New Light Bulb Requirements :

Contrary to a lot of popular belief, the government is not banning the incandescent light bulb... In general terms, it means that our government is requiring us to reduce the wattage of our household bulbs. It also mandates that light bulbs be labeled with lumen output. (Because wattage is a power (energy) rating and lumen is a brightness rating.) This will aid the consumer as to which bulb to buy for their need. This means that several years from now you might be buying a "1000 Lumen Bulb" instead of a "60 Watt Bulb." However, the wattage will still be available on the label.... (43 watts for today's 60 watt)
There are new bulbs on the horizon that will produce more light output per watt than our standard incandescent like halogen and xenon bulbs. LED bulbs suited for residential use are on the horizon as well. 

We have been through this several times before. Just to name a few: our 40 watt fluorescent tubes were reduced to 34 watts and household flood bulbs: 75 watt inside flood was reduced to 65 watts and the outdoor flood light bulb was reduced from 150 watts to 120 watts. We have also seen a lot of changes to the lighting for ceiling fans as well...

Here are the new U.S. Energy Efficiency Requirements:

Beginning Jan. 1, 2011, in California and Jan. 1, 2012, throughout the U.S., incandescent light bulbs must meet more stringent lumens/watt requirements. In other words, the bulbs must produce the same amount of lumens (brightness) for less wattage (energy).

The changes begin with the 100 watt everyday incandescent light bulb, which must now use no more than 72 watts to produce a comparable brightness. Additional bulbs will be affected over the next several years:


For the first time, the label on the front of the package will emphasize the bulb's brightness as measured in lumens, rather than a measurement of watts.

“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,” stated the FTC in its press release. “As a result, reliance on watt measurements alone make it difficult for consumers to compare traditional incandescent bulbs to more efficient bulbs, such as compact fluorescents.”

The new front-of-package labels also will include the estimated yearly energy cost for the particular type of bulb.

The back of each package will have a “Lighting Facts” label modeled after the “Nutrition Facts” label that is currently on food packages. The Lighting Facts label will provide information about:
* Brightness
* Energy cost 
* Life expectancy
* Light appearance (for example, “warm” or “cool”)
* Wattage
* Mercury content

The bulb's brightness, measured in lumens, and a disclosure for bulbs
containing mercury, also will be printed on each bulb.

You will be seeing these label on your light bulbs starting next year: