New Lighting Standards

0You may have heard that new lighting standards were going into effect. Even so, you may not know all the details.

Traditional, inefficient 100W incandescent light bulbs no longer meet the standards and are no longer widely available. While this may seem like an inconvenience, it really is the best thing that could have happened.

Traditional bulbs like Halogens are inefficient, hot, and waste money. Led lighting, on the other hand, is cost-effective and saves you big money over the long haul. New US lighting standards are as follows.

US lighting standards

There is no one, definitive US lighting standard. There are instead various codes and programs which characterize US lighting standards

The US Dept. of Energy estimates that lighting makes up 40 percent of all electrical use in commercial buildings. Switching over to LED lighting means not just substantial savings to your business, but savings that will have a real impact on your bottom line.

Let’s say for instance your business has just 250, 60-watt light bulbs. Estimating at a moderate CoE, using a 60-watt bulb will cost you on average $352.50 over a 50K hour lifespan. Multiply that by 250 and that means you’ll be spending more than $88,000. Now, let’s contrast that to a comparable LED light.

Using a comparable10-watt LED bulb, over those same 50K hours, you’ll spend just over $21,000. That’s $67,000 in savings to you. Saving money is making money.

US Department of Energy lighting standards

The Department of Energy (DOE) is required by law to establish mandatory energy efficiency requirements for new federal commercial and residential buildings and to develop energy efficiency standards for manufactured homes. Federal law also requires that DOE publish determinations as to whether new editions of ASHRAE Standard 90.1 and the International Energy Conservation Code will improve energy efficiency.

DOE rulemaking includes:

  • Publication in the Federal Register of an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (issued when required under statute or when DOE seeks to notify the public that a rulemaking is being considered generally and usually requests comment on the appropriate scope or on specific topics)
  • Publication in the Federal Register of a notice of proposed rulemaking (or preliminary determination) to provide notice and an opportunity for public comment
  • Review and consideration of public comments; prepare reasoned responses to significant comment received
  • Publication of a final rule in the Federal Register


ASHRAE lighting standards

ASHRAE lighting standards, published in 2010, state:

  • Automatic shutoff control must be met for lighting alterations, including lamp and ballast retrofits when 10+% of connected lighting load is replaced
  • Automatic shutoff is no longer limited to buildings greater than 5,000sq.ft.
  • Occupancy sensors are now required
  • Parking garage lighting controls are now required
  • Hotel/motel lighting control has expanded
  • Stairwell lighting must now include a control device that reduces lighting power by 50% when unoccupied
  • All building landscape lighting must be turned off on a schedule or with photo sensor
  • Advertising signage lighting must be reduced by 30%
  • Lighting control devices and systems must be functionally tested (this includes occupancy sensors, time switches, programmable schedule controls and photo sensors)

ASHRAE stands for the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers