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Energy Act Outlaws Many Incandescent Reflector Lamps

typical reflector lamp application

Typical application for reflector lamps covered by energy legislation. Photo courtesy of OSRAM SYLVANIA.

Reflector lamp types are directional lamps—spots, floods, etc.—popular in recessed downlighting and track lighting applications, both residential and commercial.

While general-service incandescent lamps have received the most attention in media coverage of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007, with provisions beginning to take effect in 2012, many popular incandescent reflector lamps are being outlawed this month.

A variety of proven substitutes is available for eliminated lamps, including halogen, compact fluorescent and incandescent exceptions.

What the Act requires: Minimum efficacy standards established for incandescent reflector lamps by the Energy Policy Act of 1992 now apply to a larger group of reflector lamps, creating a national standard matching stricter standards enacted by nine states since 2006.

This 75W BR40 incandescent reflector lamp does not comply with EISA 2007. Photo courtesy of SYLVANIA.

This 75W BR40 incandescent reflector lamp does not comply with EISA 2007. Photo courtesy of SYLVANIA.

In short, the Act covers incandescent and halogen reflector lamps greater than 2.25 inches in diameter, including R, PAR, BPAR, BR (BR30, BR40) and ER (ER30, ER40) lamps.

After the effective date (June 16, 2008 is the intended effective date, say manufacturers), these lamp types will have to demonstrate a minimum efficacy, expressed in lumens of light output per watt of electrical input (lumens/W) as shown in Table 1, or no longer be manufactured in the U.S.

EISA requirements for reflector lamps

Table 1. EISA 2007 requirements for incandescent reflector lamps.

Typical application for reflector lamps covered by energy legislation. Photo courtesy of Philips Lighting.

Any product manufactured prior to the effective date, even if it does not meet the Act’s requirements, may continue to be sold until inventories are depleted.

Exceptions: Exemptions include <50W BR30, BR40, ER30, ER40; <45W R20; and 65W BR30, BR40 and ER40 lamps.

Analysis: According to Brian Vedder, product manager-halogen fro Philips Lighting, the most popular lamps being eliminated include 50W and 75W R20 and 85W BR30 lamps, and the most popular exceptions are 65W BR30 and BR40 lamps. According to Vedder, colored lamps and lamps designed for “vibration service” or “rough” applications are also exempt.

EISA-compliant reflector lamps

Consumer demand is expected to shift to halogen lamps such as these EISA-compliant bulbs. Photo courtesy of SYLVANIA.

Consumer demand is expected to shift to halogen lamps such as these EISA-compliant bulbs. Photo courtesy of SYLVANIA.

Lamp manufacturers have begun publishing substitution guides to help distributors navigate compliant alternatives for lamps being phased out. Substitutions include halogen, compact fluorescent and incandescent exceptions. Tables 2 and 3 provide several examples. Note, however, that dimmable compact fluorescent products available at the time of writing exhibited performance issues during dimming, which may disqualify compact fluorescent for applications involving dimming.

Table 2. Examples of substitutions recommended by GE Lighting.

Table 3. Example: 75W BR40 incandescent reflector lamp and its nearest substitutions recommended by OSRAM SYLVANIA.

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