The Fine Print, Explained: The Incandescent Phase Out, Part 2

Our post yesterday represented the first in a week-long series about the upcoming incandescent phase out as a result of the EISA 2007.  If you missed it, catch up here.

Yesterday, we mentioned that the EISA 2007 does not ban incandescent A-line light bulbs; however, the new law will, in fact, result in the elimination of today’s standard 100W, 75W, 60W, and 40W light bulbs.

If you’re thinking there’s a discrepancy here, read on.

The EISA 2007 sets “maximum rate wattages.”  In other words, light bulbs will be required to consume less electricity (measured in watts) for the amount of light produced (measured in lumens).

Each category of “lumen ranges” that the EISA specifies corresponds with one of today’s standard incandescent bulbs. See the chart below:

Lumen Range Wattage: today’s incandescent bulbs New Maximum Rate Wattage under EISA 2007 New Minimum Rated Lifetime under EISA 2007 Effective Date
1490 – 2600 100W 72 1,000 hours 1/1/2012
1050 – 1489 75W 53 1,000 hours 1/1/2013
750 – 1049 60W 43 1,000 hours 1/1/2014
310 – 749 40W 29 1,000 hours 1/1/2014

Here’s a simpler version of the same information:

Emily Widle

Emily graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a degree in journalism. She enjoys scouring the news to report on the latest in the lighting industry as well as bringing valuable remodeling tips and exemplar home projects to light.

8 thoughts to “The Fine Print, Explained: The Incandescent Phase Out, Part 2”

  1. I am planning to redo my restaurant’s ceiling and lighting in two months. I am thinking of using both track and recessed cans. What type of bulbs are dimmable. I have used some compact fluorescent bulbs which really don’t work well. Do LED bulbs come in dimmable?

  2. Some LEDs are dimmable – it depends on the particular product. LEDs are highly efficient; however, they are initially more expensive to purchase. That cost has fallen significantly in the last couple of years and it is expected to continue to fall as the technology used to manufacture them develops.

    Halogen would also be a great option for you if you’re using track and recessed lights. Halogen lamps give off a crisp white light with very good color rendition – they are ideal for accent lighting and are fully dimmable.

    This chart may help you:

    Thanks for your comment, and let me know if you have any more questions!

  3. I’m planning on having outside decorative lighting installed around my house. Should I use the new LED lighting systems? Will the current incandescent outdoor lighting have replacement bulbs in the future, if I choose to use them?

  4. Julie,
    I’m sure you’ll be able to find replacement light bulbs if you choose to go with an incandescent outdoor system. The legislation is not eliminating incandescent light bulbs altogether, it is simply requiring the products out there to be more efficient. You may not be able to purchase the same light bulb that originally came with your system, but you will find some type of alternative that will fit.

    The thing is, incandescent lighting is inefficient by nature. 90% of the power consumed by an incandescent light bulb is wasted and simply emitted as heat.

    If I were you, I would consider the new LED lighting systems for your outdoor decorative lighting. LEDs are great for outdoor lighting since they’re so efficient – replacing light bulbs will become a very infrequent task! Also, there are a lot of battery operated LED lights out there: perfect for outdoor areas away from an outlet.

    Check out our patio lights and step lights to get an idea of the options for LED outdoor lighting.

  5. i am really interested in what the actual restrictions are and trying to understand the limits and restrictions and the one thing that confuses me the most is the maximum rate wattage line in the table. for example, in 2012, it says that 72 watts can be the max wattage allowed for lumens of 1118-1950, so how does that mean that 75 watt bulbs are not affected as well? i am assuming the standard that is being set is that up to 72 watts can be consumed, and then it needs to put off at least 1118 lumens. if this is right, then how do the 75s scrape through until the next year?

  6. Sam,
    When the standards were set up, they wanted to create a “rolling phaseout” so that all light bulbs would not be required to adhere to the new standards right away.

    That’s why the 100 watt light bulb will be affected first, followed by the 75 watt, followed by the 60 watt, etc.

    75 watt light bulbs are not affected in 2012, because in 2012, the law ONLY applies to light bulbs that output between 1490 and 2600 lumens of light. (75 watt light bulbs only output between 1050 and 1489 lumens.)

    You’re right, the standard that’s being set in 2012 is that up to 72 watts can be consumed, but that standard only applies to light bulbs in the lumen range of 1490-2600. The standards for 75 watt light bulbs won’t start till 2013, when their lumen range comes in.

    Does that make sense? It is a little confusing!

  7. yes, that does help and it’s even what i started thinking must be the case even as i posed my question. i think the part that makes it difficult to instantly know that is when you see this chart, the first and second columns could be switched, letting you know that it is specific, or something like “bulbs currently outputting lumens in the range of” or something. again, thanks for taking the time to respond!

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