New Bulb Labeling Requirements
 

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced new light bulb labeling requirements for mid-2011 designed to help consumers choose among the different types of bulbs that will be on the market, ranging from traditional incandescent bulbs to more energy-efficient compact fluorescents (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

The label on the front of the package will emphasize a bulb’s brightness as measured in lumens, rather than watts. 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 also have a “Lighting Facts” label (shown here) modeled after the “Nutrition Facts” label currently on food packages, providing information about brightness, energy cost, life expectancy, light appearance, wattage and whether the bulb contains mercury.

The new labels should help consumers make purchase decisions as they transition to higher-efficacy bulbs in the coming years.

The new labeling requirements will go into effect a year from the date of issue. The FTC is also seeking public comments on several issues related to future changes to light bulb labeling requirements, such as whether labeling requirements should be extended to candelabra bulbs.

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