Consumers Can Enjoy More Bulb Choices, More Energy Bill Savings
Energy-efficient lighting means more options and more savings. The more energy-efficient light bulbs U.S. consumers use in their homes, the greater the savings–$50 to more than $100 a year per household. Those are key messages that the diverse LUMEN coalition–Lighting Understanding for a More Efficient Nation–is conveying to consumers, beginning with last week’s launch and website debut.
LUMEN’s primary goal is helping consumers understand the variety of lighting options available to meet their diverse lighting needs and save them money while saving energy.
LUMEN is spearheaded by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), Alliance to Save Energy (Alliance), and the American Lighting Association (ALA). To date, more than 40 nonprofit energy-efficiency advocacy groups, utilities, lighting manufacturers, and trade associations are participating in the effort. In addition, five government agencies are acting as advisors: the California Energy Commission, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), U.S. Department of Energy, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Money-Saving Choices Already Available
Money-saving choices are already on the market, ahead of the three-year transition that begins January 1, 2012. California began leading the way a year early in January 2011.
“Lighting manufacturers have been preparing for this transition for many years. Resources have been focused on changes in packaging and in new product development. NEMA welcomes this effort to help consumers understand the many choices they have as this transition takes place,” said NEMA Lighting Division Chair Pekka Hakkarainen.
“LUMEN will clear up misinformation,” said Alliance President Kateri Callahan. “For example, consumers can buy new energy-efficient incandescent light bulbs using halogen technology that look like the old incandescent bulbs and provide the same light quality but are about 30 percent more efficient and last up to three times longer. Also, both compact fluorescent light bulbs, or CFLs, and light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, are 75 percent more efficient and last longer. In fact, LEDs can last up to 25 years!”
“A homeowner now has many more options than ever before when it comes to lighting the home. Understanding which option is best for a specific application is where LUMEN members can help the homeowner. The lighting industry is going through a technological transition and we need to help educate the consumers,” said Larry Lauck of the American Lighting Association.
New FTC Labels
In addition to “enlightening” the public about the variety and benefits of new lighting choices, the LUMEN website also explains the new FTC labels that will ease the transition from measuring how much electricity a bulb uses in watts to measuring a bulb’s light output in lumens – hence the coalition’s acronym. These labels will be found on an increasing number of light bulb packages as the January 2012 implementation date approaches. The new labels provide information on a bulb’s longevity, lifetime cost and the appearance of the light it sheds on a continuum from cool to warm.
Under the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, inefficient 100-watt bulbs will no longer be made starting January 1, 2012, though retailers can sell out their existing stocks of old bulbs. The higher energy-efficiency standards will apply to 75-watt bulbs starting January 1, 2013, and to 60- and 40-watt bulbs beginning January 1, 2014.
The Alliance to Save Energy is a coalition of prominent business, government, environmental, and consumer leaders who promote the efficient and clean use of energy worldwide to benefit consumers, the environment, the economy and national security.
The American Lighting Association is a trade association representing the lighting industry. Its membership includes lighting, fan and dimming control manufacturers, retail showrooms, sales representatives and lighting designers across North America dedicated to providing the public with the proper application of quality residential lighting.
NEMA is the association of electrical equipment manufacturers, founded in 1926 and headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. Its member companies manufacture a diverse set of products including power transmission and distribution equipment, lighting systems, factory automation and control systems, and medical diagnostic imaging systems. Worldwide annual sales of NEMA-scope products exceed $120 billion.
The LUMEN Coalition is a group of more than 40 manufacturers, nonprofits and consumer groups whose goal is to inform consumers about the variety and benefits of energy-efficient lighting products. Several governmental agencies serve as advisors, including the Department of Energy, Federal Trade Commission and Environmental Protection Agency.