California Proposes New LED Lighting Standards

In October 2015, the California Energy Commission (CEC) proposed the introduction of statewide standards for small diameter directional lamps and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The proposition was prompted by previous legislation, which required the CEC to reduce energy and lighting usage from 2007 levels by 50% in homes and 25% in businesses by 2018.

Directional lamps, used as commercial track lighting in stores, hotels, and museums, are expected to reach 18 million installations in California by 2029. The proposed legislation would require these lamps to qualify as reduced-energy in one of two ways:

  • Lamps with a diameter of 2.25” or smaller with an efficacy score of 80 or higher
  • LED light bulbLamps with a color rendering index (CRI) + efficacy score of 165, in addition to at least 70 lumens per watt

The legislation would also enforce a minimum product lifetime of 25,000 hours, a specification only currently fulfilled by LED lamps.

The CEC’s proposed standards for LEDs would roll out in two stages, with the first tier of requirements enforced beginning on January 1, 2017 and the second tier on January 1, 2019. These standards would require consumers to replace screw-based incandescent bulbs and compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) with energy-saving LED bulbs. LEDs are bright, heatless, and highly efficient light sources that consume less power and generally last longer than traditional CFLs.

“Replacing inefficient, energy-wasting light bulbs with more efficient ones is one of the easiest ways to help California reach its energy goals,” said CEC Commissioner Andrew McAllister in an official news release announcing the proposal. “Although both small-diameter directional lamps and LEDs have the potential to save significant amounts of energy, there are no federal or state standards for either.”

The proposal would limit power consumed by “smart” LED lamps, which use energy even when they’re switched off, to only 0.2 watts when the lamp is in standby mode. It would also require specific testing before product labels could make claims regarding dimmability and applicability. Finally, the LEDs’ light distribution patterns would need to align with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® Program requirements.

By supporting the new standards and investing in energy efficient lighting, your customers can invest in the future. At AM Conservation Group, we can help you to find energy efficient opportunities for indoor and outdoor commercial lighting such as LED wrap fixtures, tubes, and flat panels. For more information about investing in energy efficiency, we invite you to download our Energy Savings Kit White Paper.


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