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What Lamps Will Be Phased Out?

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Electrical Construction and Maintenance


Beck Ireland

Beck Ireland, Staff Writer


Sun, 2012-04-01 18:59

Results of a recent survey of energy-efficient lighting professionals across the country in December by Hudson,
Wis.-based Precision-Paragon (P2), an online source for lighting retrofit systems and information, reveals the
demand for energy-efficient lighting is growing, despite the sluggishness of the recovery of the general U.S.
economy and the severe downturn in the construction industry. More than two-thirds of survey respondents
reported either meeting or exceeding their revenue expectations in 2011. In addition, although most respondents
disclosed they dont expect growth to occur until after the first quarter of 2012 predicting the second and third
quarters will be the most lucrative they are confident this year will be even better than last year. More than
80% of survey respondents predict increased opportunities for growth, both in the industry as a whole and in
their individual companies.
Were prepared for growth our operations are set up so we can expand, if necessary, and weve added to our
sales staff, said Steve Kath, president of The Retrofit Companies, a St. Paul, Minn.-based lighting retrofit
company, in a press release accompanying the survey results.
The industrys growth is partially driven by the increase in rebate programs offered by electric utility companies,
which offer incentives to owners who complete lighting retrofit projects on their facilities. These programs are
particularly important in states with higher electric rates. Some states, such as Minnesota, have lower utility
rates than other parts of the country, said Kath. The lower rate lengthens the payback period, so the
cost-savings from a retrofit project doesnt look as impressive as it would in states with higher utility rates. The
rebates really help make retrofits a more attractive option.
Also behind the growing interest in lighting retrofits are improved efficiency standards for lighting technology
from both the Department of Energy (DOE) and Congress. On July 1, 2010, manufacturers halted the
production of the magnetic ballasts most commonly used for the operation of T12 lamps in commercial and
industrial applications. Furthermore, nearly all 4-ft and most 8-ft T12 lamps the ballasts operate will be phased
out of production starting July 14, 2012.
In addition to T12 technologies, regulations will cease production of the 32W, 4-ft T8 lamps, as well as nearly all
standard halogen PAR38, PAR30, and PAR20 lamps. However, the most controversial phaseout has been the
energy standards for incandescent lamps, set forth in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA)
(see SIDEBAR No. 1: The Truth About the Bulb Ban below).

Real Cost
Already, some of these technologies are no longer used in new lighting design. T12 phaseout is irrelevant for
architectural lighting designers, says Glenn Heinmiller, chair of the energy committee for the International
Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), Chicago, and principal at Cambridge, Mass.-based architectural

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lighting design firm Lam Partners. They havent been specified by us for maybe 20 years. The incandescent
reflector lamp (IRL) phaseout will just mean that only the high-efficacy versions of PAR20, PAR30, and PAR38
halogen reflector lamps will be available. These are more expensive, but we often specify these anyhow due to
better energy performance.
Since 2010, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), Rosslyn, Va., has recorded a steady
decline in the sale of T12 lamps, which previously were estimated at 30% of fluorescent 4-ft lamps sold every
year. Yet, the National Lighting Bureau (NLB), the Silver Spring, Md.-based independent, not-for-profit,
lighting information source, points out that there are still hundreds of millions of T12 fluorescent lamps installed
in offices, classrooms, factories, and other facilities nationwide. This is a technology that is essentially 75 years
old, says John P. Bachner, NLBs executive director. Nonetheless, people still have them installed.
NLB estimates there are approximately 450 million T12 fluorescent lamps in place throughout the country and
warns that those who wait to upgrade their systems may be too late to participate in incentive programs. In
essence, if you have T12 lighting, youre going to have to change it, says Bachner, who asserts that the upgrades
shouldnt prove too much of a burden to owners, considering there are viable alternatives. Bachner advises
educating clients on retrofits and stresses the importance of making sure they understand the real cost of the
lamp is more than the up-front price. Energyconsumption and lamp life must be factored into the equation.
There are other benefits of alternative lighting, as well. According to NLB, lighting options can do far more than
minimize energy waste and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions; they can create a visual environment that is
ideally suited to achieve whatever it is that people rely on lighting to get done. More often than not, the
bottom-line benefit involved can be far greater than that available from electric utility-cost savings alone. NLB
promotes what it calls High-Benefit Lighting, which is lighting designed to improve the speed with which
workers perform visual tasks, reduce the number of errors made, make accidents less frequent by virtue of
better seeing conditions, enhance security, increase retail sales, etc. When taking these benefits into account, the
payback period for an upgraded lighting-system design dramatically decreases.

The Replacements
According to Bachner, availability of alternatives does not pose a problem. Manufacturers are well ahead of the
standards. For years, manufacturers have been producing more efficient products and providing guidance on
how to use them appropriately, he says. Theres so much worldwide competition at this point, they are
constantly coming out with new light sources.
For example, incandescent bulbs in the form of halogen-filled incandescent lighting that meet the new
standards of efficiency have been available since 2009. Also, new generations of compact fluorescent lamps
(CFLs), which can emulate the color of incandescent, are available. Theyre very versatile and consume just a
fraction of what incandescent lighting consumes, says Bachner.
Nevertheless, linear fluorescent lighting remains the most widely installed technology. Eighty-four percent of the
P2 survey respondents reported they will use linear fluorescent lighting in 2012. Fortunately, more efficient 4-ft
T8 lamps and PAR lamps that meet the regulations are already available. T12 lighting is pretty good, but T5
lighting is so much better and more efficient. So is T8, for that matter, says Bachner.
In addition, the use of LED luminaires is growing. Respondents to the P2 survey estimate that 22% of the
luminaires they install will be LED-based, up 9% from last year. Kath estimates The Retrofit Companies will
install 10% more LED-based luminaires than it did last year. Were starting to install more LED-based fixtures
for a number of reasons, he says. The technology is improving, costs are coming down, and a lot of electric
utilities are beginning to offer more incentives for using LEDs.

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Despite its small rise in popularity, LED proponents still have to overcome consumers negative perception
about the technology if they want to see its market share improve. LED lighting means making a change in how
we even think about lamps, says Bachner, who argues that consumers are used to buying inexpensive lamps.
For years, youd go out and get this light bulb that was inexpensive to buy but terribly expensive to own, he
says. It would last six months, and then youd have to replace it. With an LED light bulb, essentially what youre
buying is an appliance. This is an appliance that will provide light very inexpensively for 10 to 15 years.
For this reason, says Bachner, the manufacturing base is switching from producing light bulbs and tubes
separately from a fixture to manufacturing electronics. For us old hands, seeing whats going on is intriguing, to
say the least, he muses.

Comparison Shopping
As with early CFL technology, the two big complaints about LED technology have been the high up-front cost
and the cool light quality. In addition, because of their electronics and wiring, they are not as readily
compatible to dimming and other control systems (see SIDEBAR No.2: Controls Compatibility below). In
residential applications, these problems would be less noticeable, but in commercial buildings with numerous
LEDs and more electronics, the potential for noticeable instability or other problems increases.
However, some lighting designers are already specifying LED PAR lamps for specific applications. Theyve
become very viable and are where things are going for retail track lighting, where halogen PAR lamps are
traditionally a workhorse, says Heinmiller. Halogen PAR lamps will still be needed but more for specialty
applications where excellent dimming or color rendition are required.
To help consumers wade through information regarding lamps, in 2008 the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agencys (EPA) Energy Star program developed rules for labeling lamps that meet a set of standards for
efficiency, starting time, life expectancy, color, and consistency of performance. However, a recent study by the
energy and sustainability management firm Ecova commissioned by the Institute for Electric Efficiency (IEE),
Washington, D.C., reveals that not all Energy Star-rated lamps are equal. Energy Star is a great program, but
its not the end all, be all, says Adam Cooper, research manager for IEE. There are differences in quality.
The IEE study, Best-In-Class LED Reflector Lamps Summary Report, focused on LED reflector lamps, which
are commonly used in fixtures in residential kitchens, as well as commercial applications such as hotels, art
galleries, and restaurants. The study divided the qualified bulbs into three categories, representing the three
most common sizes of LED reflector bulbs PAR38, PAR30, and PAR20. To qualify for the study, the bulbs
within each category had to be on the Energy Star Qualified Products List on or before Dec. 2, 2011; be available
for purchase, either online or through a retail outlet; and produce light within the light range of 2,700K to
3,000K, or the warmer range.
The number of winning bulbs in each category is approximately proportionate to that categorys share of Energy
Star-qualified LED reflector lamps. As a result, the IEE top 10 list contains five PAR38 lamps, four PAR30
lamps, and one PAR20 lamp. Over the next several months, as more lights come into the market, IEE expects to
include 10 bulbs in each category.
For easy consumer access, the study was published by TopTen USA, a nonprofit that helps consumers find and
purchase the most energy-efficient products on the market in categories such as refrigerators, televisions, and
computers. The LED lamps mark the organizations first entries in its new lighting category. To download the
Institute for Electric Efficiencys white paper summarizing the results, visit: www.edisonfoundation.net/iee
/Documents/IEE_Ecova_LED.pdf.
However, the study will also be used by IEE in its recommendations to electric utility rebate programs. We

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wanted to develop a set of recommendations to identify both energy-efficient and aesthetically pleasing bulbs so
that we dont have a repeat of the early days of the customer experience of CFLs, which wasnt very positive,
says Cooper. For electric utilities that got dinged pretty good from the first rollout of CFLs, theres some caution
on their part about putting a lot of dollars behind a new technology. This helps them sleep better at night,
knowing theres been some rigor put behind these recommendations. They can then feel more comfortable using
a pre-screened list for their effort.
In addition to providing guidance for electric utility rebate program administrators, the study was also made
available to the regulators who approve the use of electric utility dollars, which are funded through rate payers to
support energy-efficiency programs. Regulators require a certain cost effectiveness test for these programs,
says Cooper. In some cases, there are energy-efficiency resource standards that set goals and targets for electric
utilities to realize energy savings through these efficiency programs.
Therefore, efficiency was a major factor in considering the bulbs, but not the ultimate goal of the study.
Efficiency isnt the end of the discussion, and the CEOs understood that, says Cooper. Its not so much lets get
bulbs in there to get the highest delta watt margin against the new standard. Were rebating products, were
buying down the cost of products, and we want to be certain that theres a good sense the consumer, our
end-user who will be buying these bulbs at a lower cost with electric utility dollars, will be happy with their
purchase.
Furthermore, some electric utilities may offer starter kits that include the recommended LED lamp. The bulbs
are still rather expensive, but they are looking at putting these recommended bulbs into a starter kit, says
Cooper. This recommendation effort helps guide utilities to put a really good bulb into the kit so that people will
not be turned off by the technology change. The electric utilities may also offer kits for households with low
incomes. This would be a good application for low-income outreach, continues Cooper.
Therefore, according to Cooper, the results include only the LED lamps that work as well as their less-efficient
incandescent counterparts. The idea is that if youre replacing an incandescent bulb with an LED, then you
want the LED bulb to in some ways mimic the feel of the incandescent, but still deliver light at a higher
efficiency, a higher lumens-per-watt measure, he says. Energy efficiency is only one parameter.

Political hopefuls have based speeches surrounding the issue, and major news outlets have written stories about
interior designers and restaurateurs plans for hoarding, but the National Lighting Bureau (NLB), the Silver
Spring, Md.-based independent, not-for-profit, lighting information source, urges the lighting community to set
the record straight. Contrary to popular belief, incandescent lamps have not been banned. People are not being
given good information about lighting, says NLBs Executive Director John Bachner, who blames poor media
coverage for the confusion about the phaseout of 100W, 75W, 60W, and 40W incandescent lamps from the
national inventory. Incandescent lighting is not being eliminated or outlawed, he emphasizes.
According to NLB, only the least-efficient, commonly used versions for which far more efficient and
cost-effective alternatives are available, including incandescent alternatives, are being eliminated. As long as
people pick the right bulb for the result they want, in terms of lighting quality and dimmability, for example, the
alternatives available right now can do everything positive that incandescent lamps do while costing much less,
consuming far less energy, and contributing far less to our greenhouse-gas and air-borne mercury problems,
Bachner states.
The controversy stems from the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), which contained
maximum wattage standards for all general-service incandescent lamps product from 310 to 2,600 lumens. The

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original time line for these standards was to begin January 2012, but the final 2012 budget legislation, passed by
the U.S. House of Representatives in December 2011, effectively delayed the start until October 2012.
At that time, wattages for 100W bulbs are required to drop by 27%, meaning a former 100W bulb will use only
72W of power, yet emit a comparable amount of light. The law will be phased in over the next several years,
affecting 75W lamps in 2013 and 60W and 40W lamps in 2014.
With only improved efficiency on the line, Bachner urges the lighting community to speak up about the new
standards. Share your knowledge, he says. Educate people. The new lighting-efficiency targets require people
to give up nothing in terms of lighting quality, convenience, and versatility. The only thing they really require
people to do is decide about the kind of lamp they want to use and how much money they want to save. Thats not
a bad thing.

Lighting controls in the home from dimmers and vacancy sensors for a single room to sophisticated
whole-house control systems can add energy savings while enhancing lifestyle, according to Craig DiLouie,
education director for the Lighting Controls Association, which, administered by the National Electrical
Manufacturers Association (NEMA), is dedicated to educating the professional building design, construction,
and management communities about the benefits and operation of automatic switching and dimming controls.
Dimmers, for example, have been demonstrated to generate an average 20% energy savings. Dimming with
the ultimate option being preset scene control with multiple layers of lighting can be used to achieve a variety
of scenes and moods with the push of a button. The Department of Energy estimates that 12% of all lamps in
residences are controlled by a dimmer.
Under the new lamp standards, the safest bet for consumers is to replace incandescent lamps with energy-saving
halogen lamps, says DiLouie, as these products dim reliably on the same control devices. If choosing compact
fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or LED lamps to fill a socket controlled by a line-voltage, forward-phase control
(typical incandescent) dimmer, consumers need to be aware of potential compatibility issues.
Consumers are accustomed to matching an incandescent lamp with a dimmer and having clear expectations
and then have those expectations met, says DiLouie. With new lamps, careful selection is required.
First, the lamp must be designed and rated as dimmable; consumers should never try to dim a non-dimmable
lamp on a dimming circuit, or risk damaging components. Second, consumers should be aware of how the
technology behaves while dimmed for example, typically, CFLs visually get a little cooler (bluer) at low dim
levels, while incandescent lamps become visually even warmer (red-orangish) so they have clear expectations
on what they are going to get. Third, some compact fluorescent and LED lamps may exhibit poor performance
such as flicker on incandescent dimmers, or suffer damage if there is incompatibility.
To support compatibility between selected lamps and dimmers, NEMA recently introduced two major
standards. The first, LSD-56-2011, defines compatibility between compact fluorescent lamps and forward
phase-control dimmers commonly used to dim incandescent lamps. The dimmer must provide a certain
waveform, and the lamp must accept it. The dimmer must provide a minimum voltage at the lowest dim setting,
while the lamp must operate at that setting without any major visual instabilities, such as flicker. If the dimmer
uses a microprocessor requiring a small amount of current during the OFF state, the lamp must be able to shunt
it without flashing.
The second standard, SSL-2010, was produced by NEMA to address compatibility between dimmers and
integrated LED replacement lamps. The requirements address dimming of these lamps and the interaction

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between the dimmer and the lamp, ensuring good dimming performance and preventing damage to either
component.
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