As part of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, several changes in regulation for incandescent reflector lamps (IRLs) went into effect on July 14. These lamps have a screw base and utilize standard incandescent or halogen-incandescent lamps.
The included wattage range is from 40W to 250W. There are exceptions for certain wattages, colored or other special application lamps.
Commonly used PAR and R lamps affected are the PAR30, PAR38, BR30, ER30, BR40, ER40, and the R20 and PAR20.
Regulated lamps that are already made and on the market may be sold, but non-qualifying lamps can no longer be manufactured or imported.
Regulations affecting general service linear fluorescent lamps also went into effect July 14, including T8 and T12, 2-foot and 4-foot sizes. And regulations affecting fluorescent ballasts will go into effect Nov. 14. Some manufacturers, such as Satco Products and Philips Lighting, have received exceptions from the Department of Energy (DOE), allowing certain products to continue to be manufactured for another two years.
Terry McGowan, Director of Engineering and Technology for the American Lighting Assn. (ALA) gave a rundown of the changes in a technology newsletter sent out to ALA members.
"The main message is that people should understand that we've been wrapped up in these phase-outs," McGowan says. A lot of commonly used bulbs are being phased out, he says, and the public needs to be alert as to when they occur.
McGowan found himself frustrated when he tried to look up specifics about the regulations. There wasn't one source with all the information, he says, so he took the initiative to try and help educate the industry himself.
For both retailers and consumers however, McGowan believes the regulations will help simplify stock. Some companies have filled up catalogs with a lot of "cat and dog items" that are of limited use. Streamlining bulbs down to a few types can help simplify the purchasing process.
It's important to keep up on future regulations, McGowan says. Right now, MR16 lamps aren't being regulated, but hen says the DOE could look into that in the future.
Atlantic Electrical Supply Corp. in Richmond, VA, held a "funeral" memorial service, for the 100W incandescent A lamp in January. Stephen Levet, Secretary-Treasurer at Atlantic, says he tried to run a "tongue-in-cheek" sort of obituary for the bulb in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, but was told only obituaries for humans could run.
Levet wanted the event to serve an educational purpose and provided a variety of literature on the energy requirements.
The July 14 changes to the PAR and T12 lamps would impact people even more, Levet says. The store held a week-long celebration, which it called a "PAR-T", to commemorate the demise of those lamps.
Levet says his showroom will shrink by about 25 percent when the EISA regulations are all said and done. They had offered six types of PAR38 lamps, but will be boiling that down to normally just stocking two types.
"It's all about education," Levet says. "The manufacturers are not doing a good job of educating the residential public. Customers are looking for and buying lamps that are going by the wayside."