California Leads on Lighting Efficiency

Posted by on Monday, January 8th, 2018

How many people does it take to change a light bulb?

California legislators recently put a new twist on this riddle and instead asked, “How many lumens does it take to make a change?”

As of January 1, 2018, the correct answer for Californians is at least 45 lumens per watt. By setting this high efficiency standard on light bulbs, California legislators hope to reduce energy demand for lighting and help Californians save on their energy bills. In order to understand how this will save consumers money and reduce energy consumption, we must first understand what lumens and watts are. Lumens measure the amount of light produced by a bulb, and watts measure the amount of power the bulb uses (NRDC).

So in purchasing new CFL or LED light bulbs, rather than looking at the wattage, you can look at the lumens equivalent. CFL and LED bulbs require much less energy to produce the same amount of light as an incandescent bulb. For example, a traditional incandescent bulb needs 40 watts to produce 450 lumens, whereas today’s LED bulb only requires 5 watts for the same amount of light output. With an estimated 250 million sockets with inefficient light bulbs in California, the new standard will drastically improve energy savings.

Another reason for switching to LED bulbs is the improvement of comfort in your home. Replacing old bulbs not only saves you money but can also reduce heat production. Because of their design to reduce energy waste, LED bulbs emit less heat than incandescent bulbs. To observe the difference in heat production between the two bulbs, check out this video: youtu.be/rAcc1WBbE1M.

If you’re worried about not finding the right LED replacement for your light fixture, fear not! Today, LEDs come in all shapes and sizes – fit for everything from your outdoor flood light to that vintage candelabra that you thrifted. Costs of LEDs have also dropped significantly since they were first introduced to the market. And don’t forget: if you’re an LADWP customer, you can visit LADWP’s Efficient Product Marketplace (EPM) for rebates on LED light bulbs and other appliances. (More LADWP rebates here)

For more information on California’s new standard, visit this link: www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/lightbulbguide.pdf

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