The final stage of EISA, which will eliminate production of traditional 60W and 40W incandescents beginning Jan. 1, 2014, is quickly approaching. Although we’ve been through these phase-outs twice before, this one will be the biggest and most troublesome for consumers because well over half of the bulbs used today fall into this category.
“This will be a big deal,” says the American Lighting Assn. Director of Engineering and Technology Terry McGowan. “Something is going to happen here that we haven’t gone through before and the lighting industry will have to come up with answers that are easy to find and easy to understand, more so than ever before.”
Consumers will see this change in a big way. A majority of people prefer the warm light of an incandescent and the price point to match, so the number of choices now available to them will lead to substantial confusion, McGowan predicts.
As recently as this fall, retailers were still voicing concerns about the availability of support resources from manufacturers to help them guide consumers through the plethora of new bulb options. While many of the major bulb manufacturers offer at least some type of downloadable educational or marketing material (see below), it will be a learning process for all involved.
California, which adopted EISA’s phase-outs one year earlier than the rest of the country, has already eliminated 60W and 40W incandescent production. And now, with the California Quality LED Lamp Specification that allows LED bulbs to qualify for incentives and rebates if they meet specific performance requirements, residential LED adoption should continue to increase.
“This standard may be a bellwether for the rest of the country because it will give premium products that have better performance an edge,” McGowan says.
Michael Siminovitch, Professor and Rosenfeld chair at the University of California, Davis and a key member of the team that developed this specification, says that the central issue in this whole process is providing the best quality of light, not just one that is most energy-efficient.
“In our country’s pursuit of energy-efficiency we’ve kind of thrown the consumer under the bus,” he explains. “The main point is that we need to develop regulatory processes, educational programs and other efforts that support the consumer and the industry in making that happen.”
This transition will take time to stabilize, but increased involvement and support from industry members will help expedite consumer adoption and understanding.
EISA Material Available from Bulb Manufacturers
GE Lighting: On the company’s website, “Facts About the Incandescent Bulb Law,” is an easy-to-navigate and concise summary of EISA with accompanying video and a list of alternative bulbs. www.gelighting.com/LightingWeb/na/consumer/inspire-and-learn/lighting-legislation/index.jsp
Acuity Brands: A dedicated section of the website delivers concise information on EISA with FAQs and many downloadable PDFs. www.acuitybrandslighting.com/EISA
Bulbrite: Bulbrite.com/eisa contains everything you’ll need to know about the upcoming EISA phaseout. Lightopedia has also been updated in preparation for this final stage. www.lightopedia.com
Philips Lighting: As part of the “Federal DOE Legislation” page on the company’s website, details on EISA legislation as well as more general information about lumens versus watts, technical terms, labels, etc. is available. http://applications.nam.lighting.philips.com/cmolegislation/index.php
Osram Sylvania: A comprehensive summary of EISA as well as downloadable materials, like an illustrated Light Bulb Replacement Guide, are available at www.sylvania.com/en-us/sustainability/regulations-legislation/Pages/light-bulb-laws.aspx. An interactive guide to decipher which replacement bulb you should buy is also available at http://llprtool.sylvania.com/
Westinghouse: Plenty of general information on EISA plus a light bulb replacement guide, that illustrates which bulbs need to replaced and the effective phaseout date are accessible on the company’s website. www.westinghouselighting.com/light-bulbs/led-bulbs/
Satco: A handy downloadable “Suggested Lamp Replacement Guide” is available on the “Education” section of the company’s website — it specifies Satco incandescents and offers suggested replacement bulbs.
Litetronics: Includes an “EISA-compliant” patch on some products on its website that meet the new requirements.