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The new standards for both general service fluorescent lamps and incandescent reflector lamps become effective for lamps manufactured or imported on or after July 14, 2012.  Lamps already in the distribution chain on that date may legally be sold.

The new standards for general service fluorescent lamps are:

Lamp Type

Correlated Color Temperature

Energy Conservation Standard


4-Foot (T8-T12) Medium Bi-pin


≤ 4,500K


> 4,500K and ≤ 7,000K


2-Foot (T8-T12) U-Shaped


≤ 4,500K


> 4,500K and ≤ 7,000K


8-Foot (T8-T12) Slimline


≤ 4,500K


> 4,500K and ≤ 7,000K


8-Foot (T8-T12) High Output

≤ 4,500K


> 4,500K and ≤ 7,000K


4-Foot (T5) Miniature Bi-pin Standard Output  ≥26W

≤ 4,500K


> 4,500K and ≤ 7,000K


4-Foot (T5) Miniature Bi-pin High Output ≥49W

≤ 4,500K


> 4,500K and ≤ 7,000K


Impact for Lamps  (all color temperatures)

• T12 4-ft. & 2-ft U-lamps with medium bi-pin bases

            - Majority of F40 and F34T12 lamps and all FB40 and FB34T12 U-lamps fail.

            - 4-ft. requires 3560 lumens @ 40W and 3030 lumens @ 34W to pass @ 89 LPW.

            - 2-ft. U-lamps require 3360 @ 40W and 2856 @ 34W to pass @ 84 LPW.

            - CWX/DX/DSGN50/C50  colors are exempt due to CRI.

T12 8-ft. Slimline with single pin bases

            - All 75W F96T12 lamps fail.

            - All 60W F96T12/ES fail except for the 800/SPX Series & some 700/SP long life Series.

            - CWX/DX/DSGN50/C50 colors are exempt due to CRI.

• T12 8-ft. 800mA HO with RDC bases

            - All 110W F96T12 HO lamps fail. Require enhanced coatings with 10,120 lumens to pass.

            - All 95W F96T12/ES/HO fail except for enhanced 800 Series. Require 8740 lumens to pass.

            - CWX/DX/DSGN50/C50 colors are exempt due to CRI.

            - CW/Cold temp. & D/ Cold temp. are exempt.

• T8 4-ft. & 2-ft. U-lamps with medium bi-pin bases

            - All 4-ft. T8 basic 700/SP Series lamps @ 2800 lumens fail. Require 2850 lumens to pass.

            - All other 4-ft. pass.

            - All 2-ft. 800/SPX Series U-lamps pass. Some 700/SP Series pass.

• T8 8-ft. Slimline with single pin bases

            - All pass except some 700/SP Series. Require 5723 lumens @ 59W to pass.

T8 8-ft. HO with RDC bases

            - All pass except some 700/SP Series. Require 7912 lumens @ 86W to pass.

• T5 4-ft with miniature bi-pin bases - All pass. 

The new standards for incandescent reflector lamps (IRL) are:

Lamp Wattage

Lamp Type



Minimum LPW; expressed here as a range for 40W through 205W, as LPW is derived from a formula based on lamp watts


Standard Spectrum

> 2.5 inches

(PAR30, PAR38, BR30 & ER30, BR40 & ER40)


6.8 X lamp watts0.27

18.4 to 31.9 LPW 


5.9 X lamp watts0.27

16.0 to 27.6 LPW 

≤ 2.5 inches

(R20 & PAR20)


5.7 X lamp watts0.27

15.4 to 26.7 LPW


5.0 X lamp watts0.27

13.5 to 23.4 LPW


Modified Spectrum



Standards are approximately 17% less stringent than for Standard Spectrum Lamps


 Exemptions to IRL Standards:
 Lamps that are 50W or less:  ER30, BR30, BR40, and ER40
 Lamps that are 65W exactly: BR30, BR40, and ER40
 Lamps that are 45W or less:  R20


Only a few of today's halogen reflector lamps, e.g. PAR20, PAR30 and PAR38, can meet the standards in the Final Rule.

In order to meet the new standards, reflector lamps will need to use new technologies such as advanced infrared (IR) coatings and optimized reflector coatings. IR coatings redirect wasted heat energy emitted by the lamp filament back to the filament, increasing the temperature of the filament, and thus enabling it to produce more light without increasing wattage. Optimized reflector coatings will more efficiently direct light produced by the lamp out of the lamp and into the space being illuminated.

The few existing lamps that meet the new standards are more expensive than the standard halogen lamps on the market today. While the initial cost of the new higher efficiency reflector lamps will be higher, the consumer should see a payback through reduced electrical bills depending on the amount of time the lamps are "on".

 By Dain M. Hansen*, NEMA Government Relations

 * Invited expert author. The impact on current lamp types incorporated in this article is consensus information provided by the NEMA Lamp Section which represents most manufacturers of the subject lamps. The IESNA Legislative and Regulatory Information committee has reviewed and approved this article.