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Industry News
Better Use Of Light Bulb Act Is Not Better
September 20, 2010

The Lamp Section of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) today reaffirmed its commitment to public policies that encourage transitioning to more energy-efficient lighting, including the energy-efficient light bulb provisions of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007).

The Better Use of Light Bulb Act (HR 6144), which was recently introduced by Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX), would repeal EISA 2007 lighting provisions.

According to NEMA Vice President of Government Relations Kyle Pitsor, the lighting industry is investing heavily in new products that meet consumers' demands for efficiency and light quality while developing marketing information that will help people understand the variety of products available to them as this transition takes place.

NEMA, like Congressman Barton, understands that consumers may be anxious as the lighting industry undergoes this technology shift to higher energy-efficient products.

“The reality is that consumer preference already has been shifting away from incandescent products, with the market for standard household incandescent bulbs declining by 50 percent over the last five or so years. With lighting consuming approximately 22 percent of all electricity in the U.S., the potential for energy savings and energy conservation that the country—and the world—can realize with this change to higher-technology light sources is immense. American businesses and consumers will annually save billions of dollars in electricity bills once the transition is complete,” Pitsor said.

EISA lighting provisions set phased-in, performance-based, technology-neutral standards, starting in 2011 in California, and nationally between 2012 and 2014. The new standards will continue to provide consumers with a choice of energy-efficient lighting products to meet their needs including high-efficiency halogen (advanced technology incandescent), compact fluorescent (CFLs), and new light-emitting diode (LED) solid state products.

The first product to be affected is today’s 100-watt incandescent bulb. Beginning on January 1, 2012, manufacturers are required to produce bulbs that meet the EISA 2007 minimum efficiency requirements that result in nearly a 30 percent improvement in efficiency while providing about the same amount of light (lumens) as today’s 100-watt bulb. The new bulbs will also last longer than today’s 100-watt bulb.

Over the course of two years, similar changes will take place for 75-, 60-, and 40-watt bulbs.

EISA 2007 provisions do not mandate the use of only compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), nor do they “ban” incandescent products.

“Energy-saving halogen (advanced incandescent) bulbs join CFLs on store shelves today, and provide the choices and desired lighting ambiance consumers want, using much less energy than consumed by the 100-year old technology they replace. More products are becoming available every day, including energy-saving, long-lasting LEDs to fill the 4.4 billion medium screw-base sockets in the U.S.,” Pitsor said.

NEMA is the association of electrical and medical imaging equipment manufacturers. Founded in 1926 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., its approximately 450 member companies manufacture products used in the generation, transmission and distribution, control, and end use of electricity. These products are used in utility, industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential applications. The NEMA Lamp Section is composed of 15 manufacturers of all types of lamps (light bulbs). The association’s Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) Division represents manufacturers of cutting-edge medical diagnostic imaging equipment including MRI, CT, x-ray, and ultrasound products. Worldwide sales of NEMA-scope products exceed $120 billion. In addition to its headquarters in Rosslyn, Virginia, NEMA also has offices in Beijing and Mexico City.

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