.

The bottom line is that there is a major transformation happening and for a change, it is a great transformation and the consumer is going to finally come out on top.



The Green Building Capitalist site built by the Fisher Media Group