Circular Lighting Report

US increases minimum efficacy of GLS to 120 lm/W

US Doe ups minimum efficacy for GLS lamps

The American government has dramatically upped the minimum efficacy of a light bulb from 45 lm/W to 120 lm/W.

The ambitious standard will take effect from July 25, 2028, and will apply to newly produced or imported general service lamps—not affecting continued consumer use and purchase of bulbs already manufactured.

Under the new rules, a typical omnidirectional GLS lamps in the traditional light bulb shape generating 800 lumens must have an efficacy of 124.6 lumens per watt.

Directional lamps must hit 96 lm/W for a 1200 lumen package while non-integrated lamps – those with separate drivers – must deliver 195 lm/W for a leap emitting 1624 lumens.

The numbers unveiled by the Department of Energy surprising the lighting community in north America, with many seeing the standards as ‘stretch numbers’.

Concern has been raised about other types of light sources including colour tunable and high colour rendering lamps.

The DoE says the standards will save the nation some 4 quadrillion BTUs over 30 years.

The rules are expected to save American families some £1.3 billion annually on household energy costs, significantly cut energy waste, and slash greenhouse gas pollution. Over 30 years, DOE projects these updated standards will save Americans more than £22 billion on their utility bills and cut 70 million metric tons of dangerous carbon dioxide emissions—equivalent to the combined annual emissions of over 9 million homes.

‘Making common household appliances more efficient is one of the most effective ways to slash energy costs and cut harmful carbon emissions,’ U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm told the press. ‘Under President Biden and as directed by Congress, the DoE is following the lead of lightbulb manufacturers and helping American families flip the switch on massive energy savings through strengthened energy efficiency standards.’

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Pic: Federico Botto/Unsplash

Ray Molony

Recolight Report is an independent guide to the latest developments in sustainable and circular lighting. Learn about the people, products, projects and processes that are shaping our industry’s low carbon future. Plus: explainers on the latest innovations, opinion from thought leaders and video interviews with leading disruptors. Edited by lighting expert, editor and industry figure Ray Molony.