Issued last fall, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Residential Light Fixtures (RLF) Specification version 4.1 cleared the way for single-piece (integrated lamp and ballast) compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) with GU-24 bases to become Energy StarT-qualified.
“As these lamps are usually included with Energy Star fixtures, the EPA felt it necessary to establish a performance and labeling specification to ensure customers receive a quality product,” explains Chris Primous, Manager of Energy Star Lighting Fixtures for ICF International, an independent consulting firm. “RLF 4.1 not only allows integrated GU-24 lamps to be Energy Star-qualified when they are used with a fixture, the products can also be qualified as stand-alone new or replacement lamps,” Primous says.
While RLF Specification version 4.1 does not alter previously established fixture requirements, it does make the following provisions for GU-24 CFLs:
• Maximum mercury content labeling requirements. Integrated GU-24 lamp manufacturers must note on their packaging that the lamp contains mercury and refer customers to one of two sites: www.epa.gov/bulbrecycling  or www.lamprecycle.org , which supply information on proper mercury and CFL disposal. Fixtures that contain integrated GU-24 CFLs must list this information on their labels, as well.
• A new Accelerated Cycling, Thermal, and Voltage (ACTV) Stress Test. Now mandatory for GU-24 CFLs seeking Energy Star status, this relatively simple test was developed by the Lighting Research Center to quickly reveal inadequate circuit designs, manufacturing problems, defective materials or components, and poorly performing products. Among other things, the test recreates the higher operating temperatures often found in enclosed fixtures. Approved manu-facturer laboratories and independent labs that meet specific criteria can perform this test.
• A two-year warranty requirement. This is consistent with existing lighting fixture warranty requirements and ensures the lamp will at least meet the life requirements of the fixture it illuminates. Most lamps must meet the previously established 10,000-hour lamp life requirement for all fixtures containing CFLs.
• Specific efficacy targets. For lamps greater than or equal to 30W, the minimum is 60 lumens per watt; for lamps less than 30W, it is 50 lumens per watt. Special allowances address dimmable designs and cover lamps that meet at least 40 lumens per watt and 8,000-hour lamp life standards.