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DOE unveils proposal for new light bulb efficiency standards

Only LEDs meet this efficiency level today.

February 29, 2016 |
DOE unveils proposal for new light bulb efficiency standards

Photo: Alex Liivet/Creative Commons.

The U.S. Department of Energy has released proposed new energy efficiency standards for light bulbs.

“The proposed rule would set an efficiency level that is not particular to any technology, but which today only LEDs meet,” according to an article posted on the department’s web site. “But these rules take a long-term approach, coming into effect in 2020. Manufacturers and consumers have three years from issuance of a final rule to prepare for these new standards and to continue to support cutting edge research in lighting technologies to ensure that there is a wide range of options on the hardware store shelf.”

The new lighting standard would apply to General Service Lamps, including LED and compact fluorescent lights. The proposed standards would not apply to incandescent bulbs, which will instead need to meet the congressionally mandated backstop starting in 2020.

The proposal reflects current market trends in lighting technologies, the article states. “Earlier this month, General Electric announced that it is discontinuing the manufacturing of coiled CFLs for the U.S. market. In their announcement, GE noted the superior performance and dropping prices for LEDs. Ikea has sold only LED lamps in their stores since September 2015. And the National Electrical Manufacturers Association reported that shipments of LED lights jumped 237% in the third quarter of 2015, compared to the same period in 2014.”

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