FTC Materials Will Help Shoppers Understand New Light Bulb Labels Coming in 2012

Explain Lumens and the New Lighting Facts Label

Tips for Consumers

The Federal Trade Commission is making two new resources available to consumers to help them shop for light bulbs in a market with increasingly more efficient options, including compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and new incandescent halogen bulbs. Beginning in 2012, consumers will see new packaging and labeling on most household bulbs that will help them save money by selecting the most efficient bulbs that fit their lighting needs.

At ftc.gov/lightbulbs, a video and flyer explain how understanding lumens and the new Lighting Facts label will help shoppers compare bulbs. For example, lumens, not watts, tell you how bright a light bulb is, no matter the type of bulb. The more lumens, the brighter the light. Beginning in 2012, labels on the front of light bulb packages will emphasize a bulb’s brightness in lumens, instead of the bulb’s energy usage in watts.

The website also previews the new Lighting Facts label that will appear on most light bulb packages by the beginning of 2012, listing a bulb’s brightness (in lumens), its estimated energy cost and life span, whether the bulb provides “warm” or “cool” light, the wattage, and whether the bulb contains mercury. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 will phase out low-efficiency incandescent bulbs beginning in 2012, and directed the FTC’s new bulb packaging and label initiative, which will make it easier to compare bulbs as traditional incandescents are eliminated from the market.

For lighting manufacturers, the FTC also offers Labeling Your Light Bulbs with "Lighting Facts": Questions and Answers for Manufacturers at business.ftc.gov.

(Light Bulbs)

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