Second Phase of Incandescent Energy Standards to Arrive in 2020 and Disrupt Household Lamp Market

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 established energy standards for 40-100W general-service incandescent lamps, which took effect 2012-2014 and contributed to a significant decline in incandescent A-lamp sales in recent years. U.S. manufacturers have complied despite Congressional appropriations bills specifically prohibiting the Department of Energy from enforcing the Act’s provisions (which only served to put compliant manufacturers at risk).

Consumers continued to enjoy a choice of halogen, LED and compact fluorescent A-lamps. The market largely shifted to halogen A-lamps. High-quality LED lamps, which cost $50 just a few years ago, are now available for under $5 and are experiencing rapid growth in demand.

The Act actually included two phases of energy standards. The first has been completed. The Act included a backstop provision of 45 lumens/W that would automatically go into effect if DOE did not complete a revised standard by January 1, 2017. DOE has announced that this backstop will be triggered, meaning in 2020, the new standard will be 45 lumens/W.

Currently, halogen A-lamps–e.g., 43W lamps that replace 60W incandescent lamps–do not comply with this standard, which will likely put the market back into flux.

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One Comment

  1. The de-facto ban of the incandescent lamp has disrupted the entire lighting design community. Included in that “disruption” is every residence in the country. The decision to set the standard to create this ban essentially created a cartel – the manufacturers expensive products were not selling well and the ban eliminated the competition creating a non-competitive market. Further, the ban had to be set by people who do not make their living designing lighting systems. A glimmer of hope is that GE has decided to stopped producing compact fluorescent lamps. The lighting quality of those light sources is unacceptable for most applications.

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