Given the entry into force January 1 of the US ban on most remaining incandescent light bulbs for general service use, a review of the law as it stands and future implications.
Note that the same will apply to Canada, adopting the same regulations as USA in a tighter timeframe: Official link, Canada regulations.
"Beyond 2014, while also allowing LEDs, the new rule for general household lighting of 45 lumens per Watt happens to be exactly that of fluorescent 'energy saving' bulbs..."
http://ceolas.net/#li01inx "What is Banned and When"
|Lumens||old Watts||new Watts||Min Life||min CRI|| Date Start|
|1490-2600||100||72||1,000 hrs||80||1/1/2012 |
|1050-1489||75||53||1,000 hrs||80||1/1/2013 |
|750-1049||60||43||1,000 hrs||80||1/1/2014 |
CANADA: Same rules, 100 + 75W start 1 Jan 2014, 60 + 40W bulbs 31 Dec 2014.
January 1 2015 therefore sees Canada "in phase" with US regulations.
From the legislation, starting 2012 for General Service Incandescent Light Bulbs:
A phase-out based on the lumen (brightness) rating of the bulbs, rather than their wattage.
Standard bright 100 Watt equivalent household light bulbs can therefore be at most 72 Watts equivalent from January 2012, and so on with increasing stringency.
There are also lifespan and CRI (color rendering index) provisions. The coloring rendering index measures how accurately colors are shown.
Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007/Title III/Subtitle B/Section 321
"The Secretary of Energy shall report to Congress on the time frame for commercialization of lighting to replace incandescent and halogen incandescent lamp technology"
2 tiers, based on 2012-2014 and 2014-2017, backstop rule extending to 2020.
A third tier is planned, provisionally set for 2020: "DOE [the Department of Energy] is also required under the EISA 2007 to initiate a rulemaking in 2020 to determine whether the standards in effect for general service incandescent lamps should be increased" as per the DOE fact sheet linked below. The understanding since then is that this will likely be brought forward.
Aim: to reduce the allowed wattage for incandescent bulbs by 28 percent starting in 2012, becoming a 67 percent reduction by 2020 at the latest, in accordance with the defined annual review procedures.
Should the review procedures not have produced a minimum efficacy standard of 45 lumens per watt by January 1, 2017, that sees a backstop final rule come into force:
Effective January 1, 2020, the Secretary shall prohibit the sale of such general service lamps that do not by then meet a minimum efficacy standard of 45 lumens per watt.
`(i) The term 'general service incandescent lamp' means a standard incandescent or halogen type lamp that—
`(I) is intended for general service applications;
`(II) has a medium screw base;
`(III) has a lumen range of not less than 310 lumens and not more than 2,600 lumens; and
`(IV) is capable of being operated at a voltage range at least partially within 110 and 130 volts.
Prohibited act... for any manufacturer, distributor, retailer, or private labeler to distribute in commerce an adapter that—
`(A) is designed to allow an incandescent lamp that does not have a medium screw base to be installed into a fixture or lampholder with a medium screw base socket; and
`(B) is capable of being operated at a voltage range at least partially within 110 and 130 volts.'
[In short, to stop people from getting what they want, manufacturers and sellers are not allowed to provide adapters that allow other incandescent lamps to use medium screw base 110-130 volt sockets]
List of exceptions: Appliance lamps, Black light lamps, Bug lamps, Colored lamps, Infrared lamps, Left-hand thread lamps, Marine lamps, Marine’s signal service lamps, Mine service lamps, Plant light lamps, Reflector lamps, Rough service lamps, Shatter-resistant lamps (including shatter-proof and shatter-protected), Sign service lamps, Silver bowl lamps, Showcase lamps, 3-way incandescent lamps, Traffic signal lamps, Vibration service lamps, G shape lamps with a diameter of 5” or more, T shape lamps that use no more than 40W or are longer than 10”, and all B, BA, CA, F, G16-1/2, G-25, G-30, M-14, or S lamps of 40W or less.
Sales will be monitored to avoid substitution effects - see below.
These will also be reduced on mentioned planned tier 3 regulation by 2020.
Lighting section 321 of Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (pdf)
Application: DOE appliance standards homepage, details (pdf), details with list of exceptions.
Industry info page: This also includes more information on the law for "modified spectrum" lamp types (less energy efficient ordinary bulbs that have tinting to make the light more white in color).
For extensive information 2012-2014 including reflector lamps etc, with illustrations:
0sram-Sylvania document (pdf)
Greenwashing Lamps good post about the US ban
Also the past posts on the specifications here, with a 2012-2014 update here.
Points regarding the Legislation
The manufacture and import - but not the sale itself - of general service incandescent lighting is progressively restricted, beginning with ordinary 100 W bulbs.
So the sale of existing stock of the targeted bulbs will still be allowed.
Bulbs equivalent to 25W and below, of 150-200W, and of higher wattages, are also not affected, subject to sales monitoring as with specialist bulbs.
Additionally, the January 1 2012 packaging requirement changed the way light bulbs are referred to.
Instead of buying a "72 watt light bulb," one might purchase a "1500 lumens" light bulb.
See the blog post on packaging and labeling in the USA and the EU.
The Halogen etc incandescent general service mains voltage replacements, which the initial ban was geared to allow via the typical "72 Watt" replacements for 100 W bulbs (etc) found in stores,
will therefore also be banned sometime after 2014. They are typically 20-25 lumen per Watt, way below 45 lumen per Watt equating to fluorescent bulbs. LEDs also pass the standard.
If the review process beginning in 2014 does not ban Halogen replacements by 2017, the backstop final rule that kicks in will ensure a ban by 2020.
Of course, legislation can be overturned.
But any legal change has to pass both Houses of Congress and get the President's signature. Hardly anytime soon.
Rather, the Obama administration with Senate Democrat cooperation has sought to tighten rather than relax energy efficiency regulations, including on lighting.
Besides, Halogens are themselves still different and more complex than ordinary simple incandescents, and much more expensive for marginal savings, so not popular either with politicians (no halogen switchover programs!) or with consumers in a free choice.
Halogen or other incandescent development has moreover been ruled out by major manufacturers, as per meeting with the EU (European) Commission November 25 last.
About the color rendering index (CRI):
This, more precisely is "the ability of a light source to reproduce the colors of various objects faithfully in comparison with an ideal or natural light source".
According to the legislation, CFL, LED, or incandescent light sources "used to satisfy lighting applications traditionally served by general service incandescent lamps" must as seen have a minimum CRI rating of 80.
Incandescents, in performing as "black body radiators" typically have a perfect or near perfect 100 rating (unlike CFLs or LEDs), so the lesser 80 requirement, if followed by manufacturers, degrades current performance. In other words, yet another issue when it comes to targeting this technology.
Light sources with a high CRI are also desirable in color-critical applications such as photography and cinematography, and even when fluorescent lamps or LEDs have high CRI ratings, their spiky emission spectra do not correlate well with color rendering quality in practice, so that the photography and movie-making issues remain.
It's a funny world and a funny US Congress.
Notice the anomaly that 75 W "dim" bulbs are allowed, but a 75 W "bright" bulb is effectively banned!
In other words, as the official sources confirm, incandescent bulbs are being banned on the basis of their "lumen" brightness - not on their energy use, bright bulbs being banned first.
So you can still, for a while, buy a 100W incandescent bulb if it's dim enough, which might, at least at first, seem an attractive alternative even to regular incandescents, since dimmer incandescent bulbs of given wattages tend to have have longer lifespans (the trade off).
That's just the start of it....there are specific legal workarounds to that effect, higher energy use but longer life for a bulb of given brightness.
CFLs and LEDs have brightness issues, especially omnidirectionally to light up rooms - and they get dimmer with age.
That may mean using more of them to light up a room, negating savings, along with all the other reasons that savings don't hold up in practice, as covered via the left hand links here, especially the summary page link as also found at the bottom of this post.
But the focus here is on the incandescent bulbs themselves, and how they might continue to be used.
One is the "rough service" bulb route, for example Newcandescent incandescent manufacturer (who conspicuously don't state bulb brightness!) eg 100W 130V 10,000 hrs $2.88 bulb, or Aero-Tech , 100W 120V 20 000hr bulb, 1000 lumen, for $2 [both manufacturers with minimum order conditions]
That makes the Aero-Tech bulb brightness somewhere between 1000 hour standard incandescent 60W bulbs (900 lumen) and 75W bulbs (1200 lumen), regular 110-120V 100W bulbs being around 1700 lumen.
While such "rough service" classed sturdier bulbs are allowed subject to sales monitoring as a workaround to get incandescents, and it's welcome that manufacturers are supplying them to meet such consumer demand, the bulbs would therefore otherwise be more of a convenience measure for difficult to reach locations - rather than to save energy or money for required brightness.
As also with the Newcandescent bulb, many other currently legal bulbs eg "long life halogen" type replacements are marketed on a longer lifespan basis, this time from raising the voltage usually to 130V - but again, on a "dimmer bulb" 1000 lumen or so for 100W rating.
[As an aside, European and other 220V bulbs are noticeably dimmer than American ones, 100W only c.1300 lumen but rated 1000 hrs lifespan versus 750 hrs on US standard requirement]
AC to DC
A third way also marketed as a workaround is via solutions like Powerdisc.com:
Quote: "By converting the electricity power used by the bulb from AC to DC, the Envirolite PowerDisc significantly reduces energy consumption up to 42% and also extends the bulb life up to 100 times therefore reducing bulb replacement costs." The website quotes around 30% lumen reduction along the lines of 130 Volt lamps, but that this brightness will be better maintained through the bulb life.
It is also more flexibly applicable to any incandescent bulb, just by putting a small disc on the bottom of it. While it does not stop the bulbs being banned, it therefore again extends their life. Good American inventive, and combative. spirit!
Texas Hold 'Em
While some states like California and Nevada and the Canadian British Columbia province have sought to precede federal regulations, others have sought to stop them.
Most notably, Gov Perry signed into law incandescents as being legal in Texas June 2011 (Texas Allows Regular Incandescent Bulbs). The practical implications are less clear, supposedly that is only for local manufacture and sale, and it comes under similar federal-defying local laws like Arizona gun law or California /Colorado marijuana laws.
Still, Gov Perry got help from Republican colleagues Joe Barton and Michael Burgess in Congress, House Energy Committee, in attempts at thwarting federal regulations, including achieving the specific albeit temporary block of funding for federal oversight of regulations in Texas and elsewhere.
South Carolina Gov Nikki Haley may sign similar bill albeit stuck at end of senate stage there, having local small independent manufacturing, apparently awaiting federal and Texas repeal efforts - in fact around a dozen state repeal bills have been launched, most though likely speculative for a local constituency base without hope of success (similar MP campaign effort seen in Canada, as in a recent post here).
Uncle Sam Strikes Back: Sales Monitoring
Joining hands with Uncle Maple Leaf...
Exemption reversal condition: The Act includes a provision whereby, in cooperation with NEMA, sales of certain exempted lamps will be monitored, specifically:
• rough service
• vibration service
• 2601-3300 lumen general service (150-200W)
• shatter-resistant lamps
For each of these lamp types, if sales double above the increase modeled for a given year — signaling that consumers are shifting from standard incandescents to these incandescents and thereby supposedly not saving energy — the lamp type will lose the exemption.
Consequence: A requirement that any such popular lamp type can then only be sold "in a package containing 1 lamp", and with a maximum 40 watt rating in most cases (95-watt for 2601-3300 lumen ie 150-200W lamps, variably reduced for 3-way lamps).
In other words, if sales go up, further restrictions arise, and only 1 lamp packages may be sold:
Buy several packages, or walk out the shop and back in again to buy another one.
Note that tier 3 regulations by 2020 is planned to cut down on allowed exemptions anyway.
Too much to go into here, the EU is not behind in elaborate checks and monitoring.
See previous posts under the EU tag. It includes Commission proposals to ban fittings for special bulbs which are modified to take regular bulbs, and the German Energy Commissioner seeking to extend the 50 German store inspectors he apparently got to inspect "rough service" sales in ordinary stores in that country, to EU-wide inspections.
An earlier Irish Government proposal has sought to fine the distribution of illegal (imported) incandescent bulbs by individual citizens eg to neighbors with a 5000 euro first offence fine, and a 50 000 euro fine alternatively 6 months prison for repeat offence. Such would of course be on top of any customs etc fines for illegal imports generally.
Pssst...want to buy a light bulb...
The crass idiocy of a bureaucrat ruled world:
Do whatever it takes, to stop people from buying what they want, who in turn obviously do what they can, to satisfy their desires.
Above all, do not make any rational decisions, to actually deal with energy or emission issues, as per other posts here and the ceolas.net site.
How Regulations are Wrongly Justified 14 points, referenced: Includes why the overall society savings aren't there, and even if they were, why alternative policies are better, including alternative policies that target light bulbs.