Bright Ideas: U.S. Lighting Standards

By Anonymous

Earlier this month furniture retailer IKEA decided to only sell LED lightbulbs in their stores as part of the company’s sustainability effort. This move, which other organizations are also following, is due in large part to the United States Lighting Energy Policy from 2007 which was a phase-out program of inefficient incandescent light bulbs. While there is a general shift towards more efficient lighting, the team at HomElectrical decided to do an in-depth piece on the policies and laws that require better, more efficient bulbs in homes and businesses.

In 2007, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, or better known as the EISA, created new lighting legislation in the United States. Up until then, regulations on lightbulbs had been relatively relaxed as far as energy efficiency goes, but, with the introduction of the bill, we now have energy efficiency standards that require lightbulbs to have a strict lumens-per-watt ratio, which varies on different types of bulbs. Also, bulb lifetime standards were increased with this bill, so bulbs now are expected to be more powerful, more efficient, and last much longer than any other time in history.

T-8 or Smaller fluorescent lamps or lamps with minimum efficacy of:

  • 60 lumens per watt for lamps greater than 40 watts
  • 50 lumens per watt for lamps greater than 15 watts and less than or equal to 40 watts
  • 40 lumens per watt for lamps less than 15 watts

ASHREA Lighting Standards

Other regulations and legislation has been enacted to support the EISA or to enforce even stricter requirements for buildings and businesses. According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, otherwise known as ASHREA, the requirements for buildings also created new lighting standards. Some of the lighting standards include:

  • Automatic shutoff controls must be met for lighting alterations (including ballast and lamp retrofits when 10+% of connected lighting load is replaced
  • Occupancy sensors are now required
  • Parking garage lighting controls are now required
  • Automatic shutoff is no longer limited to buildings greater than 5,000 square feet
  • Stairwell lighting now needs a control device that reduces power by 50% when not working
  • Landscape lighting must be turned off with a photosensor or on a timed schedule
  • Lighting for advertising lighting must be reduced by 30%

Thanks for your interest in lighting efficiency laws! For more updates, make sure to follow us on Twitter or Facebook.