All it takes is a single electric bill to see why you’d benefit from using less energy. But it’s important far beyond your bank account. As a country, the US has needed so much energy that we’re dependent on other countries. For that reason, energy efficiency is now a matter of law.
For homeowners and business owners alike, it’s important to know whether you’re buying compliant bulbs. You may have heard that LED light bulbs are legally compliant – is it true? Check out our handy guide to get you up to speed.
US Law about Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
To reduce the country’s energy usage, US legislators passed an energy management bill in 2007.
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (or EISA 2007) outlined a series of changes. These changes were phased in between 2012 and 2014. EISA 2007 included regulations for gas mileage, training for energy-efficient jobs, electric transportation, and more. But today, we’re focusing on the section about light bulbs.
EISA 2007 regulates the maximum amount of energy (wattage) a bulb can use. The max wattage is different for varying levels of brightness (lumens). In general, it’s about a 25% increase.
For example, a typical 1600-lumen bulb used to use 100 watts of energy. But the new law requires it to use no more than 72 watts. You can read about EISA 2007 and the specific limits for each brightness level.
It’s worth mentioning that the law doesn’t ban incandescent bulbs, which is a common misunderstanding. There are still incandescent bulbs being produced and sold, they’re just more efficient than they used to be.
How LED Light Bulbs Comply with EISA 2007
When you’re light bulb shopping, you’ll notice there are many types of bulbs that follow EISA 2007. So how do you know which one to choose?
The three primary types of bulbs are incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). They might appear to have a higher cost on the shelf, but as experienced lighting professionals, we recommend LEDs as the way to go. Here’s why:
All bulbs are more efficient than they used to be, but LEDs go above and beyond. EISA 2007 reduces all bulbs’ energy usage by about 25%, but LED light bulbs are actually 50% more efficient than original incandescents.
The US government established an organization called Energy Star in 1992 to qualify low-energy items and appliances. The next time you’re in the store, you’ll notice that Energy Star has certified the LED light bulbs you see.
Energy-efficient LEDs don’t just help the greater good, but their low energy usage lowers your energy bill, too.
Traditional incandescent bulbs last for about 1,000 hours, or less if you switch them on and off too quickly. LED light bulbs last 30,000-50,000 hours, regardless of how many times they’re turned on and off. They’re also less fragile because they have fewer delicate parts than incandescent bulbs.
Their long life is one more way LED bulbs are cost-effective. That higher cost on the shelf isn’t so high when you compare one LED bulb to 30-50 incandescent ones. And for a business owner who pays employees or maintenance workers to replace light bulbs, there’s another cost to cut.
Leading an Energy-Efficient Life
EISA 2007 has made it easier for consumers to use energy-efficient products. But there are plenty of steps you can take on your own as well. LEDs are a great first step. For help outfitting your home or business with energy-efficient yet beautiful lighting, contact our lighting professionals.