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Federal Legislation and New Standards

A Higher Standard

Federal legislation* mandates that traditional incandescent light bulbs must now be 25 percent more energy efficient and maintain their brightness and quality. New lighting standards have phased out 100- and 75-watt incandescent bulbs, meaning they can no longer be manufactured or imported into the United States. Compliant bulbs will operate at lower wattages but still deliver similar brightness.

It’s important to understand that even higher efficiency incandescents, including halogens and so-called “energy saving” models, are inefficient compared to CFLs and LEDs. Your best bet is to always buy ENERGY STAR bulbs, as discussed in the next section.

*Learn more about the new federal lighting standards hereLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..

Make your home a superstar. Choose ENERGY STAR®.

Among the different bulb technologies, some bulbs are more efficient than others. Those that achieve the highest levels of energy efficiency earn the ENERGY STAR® label from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ENERGY STAR is government-backed symbol for certain products that demonstrate significant energy savings—and deliver the product performance and features consumers want.

Looking for the blue ENERGY STAR label is the easiest and most reliable way to identify and purchase energy-efficient light bulbs that offer savings on energy bills without sacrificing performance, features, convenience or comfort.

What’s more, non-ENERGY STAR bulbs may not last as long as they haven’t been tested and proven for performance like ENERGY STAR bulbs. In fact, all ENERGY STAR bulbs come with a minimum warranty: 2-year for CFLs and 3-year for LEDs.

ENERGY STAR—Proven and tested

ENERGY STAR is voluntary program run by the EPA. It’s designed to help businesses and individuals save money and protect our climate through superior energy efficiency. Now in its 20th year, the ENERGY STAR program has boosted the adoption of energy-efficient products, practices, and services through partnerships, objective measurements and consumer education.

In order for light bulbs to earn the ENERGY STAR label, they must be certified by a third-party based on testing in EPA-recognized laboratories. In addition, each year a percentage of all ENERGY STAR light bulbs and other products are subject to "off–the–shelf" testing to ensure that changes or variations in the manufacturing process do not undermine a product's ENERGY STAR qualifications.

Last Updated: 08/07/2013