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EPA updates Energy Star standards for lighting

Makers of light fixtures will have to up their game if they want to earn an Energy Star rating this year. The EPA recently updated standards for light fixtures. Effective October 1, 2011, light fixtures will need to increase efficiency 30% above currently qualified fluorescent-based fixtures to get the coveted rating. In 2013, performance requirements will increase further, providing 40% higher efficiency compared to currently qualified models.

The fixtures must continue to meet other strict performance requirements that ensure quick start-up and high quality light output, as well as use fixture materials with reduced toxics . Additionally, the fixtures must come with a three-year warranty, which is above the industry practice.

Commercial cove lighting has been removed from the requirements because of comments received indicating that residential-based performance requirements may not be appropriate for commercial applications. And a 1% uplight tolerance for outdoor post-mount luminaires has been removed; tolerance direction will instead be provided to EPA-recognized Certification Bodies (CBs). Finally, the rules add provisions for factory-installed, non-removable E26 to GU24 lampholder adapters.

To earn the Energy Star label under the new requirements, product performance must be certified by an EPA-recognized third-party, based on testing in an EPA-recognized laboratory. In addition, manufacturers of the products must participate in verification testing programs run by recognized certification bodies.

More information on light fixtures: http://www.energystar.gov/luminaires

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