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New Energy Law to Phase Out Today’s Common Incandescent Lamps, Probe-Start Metal Halide Magnetic Ballasted Fixtures

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (HR6)

On December 19, President Bush signed H.R. 6, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, into law (Public Law 110-140).

The legislation is the result of a year-long legislative process that resulted in several modifications before congressional passage in December, and a final product that would receive White House support.

To access the complete text or an overall summary of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, click here.

This special report from the Lighting Controls Association provides a summary of the Act’s major lighting provisions:

Summary of Lighting Provisions
Goals of the Act
Sec. 321. Efficient Light Bulbs
Sec. 322. Incandescent Reflector Lamp Efficiency Standards
Sec. 324. Metal Halide Lamp Fixtures
Sec. 655. Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prizes

Summary of Lighting Provisions

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (HR6) does not include many provisions directly related to lighting. Two of its provisions, however, are nonetheless highly significant. One virtually eliminates the manufacture of today’s >150W to <500W probe-start metal halide magnetic ballasted fixtures starting in 2009 (replacement ballasts are not affected). Another virtually eliminates the manufacture of most common general-service incandescent lamps, putting billions of sockets up for grabs. The Act also has its eye on a possible LED general-service lamp in the future, establishing incentives to develop an LED product that can take on the 60W incandescent.

The Act also distinguishes itself in two other ways. One is what it does not contain, such as encouragement of more-efficient residential energy codes and any tax provisions such as an anticipated extension of the Commercial Buildings Deduction to December 31, 2013. Another is its provisions that may indirectly affect lighting, such as its tough new energy reduction requirements for Federal buildings and the establishment and funding of a Director and Office of Commercial High-Performance Green Buildings, which will work with a private-public partnership to realize a goal of all newly constructed commercial buildings being “net zero energy” by 2030.

Goals of the Act

“To move the United States toward greater energy independence and security, to increase the production of clean renewable fuels, to protect consumers, to increase the efficiency of products, buildings and vehicles, to promote research on and deploy greenhouse gas capture and storage options, and to improve the energy performance of the Federal Government, and for other purposes.”

Subtitle B—Lighting Energy Efficiency
Sec. 321. Efficient Light Bulbs

Description: The Act establishes energy efficiency standards for general service incandescent lamps by modifying applicable sections of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act.

In a nutshell: Starting January 1, 2012, all general-service lamps must prove a minimum CRI, general service incandescent lamps must prove a minimum efficiency, and some incandescent lamps cannot exceed a maximum wattage. The national rules do not preclude California and Nevada from implementing regulations they created before 2008; however, these state regulations are effective only until the national rules kick in. Lamps that do not comply on or after the effective dates cannot be manufactured or imported.

Coverage: The Act defines a “general service incandescent” as:

  • an incandescent or halogen lamp intended for general service applications;
  • having a medium screw-base;
  • emitting 310-2600 lumens (40-100W with today’s wattages);
  • capable of operating within 110-130V; and
  • either a standard or “modified spectrum” lamp (technically defined by the law).

Exemptions: A number of specialty lamps are excluded, including:

  • appliance;
  • black light;
  • bug;
  • colored;
  • infrared;
  • left-hand thread;
  • marine;
  • marine signal;
  • mine service;
  • plant light;
  • reflector;
  • rough service;
  • shatter-resistant;
  • sign service;
  • silver bowl;
  • showcase;
  • 3-way;
  • traffic signal;
  • vibration service;
  • G shape with >5-inch diameter;
  • T shape of <40W and >10-inch length; and
  • B, BA, CA, F, G16-1/2, G25, G30, S and M14 lamps of <40W.

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 (150W);
  • 3-way; and
  • 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 not saving energy—the lamp type will lose its exemption.

CRI: Starting January 1, 2012, all general service lamps:

  • CFL, LED, incandescent OR halogen light source; AND
  • “used to satisfy lighting applications traditionally served by general service incandescent lamps”

… must have a minimum color rendering index (CRI) rating of:

  • 80 if not a “modified spectrum” lamp; or
  • 75 if a “modified spectrum” lamp.

Maximum wattages: The below tables show the new efficacies for general service incandescent lamps expressed as a new maximum wattage. Generally, the lamps must be 30% more efficient by 2012-2014, with larger lamps covered first.

This translates to the following efficacy ranges:

Compliance: Typical incandescent and halogen general service screw-base lamps do not comply with the new efficiency requirements. Compact fluorescent lamps comply, and LED lamps are expected to emerge as compliant alternatives in the future as well.

At the time of writing, only one incandescent/halogen product complied with the Act’s efficiency standards, which was Philips’ Halogena Energy Saver/Energy Advantage halogen screw-base lamp available in 40W, 50W and 70W versions to replace 60W, 75W and 90-100W incandescent lamps respectively, which can produce about 30% energy savings; light output may be reduced by up to about 10%. The lamps are compatible with incandescent dimmers and are rated at 100 CRI and 3,000-hour service life. The 40W and 70W models, marketed under the Halogena Energy Saver brand, are currently sold to consumers through Home Depot. The 40W, 50W and 70W models, marketed under the Halogena Energy Advantage brand, are currently sold to professionals through distribution.

In the long run, however, the CFL will eventually capture the entire market unless the incandescent can muster even greater efficiencies, as the Act requires, at a minimum, an increase in general-service lamp efficacy to at least 45 lumens/W by January 1, 2020.

No cheating: Manufacturers and sellers are not allowed to sell adapters that enable incandescent lamps without medium screw-bases to be installed into medium screw-base sockets (110-130V), thereby skirting the law.

Min. 45 lumens/W by 2020 or earlier: By January 1, 2014, when the last efficiency standards go into effect, DOE must initiate a process to determine:

  1. if any exempted lamp types should stop being exempted; and
  2. if the general-service lamp efficacy standard should be increased to 45 lumens/W—less than 60 lumens/W for today’s CFLs but still a big jump over the new minimum efficacies required by the Act.

A rule must be created by January 1, 2017, which would go into effect 3 years later = 2020. As a backstop, by January 1, 2020, unless new efficiency standards are made >45 lumens/W, all general service lamps must be at least 45 lumens/W by this date. By January 1, 2020, the process is required to repeat, with a final rule to be published by January 1, 2022 and going into effect January 1, 2025.

Candelabra- and intermediate-base incandescents: Candelabra- and intermediate-base incandescent lamps, as defined within the law, cannot exceed 60W (candelabra) or 40W (intermediate-base) maximum wattage.

Lamp labeling, market assessment, marketing, R&D, mercury reporting, analysis: The Act authorizes the Federal Trade Commission to judge the effectiveness of current lamp labeling and determine whether new lamp labeling is required to help consumers understand light level, light quality, service life and lifecycle cost.

The Act instructs DOE to conduct an annual assessment of the market for general service lamps to identify trends, efficiencies, light output levels and consumer decision-making.

The Act authorizes an appropriation of $10 million per year for fiscal years 2009 through 2012 for DOE to work with the lighting industry to implement a national program of consumer awareness and education.

The Act authorizes an appropriation of $10 million per year for fiscal years 2008 through 2013 for DOE to support R&D, demonstration and commercialization of lamps and related lighting technologies, specifically assisting general service lamp manufacturers in achieving the desired lumens/W requirements.

The Act requires DOE in cooperation with EPA to submit within a year a report to Congress with recommendations to the Federal Government to reduce or prevent mercury release during production, transportation and sale of general service lamps.

The Act requires the National Academy of Sciences to report by December 31, 2009, with an updated report by July 31, 2015, an analysis of the state of development of solid-state lighting technology, impact of a 45 lumens/W standard on different types of lighting available to consumers, and a timeframe for anticipated replacement of incandescent and halogen lighting with other lighting technologies.

Subtitle B—Lighting Energy Efficiency
Sec. 322. Incandescent Reflector Lamp Efficiency Standards

The Act establishes energy efficiency standards for incandescent reflector lamps by modifying applicable sections of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. Essentially, minimum efficacy standards established in the Energy Policy Act of 1992 now apply to a larger group of reflectorized lamps, adopting stricter standards enacted by nine states since 2006 as a Federal and therefore national standard.

The Act defines:

  • BPAR, BR (BR30, BR40); and
  • ER (ER30, ER40)

… lamps and establishes minimum lumens/W standards based on wattage, effective January 1, 2008.

Exceptions include:

  • 50W or lower wattage ER30, BR30, BR40 and ER40 lamps; and
  • 65W BR30, BR40 and ER40 lamps.

The Act also establishes minimum efficacy standards for R20 incandescent reflector lamps (with diameter more than 2.25 in. but not more than 2.75 in.) based on wattage, effective “January 1, 2008, or the date that is 180 days after the date of enactment of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007″ (June 16, 2008).

Exceptions include 45W or lower wattage R20 incandescent reflector lamps.

incandescent reflector lamps table

Regarding the timing: OSRAM SYLVANIA reported in a technical bulletin dated January 4, 2008, "Senate and House know that the 1/1/2008 effective date is not doable for the BR, ER and BPAR lamps; however, it was too late to make a change. We are assured that a technical corrections bill will be written within the first 2 months of 2008 that changes this to 180 days after the date of enactment of the bill, which is consistent with timing afforded to manufacturers. Such technical corrections will be retroactive. We also need clarification on whether the effective dates for reflector lamps are 'manufactured by' dates, which is the case for all other lighting products in this bill." Contact the manufacturers to determine publication of substitution tables.

State action: California, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington have begun regulating incandescent reflector lamps and these rules will be effective until the Federal legislation becomes effective.

Subtitle B—Lighting Energy Efficiency
Sec. 324. Metal Halide Lamp Fixtures

Description: The Act amends the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to create new efficiency standards and labeling rules for metal halide lamp fixtures.

Efficiency rules: Starting January 1, 2009 (or the “date that is 270 days after the date of enactment of this subsection”), lighting fixtures manufactured for operation of metal halide lamps:

  • > or equal to 150W and
  • < or equal to 500W

… must contain:

Ballast efficiency: For the purpose of the Act, efficiency is measured using this formula:

Efficiency = Pout/Pin

Where …

Pout = the measured operating wattage of the lamp
Pin = the measured operating input wattage

Exemptions: The standards do not apply to:

  • Fixtures with regulated lag ballasts;
  • Fixtures that use electronic ballasts that operate at 480V; or
  • Fixtures rated only for 150W lamps, for use in wet locations, and contain a ballast rated to operate at ambient air temperatures above 50°C.

Compliance: A review of metal halide ballasts suggests that probe-start metal halide magnetic ballasts will be virtually eliminated from new lighting fixtures after January 1, 2009. Electronic ballasts comply and so do many pulse-start magnetic ballasts. Be sure to look for ballasts that are certified to comply with the new regulation after it takes effect.

Just the fixture, not the ballast: This provision covers only newly manufactured fixtures featuring metal halide ballasts, not the ballasts themselves. (Nor does it appear to prohibit sale of existing inventories.) The replacement market is therefore not covered by this law, so owners will not be required to retrofit existing fixtures, but instead be able to continue purchasing probe-start magnetic metal halide ballasts with lower efficiencies after the enactment of this provision.

Labeling: The labeling of all metal halide fixtures manufactured on or after January 1, 2009, or “the date that is 270 days after the enactment of this subparagraph,” must contain a capital E printed in a circle on the ballast label and the fixture packaging. (The Act instructs the Federal Trade Commission to create the labeling rules by July 1, 2008.)

State action: Various states have already begun regulating metal halide fixtures which are effective until the Federal legislation becomes effective. These states include California, Arizona, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington).

Subtitle E—Miscellaneous Provisions
Sec. 655. Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prizes

Description: The Act establishes “Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prizes” for an LED replacement for today’s 60W incandescent lamps and an LED replacement for today’s PAR38 lamps, with the prize being cash and possible agreement with the Federal Government to purchase the product for all applicable Government facilities. It also establishes a “Twenty-First Century Lamp Prize” for an LED lighting product meeting certain qualifications.

Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize – 60W Incandescent Replacement: Although DOE testing found non-directional LED lamps marketed as replacements of incandescent A-lamps to be wanting, there is significant hope that LED technology, which continues to see dramatic annual performance improvements, will eventually make a better light bulb. DOE, in fact, is willing to bet $10 million on it. To win the prize (and possible purchases by the Federal Government as a replacement for 60W incandescent lamps in all Federal Government buildings), the LED replacement lamp must:

  • produce >900 lumens;
  • draw <10W;
  • operate at >90 lumens/W;
  • have >90 CRI and a CCT of 2,750-3000K;
  • provide a minimum 25,000-hour service life (based on 70% lumen maintenance);
  • provide a light distribution pattern similar to a soft 60W incandescent A19;
  • offer a size and shape that fits within the maximum dimensions of an A19 lamp
  • use a single-contact medium screw socket; and
  • be capable of “mass production for a competitive sales commercial market satisfied by producing commercial accepted quality control lots of such units equal to or exceeding the criteria [described above].”

Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize – PAR38 Halogen Lamp Replacement: The LED replacement lamp must:

  • produce >1,350 lumens;
  • draw <11W;
  • operate at >123 lumens/W;
  • have >90 CRI and 2750-3000K CCT;
  • provide a minimum 25,000-hour service life (based on 70% lumen maintenance);
  • provide a light distribution pattern similar to a PAR38 halogen lamp;
  • offer a size and shape that fits within the maximum dimensions of a PAR38 halogen lamp;
  • use a single-contact medium screw socket; and
  • be capable of “mass production for a competitive sales commercial market satisfied by producing commercial accepted quality control lots of such units equal to or exceeding the criteria [described above].”

The cash prize for this award is $5 million. Once a winner is selected, the Federal Government will begin purchasing it or equivalents as a replacement for PAR 38 halogen lamps in all Federal Government buildings within five years after the award is made.

Twenty-First Century Lamp Prize: A “Twenty-First Century Lamp Prize” is available to be awarded to a U.S. entrant that produces a solid-state lighting product capable of:

  • >1200 lumens of light output;
  • >150 lumens/W efficacy;
  • >90 CRI and 2800-3000K CCT; and
  • >25,000-hour service life.

The prize is $5 million.

Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction

The Commercial Buildings Deduction, created by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and extended to expire December 31, 2008 by subsequent legislation, was going to be extended to expire December 31, 2013. This provision was removed, as were all tax provisions, so as to prevent a White House veto. An extension of the Commercial Buildings Deduction is expected to be taken up when Congress returns later in 2008.

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