16 CFR Part 305: Proposed Amendments to the Appliance Labeling Rule That Would Change the Existing Labeling Requirements for Lamp Products (Light Bulbs)
The proposed regulation from the Federal Trade Commission is not only good for the environment, it is also a needed revision to the already confusing label currently located on light bulb boxes. I would have to admit, up until today, I believed the large number located outside the light bulb box was connected to the brightness of the bulb. The reality is that this number represents the amount of wattage used to illuminate a light bulb. I am a proponent of this regulation for two specific reasons. First, the label offers an unambiguous understanding between a more energy efficient light bulb and a less efficient bulb. Secondly, these standardized labels clearly point out the most confusing part of the current label which is the distinction between watts and lumens. In addition, I believe using the word brightness, alongside lumens, will erase the confusion the consumer has with the current label. Studies show that in 2005 the top four, in order of importance, decisions consumers made when buying a light bulb were: lifetime of the bulb, the cost of the bulb, the brightness of the bulb, and the energy efficiency of the bulb (Sammer & Wüstenhagen, 2005). Knowing that energy efficiency only influenced 16% of consumers when buying light bulbs, I conclude that regulating a more eco-friendly label is a good start but ultimately promoting energy awareness will create a change in consumer buying habits.