Tighter U.S. Standards for General Service Lamps?

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 10:16 -- MrGreen

The future could get brighter using less power for U.S. consumers if the Department of Energy (DOE) decides to pass tougher General Service Lamp (GSL) standards.

The DOE is directed by law to evaluate efficiency standards for GSLs and publish a final ruling by January 1, 2017. GSLs include general service incandescent lamps (GSILs), compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), general service light-emitting diode (LED) lamps, and organic light-emitting diode (OLED)* lamps. Affected GSLs are those that utilize a medium screw or GU24 ANSI base, are not integrated into a light fixture, serve general lighting applications, and have a light output of at least 310 lumens. (A maximum output limit of 2,600 lumens is currently being proposed.)

One objective of the DOE activity is to evaluate twenty-two current GSIL exemptions and decide whether the exemptions should continue and if they should apply to the other lamps involved. Exempted products include 3-way, rough service, colored, bug, appliance, plant and marine bulbs.

Another major area of discussion is the determination of minimum efficacy levels. The DOE has proposed five potential efficacy levels, called Candidate Standard Levels (CSL), for lamps ≤ 1,999 lumens and two potential efficacy levels for lamps ≥ 2,000 lumens, as shown in the table below. The minimum efficacy level for each CSL is based on the following equation, using lumens as the input:

Efficacy = A – 29.42 × 0.9983^Lumens


Source: U.S. DOE

Proposed CSL efficacy levels vs. lumen output (Source: U.S. DOE)



The DOE will decide on one CSL for each of the two lumen output product classes. The GSL standard is expected to be finalized and published by December 2016, with an effective date of December 2019. For additional information, including a copy of the 580-page Technical Support Document and the stakeholder meeting presentation, visit the DOE General Service Lamps webpage.

*OLED GSLs may not be included due to its emerging technology status with limited commercial availability. It’s also unclear at this time whether existing OLED product efficacy can be improved.