California Energy Commission Approves LED Lamp Standard

Tue, 02/09/2016 - 11:51 -- MrGreen

Last year, I wrote about the California Energy Commission's (CEC) proposed lamp (bulb) standard, projected to save residents and businesses more than $4 billion in energy costs over 13 years (see Mr. Green blog: California Energy Commission Illuminates Lamp Standard Proposal). Last week, the Commissioners voted to approve that standard, making it the U.S.'s first mandatory state lamp efficiency/quality regulations. The approved standard contains minor spec modifications and clarifications to last October's original proposed requirements.

The standard addresses efficiency and quality in two distinct product groups:

Small diameter directional lamps Defined as lamps of 2.25 inches or less in diameter, they include multifaceted reflector lamps (MR16 and MR11) and parabolic aluminized reflector lamps (PAR16 and PAR11). The requirements are shown below.

Effective DateEnergy Efficiency Standard (must meet one condition below)Rated Life (min) (hrs)
1/1/2018 Efficacy ≥ 80 lm/w OR CRI1 + Efficacy ≥ 165 and a minimum efficacy ≥ 70 lm/w 25,000


General Service LED lamps Defined as omnidirectional, directional, and decorative white light LED replacement lamps with E12, E17, E26, and GU-24 bases. Minimum light output must be ≥150 lumens for candelabra lamps and ≥200 lumens for all other lamps. A minimum compliance score is calculated as the sum of the lamp's efficacy plus 2.3 times the CRI of the lamp. The requirements are shown below.

Effective DateMin. Compliance ScoreEfficacy (min) (lm/W) CRI* (min)Rated Life (min) (hrs)PF (min)
Tier 1, (1/1/2018) 282 68 82 10,000 0.7
Tier 2, (7/1/2019) 297 80 82 10,000 0.7

In addition to the above, the following must be met:

  • A 0.2 W standby power limit for "connected" lamps2 (effective 7/2019)
  • If labeled as an incandescent equivalent, a lamp's CCT3 must be ≤ 3000 K and be dimmable to 10% rated lumen output (while meeting flicker and noise threshold limits)

For a copy of the CEC press release, click here. For answers to frequently asked questions, read the CEC's FAQ sheet on lighting standards. For a copy of the final specifications, click here.

  1. Color Rendering Index
  2. Defined as a lamp that can be controlled wirelessly or through power line carrier digital communications
  3. Correlated Color Temperature