We’ve known for a while that the day was coming, and now it’s here. Effective yesterday retailers will no longer be permitted to sell most incandescent lamps (which includes halogen lamps) in the U.S. There are some exceptions for things like bug lights, but not many.
Replacement lamps for sale now must produce at least 45 lumens per watt, which is easily achieved by LEDs but impossible with incandescents.
The Department of Energy estimates that consumers will save about $3 billion per year. ( Of course, this assumes they buy quality lamps that don’t fail within a year, which is a real problem with off brand, and even some name brand, lamps.)
Source: New Energy Efficiency Rules Ban Incandescent Light Bulbs: What to Know – The New York Times
Last week California joined Vermont and the European Union in enacting a ban on fluorescent lamps. The California ban covers:
- Screw or bayonet base CFLs beginning January 1, 2024
- Pin-based CFLs beginning January 1, 2025
- Linear fluorescent lamps (aka fluorescent tubes) beginning January 1, 2025
The ban isn’t complete because there are some specialty fluorescents that are not included, such as those used for copiers and scanners, disinfection, sunlamps for tanning, and specialized lamps for medical purposes. However, it does apply to:
- CFLs of all tube diameters and all tube lengths, including PL, spiral, twin tube, triple tube, 2D, U-bend, and circular
- Linear fluorescents including:
- single-pin, two-pin, and recessed double contact
- all tube diameters, including T5, T8, T10, and T12
- all tube lengths from 6″ to 8′
- all lamp shapes, including U-bend and circular
Over the next few years hundreds of thousands, probably millions, of fixtures will need to be replaced or, if possible, converted with LED retrofit lamps. From the perspective of efficiency and quality of light replacement is certainly preferred, but it won’t be cheap. It’s not clear if California or utilities will offer any sort of financing to make the change.
You can download the law here.
You may recall that in 2019 the Trump administration blocked a rule intended to phase out incandescent lamps and encourage a conversation to more energy efficient models, namely LEDs. If you don’t remember the New York Times and NPR both had articles, among many others.
Last week, the Consumer Federation of America and the National Consumer Law Center, along with 24 other groups across the country, urged the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Granholm to implement the efficiency standard for household lighting products mandated by Congress as soon as is practicable. They claim that “Each month of delay costs American consumers nearly $300 million in lost utility savings and results in another 800,000 tons of climate changing CO2 emissions over the lifetimes of the incandescent bulbs sold in that month.”
You can read the entire press release at Consumerfed.org
Nearly all lamps found in residential and commercial spaces are included in the ban, which goes into effect in September. It seems that stage and studio lamps are exempt for now.
Source: Halogen lightbulb sales to be banned in UK under climate change plans – BBC News
On April 21, 2021, DOE issued a preliminary determination that Standard 90.1-2019 will achieve greater energy efficiency in buildings subject to the code. DOE estimates national savings in commercial buildings of approximately:
- 4.7 percent site energy savings
- 4.3 percent source energy savings
- 4.3 percent energy cost savings
- 4.2 percent carbon emissions
If the DOE makes a final affirmative determination, and it likely will, states will have two years to certify that they have reviewed the provisions of their commercial building code regarding energy efficiency, and, as necessary, updated their codes to meet or exceed the updated edition of Standard 90.1.
Since 1992, 42 U.S.C. 6833 has required the DOE to evaluate new versions of ASHRAE 90.1 or its successor to determine if adopting the new version as a nationwide minimum standard would improve energy efficiency in commercial buildings. If it does, “each State shall, not later than 2 years after the date of the publication of such determination, certify that it has reviewed and updated the provisions of its commercial building code regarding energy efficiency in accordance with the revised standard for which such determination was made. Such certification shall include a demonstration that the provisions of such State’s commercial building code regarding energy efficiency meet or exceed such revised standard.”
Yesterday an addendum to ANSI/ASHRAE/ICC/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1-2017 Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings was published. The addendum makes changes to Section 8.3.5, which covers lighting. One of the biggest changes is to add TM-30 color rendition criteria to the section on Indoor Lighting Quality. Here’s the relevant text:
18.104.22.168 Color Rendition. At least 95% of lighting power of nominally white lighting within each enclosed space shall be provided by luminaires that meet the following criteria at full light output in accordance with IES-TM-30, Annex E, P2 and F3:
1. Rf of at least 85
2. Rf,h1 of at least 85
3. Rg of at least 92
4. Rcs,h1 of at least -7% but no greater than +19%
Nominally white lighting is lighting that has chromaticity within the basic or extended nominal color correlated temperature (CCT) specifications of ANSI C78.377.
Where a lighting system is capable of changing its spectrum, it shall be capable of meeting the color rendition requirements within each nominal CCT of 2700 K, 3500 K, 4000 K, and 5000 K, as defined in ANSI C78.377, that the system is capable of delivering.
I hope that this is going to put more pressure on manufacturers to improve the color rendering of their luminaires as measured by TM-30, not CRI, and to provide TM-30 information on their cut sheets. If not, they’ll risk not being considered on projects that have TM-30 requirements.
In 2007 Congress passed the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) with the goal of increasing energy efficiency across the economy. Part of EISA has affected the lighting industry in the form of mandated efficacy of light sources. The initial efficacy rules targeted A-Lamps (standard household light bulbs) and set the efficacy level above that of incandescent but below that of halogen lamps. The result was a slow shift to the more energy efficient technology. Over the years the energy efficiency requirements have been expanded to more lamp shapes, always in keeping with technological ability so that we never faced a lamp shortage or loss of a lamp shape. Today, more than 50% of lamps sold are LED that exceed even the most stringent requirements.
On September 4th the administration announced that it was going to cancel a new set of requirements that would have taken effect in January 2020 that would have applied to products such as decorative medium base lamps and MR type lamps. In my opinion, this is another example of the administration cutting off its nose to spite its face. As with the threat to “investigate” automakers who agree with the State of California’s proposed energy efficiency requirements, this effort to undo energy efficiency despite the monumental consensus that we need to reign in our energy consumption isn’t going to go have any effect. No lamp manufacturer is going to reopen or build new factories to make incandescent lamps when it’s obvious that A) the next administration is going to reinstate the efficacy requirements B) the public has embraced the energy savings of LED lamps, and C) the companies know that it would be bad for their image to turn their backs on mitigating climate change.
Source: White House to Relax Energy Efficiency Rules for Light Bulbs – The New York Times
Surface temperatures are heading toward levels that many scientists believe will pose a threat to both the natural world and to human civilization.
Source: Earth Sets a Temperature Record for the Third Straight Year – The New York Times
In September the DOE issued, Energy Savings Forecast of Solid-State Lighting in General Illumination Applications (PDF, 116 pages), the latest edition of a biannual report which models the adoption of LEDs in the U.S. general-lighting market, along with associated energy savings, based on the full potential DOE has determined to be technically feasible over time. The new report projects that energy savings from LED lighting will top 5 quadrillion Btus (quads) annually by 2035. Among the key findings:
- By 2035, LED lamps and luminaires are anticipated to occupy the majority of lighting installations for each of the niches examined, comprising 86% of installed stock across all categories (compared to only 6% in 2015).
- Annual savings from LED lighting will be 5.1 quads in 2035, nearly equivalent to the total annual energy consumed by 45 million U.S. homes today, and representing a 75% reduction in energy consumption versus a no-LED scenario.
- Most of the 5.1 quads of projected energy savings by 2035 will be attributable to two commercial lighting applications (linear and low/high-bay), one residential application (A-type), and one that crosses both residential and commercial (directional). Connected lighting and other control technologies will be essential in achieving these savings, accounting for almost 2.3 quads of the total.
- From 2015 to 2035, a total cumulative energy savings of 62 quads – equivalent to nearly $630 billion in avoided energy costs – is possible if the DOE SSL Program goals for LED efficacy and connected lighting are achieved.
Don’t have time for the full report? Download the report summary.