Lighting Legislation

Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007

Section 321 of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) establishes increased minimum energy efficiency standards for general service lamps. EISA does not ban incandescent light bulbs, but its minimum efficiency standards are high enough that the incandescent lamps most commonly used by consumers today will not meet the new requirements. Once implemented, the Act will essentially eliminate 40W, 60W, 75W, and 100W medium screw-base incandescent light bulbs.

New Minimum Efficiency Standards

Current Lamp
1490-2600 100 72 1,000 hours 1/1/2012 1/1/2011
1050-1489 75 53 1,000 hours 1/1/2012 1/1/2012
750-1049 60 43 1,000 hours 1/1/2014 1/1/2013
310-749 40 29 1,000 hours 1/1/2014 1/1/2013

The new standards are based on efficacy, and bulbs must meet new minimum Lumen per Watt (lm/W) requirements. Lumens per Watt (lm/W) measures how many lumens we get from a light bulb compared to how much energy (wattage) goes into it. The light bulb that produces the greatest number of lumens per one watt of energy is the most efficient bulb.

Effective Date for New Standards

The effective date for each phase listed above indicates the first date that non-compliant products are prohibited from being manufactured or imported into the United States. California will implement the standards one year before the rest of the country.

Voluntary California Quality Light-Emitting Diode (LED) Lamp Specification (“California Specification”)

California Energy Commission (CEC) worked with technical experts, utilities, and the lighting industry to determine the appropriate level of performance necessary to achieve a light-emitting diode (LED) lighting product that would meet or exceed customer expectations for general purpose lighting in residences. Such an LED product would be functionally indistinguishable from equivalent incandescent lamps. The California Specification represents the Energy Commission staff’s recommendation for minimum requirements an LED light should meet to be considered “California quality.”

In California there are now an estimated 530,000,000 general service “Edison Screw” lamp sockets in homes and places of work. The majority of these sockets contain incandescent lamps that have not changed significantly from Edison’s original filament lamp. To meet California’s energy policy goals, there is a need for consumers to have readily available high-efficacy screw-base lamps for these millions of existing Edison screw-base sockets. For LED lamps to achieve significant market share, consumers must be confident that LED lamps can give them the light quality they need or want. This voluntary specification would help accelerate demand by establishing LED performance criteria that reflect consumer expectations.

The primary intent of the California Specification is to encourage the market penetration of high-quality LED lamps that meet customer expectations regarding performance and light quality. The California Specification focuses on six quality attributes for LED lamps:

  • Color rendering (Color quality)
  • Color temperature
  • Color consistency
  • Dimmability
  • Rated life/warranty
  • Light distribution

California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), Decision 12-11-015 (Nov. 8, 2012) on page 140.

The CPUC issued decision 12-11-015 on November 8, 2012, which is relevant to the California Specification. The CPUC decision requires the utilities to rebate only LED lamps that are compliant with the California Specification effective January 1, 2014, but it establishes a “transition period” of up to one year during which non-compliant lamps may still be rebated.

Reference Links

EISA (Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007)
Section 321 - Incandescent: Household, Decorative and Post Lamps

California A-Line Rulemaking