The American Lighting Assn.  (ALA) recently hosted a press event at a Virginia home in an effort to clear up misinformation about the new bulb efficiency regulations set to take effect Jan. 1, 2012, as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007. The event was organized by the LUMEN  (Lighting Understanding for a More Efficient Nation) Coalition, an educational organization formed by ALA, National Electrical Manufacturers Association  (NEMA) and the Alliance to Save Energy .
The event’s speakers included (pictured from left to right) ALA Director of Education Joe Rey-Barreau, U.S. Department of Energy  (DOE) Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency Kathleen Hogan, Alliance to Save Energy President Kateri Callahan and Lutron Electronics  Vice President and Chair of NEMA’s Lighting Systems Division Pekka Hakkarainen.
ALA Vice President of Communications Larry Lauck says they chose to hold the event at the Arlington, VA, home of Rose DiNapoli, an interior designer who was originally skeptical of new light bulb technology. With the help of Linda Morley, Manager of Residential Lighting at Arlington’s Dominion Electric Supply Co.  showroom, a small group of LUMEN members toured DiNapoli’s house and explained different bulb options for each lamp or fixture. DiNapoli then had a chance to live with the new lights for a week prior to the press conference.
“I was really happy to see that there were lots of choices,” DiNapoli said at the press conference. “There’s an energy efficient bulb that looks good in almost every application here, and that was news to me, I have to admit.”
Overall, a total of 34 bulbs were replaced with CFLs and LEDs in seven of DiNapoli’s rooms, not all of which will be affected by the new EISA requirements. The LUMEN Coalition estimates these changes will give DiNapoli a total lifetime energy savings of nearly $2,800.
DiNapoli said the biggest change she noticed was in her library, where she noticed a definite improvement in the color and quality of the light.
“Rose said areas like her library and kitchen ended up being better lit, and in other areas, she couldn’t tell the difference,” Lauck says. “It just goes to show how far technology has come in a few short years.”
The LUMEN Coalition also used the event to unveil a new website, www.lumennow.org , a new energy-efficient lighting resource for consumers.
Morley says she has encountered customers at her showroom who have had a lot of questions about the new EISA requirements for light bulbs, which is why Lauck says education on this topic is so important.
“It’s critical, otherwise the consumer is just walking down the aisle at a store picking out a bulb and you run the risk of whether it’s right for that application,” Lauck says. “That’s the educational challenge that the industry has in front of itself as we enter the new year.”