Shedding light on lumens

You use them everyday at home and at the office, they’re within an arm’s reach of where you’re sitting — and they’re undergoing the most profound change since the days of Thomas Edison.  Any guesses?

Light bulbs.

You’ve started to notice the national shift to more efficient options like compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs), light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and new incandescent halogen bulbs.  Beginning next year, you’ll see changes to packaging and labeling, too.  Understanding the new lighting lingo will help you select bulbs that fit your needs at home and at your place of business — which could translate into more money in your pocket.

From here on in, the lingua franca in lighting is lumens.  The more lumens, the brighter the light.  Beginning in 2012, information on light bulb packages will emphasize a bulb’s brightness in lumens, rather than the bulb’s energy usage in watts.  The new labels also will list its estimated energy cost and life span, whether the bulb provides “warm” or “cool” light, the wattage, and whether the bulb contains mercury.

Why the change?  The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 phases out low-efficiency incandescent bulbs beginning in 2012, and directed the FTC’s new packaging and label initiative, which will make it easier to comparison shop as traditional incandescents exit the shelves.

Looking for more illumination?  If you’re in the bulb business, check out Labeling Your Light Bulbs with “Lighting Facts”: Questions and Answers for Manufacturers.

What about educating consumer about the change?  If your business deals with appliances, hardware, household goods, real estate, etc., offering timely tips to your customers could really hit home.  Service-centric companies can do shed light on these new developments by sending them the FTC's new brochure, Shopping for Light Bulbs?  Learning About Lumens in a Bright Idea available in English and Spanish.  Then download or link to this new video on your website or spread the word via your blog or social network:

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