How To Cope When Your Favorite Light Bulb Gets The Shaft: Reflector Lamps

This post is the second in a three part series on EISA light bulb phase-outs: what’s leaving, why it’s leaving, and how we can cope. If you missed the first post on household lamps, you can find it here

Discontinued Reflector Lamps

New standards have also hit the halogen and incandescent reflector lamps that don’t meet efficiency requirements set by the EISA. The act affects the following:

  • BR, ER, and BPAR lamps
  • Reflector lamps between 2.25” (R18) and 2.75” (R22) in diameter
  • Lamps that have a rated wattage of 40 watts or higher

It really boils down to a lumens per watt issue here. If a lamp doesn’t produce enough light for the amount of energy it consumes, it’s on the way out.

Here’s your guide to the new LPW standards as of 7/14/12 for 40W-205W lamps*:

Lamp Size (Diameter) Voltage Minimum Lumens Per Watt Replacement Options
2.5” (R20 and PAR20) 120V 13.5 to 21.0 LPW LED, CFL, Halogen IR
130V 15.4 to 24.0 LPW LED, CFL Halogen IR
>2.5” (PAR30, PAR38, BR30, BR40, ER30, ER40) 120V 16.0 to 24.8 LPW LED, CFL, Halogen IR
130V 18.4 to 28.6 LPW LED, CFL, Halogen IR

*Exemptions to these standards include: Rough service or vibration lamps; colored PAR lamps; BR30, BR40, and ER40 lamps rated at 65 watts; ER30, BR30, BR40, and ER40 lamps rated at 50 watts or less; R20 lamps rated at 45 watts or less. These regulations apply to standard spectrum reflector lamps only. For modified spectrum lamps standards are approximately 17% less stringent. For more info check out this article.

You probably know by now that CFLs and LED lamps are pretty much no-brainer replacements. For starters, a comparably bright CFL of 23W uses 74% less energy than a 90W halogen, and an LED used about 78% less. But perhaps you’re not familiar with the halogen IR (HIR) alternative, a special sort of halogen lamp.

HIRs are made with a thin dichroic infrared-reflective coating on the inner glass envelope that allows the lamp’s tungsten filament to heat to a higher temperature without using more electricity, simply by redirecting otherwise wasted heat energy. HIRs are up to 33% more efficient than average halogens! To produce the same amount of light as a 90 watt halogen, an HIR would only use 60 watts while lasting 40% longer.

Though an HIR still can’t compete with CFLs and LEDs for longest rated life or most efficient, they do come in handy for use in applications that CFLs and LEDs aren’t suited for. Consider using HIRs for the following:

  • With dimmers: When you need you recessed lighting or track lighting on a dimmer or other special control, all HIRs are fully dimmable, while LEDs and CFLs are only able to partially dim, if at all.
  • Lighting artwork and displays: Though Halogen IRs use some wild techniques to save energy, nothing compromises quality. The HIR has a perfect CRI of 100, so now when you need pure, crisp halogen light, you don’t have to neglect efficiency.
  • Outdoor Lighting: HIRs also work well in the outdoors as spot lights, flood lights, and other landscape lighting. These lights don’t skimp on lumen output, and they’re less sensitive to harsh elements.

For more info on the specifics of EISA compliant options (high efficiency halogens, CFLs, and LEDs), or to compare features like color temperature, dimmablity,  and estimated operating cost, check out this awesome table from Bulbrite.

Annie Josey

Annie was the E-Commerce Marketing Specialist at Pegasus Lighting from June 2012 to October 2013. She has a background in English literature, and loves using language to help illuminate the world. So covering lighting news and tips naturally fit her interests. In her personal time she enjoys painting, biking, and reading.