New Light Bulb Labeling Will Eschew Watts for Lumens

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently announced that, starting next year, light bulbs will feature new labeling on packaging designed to help consumers choose among the different types of bulbs on the market and allow them to save money by selecting the most efficient bulbs that best fit their lighting needs.

The new labeling would apply to high-efficiency compact fluorescent (CFL) and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, as well as traditional incandescent bulbs. The latter will effectively be phased out over the next few years as a result of new federal energy standards.

Under direction from Congress to re-examine the current labels, the FTC is announcing a final rule that will require the new labels on light bulb packages. For the first time, the label on the front of the package will emphasize the bulbs’ brightness as measured in lumens, rather than a measurement of watts. The new front-of-package labels also will include the estimated yearly energy cost for the particular type of bulb.

While watt measurements are familiar to consumers and have been featured on the front of light bulb packages for decades, watts are a measurement of energy use, not brightness. As a result, reliance on watt measurements alone make it difficult to compare traditional incandescent bulbs to more efficient bulbs. For example, a CFL may be able to produce the same amount of brightness as a traditional incandescent bulb using far less wattage.

Under the new rule, the back of each package of light bulbs will have a “Lighting Facts” label modeled after the “Nutrition Facts” label that is currently ubiquitous on food packaging. The Lighting Facts label will provide information about brightness, energy cost, the bulb’s life expectancy, light appearance (“warm” or “cool” light), watt usage and whether the bulb contains mercury.

Visit the FTC’s website for more information.

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One Response to “New Light Bulb Labeling Will Eschew Watts for Lumens”
  1. mode20100 says:

    A+ would read again

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