United States of America-MEPS-Incandescent reflector lamps

Last updated: 5 November 2017
In December 2007, Congress enacted EISA, which required DOE to extend the coverage of EPAct 1992 IRL standards to some previously exempted lamp types, effective June 2008. In June 2009, DOE issued a final rule amending the 1992 reflector lamp standards, although the most common lamp, a 65-watt BR lamp, and other various lamps at 50 watts and below were not included in the 2009 rule. The new federal standard, due to take effect in July 2012, was set at an efficacy level in lumens per watt (lpw) that can be achieved by halogen infrared (HIR) lamps incorporating improved reflectors, coatings, and filaments. Improved HIR technologies will increase average baseline efficacy from about 14 lpw to 19 lpw. As a result, average IRL wattage will drop from about 75W to 55W. According to DOE estimates, the 2009 standards will save up to 2.4 quads over 30 years. Over that same 30-year period, businesses and consumers will save up to $18 billion in net present value savings, and carbon dioxide emissions will be cut by up to 106 million metric tons.


In a 2015 final rule, DOE determined that amended standards for IRLs would not be economically justified.


Additional savings will come from extending the scope of the standard to cover exempted lamps. In September 2011, DOE published the framework document for energy conservation standards for certain elliptical reflector (ER), bulged reflector (BR), and small diameter IRLs that were exempted from the 2009 final rule. A final rule, initially expected in 2012, has been held up because of a congressional budget rider which prohibits DOE from working on the rulemaking.


The 2012 ASAP/ACEEE report, The Efficiency Boom, analyzed an average 26 lumens per watt standard based on 2011 research by Ecos (now Ecova) on improved halogen infrared (HIR) technology. The analysis includes savings from standards covering all major classes of IRLs including those ER, BR, and other IRLs previously exempted from standards. Standards at this level are expected to produce annual savings in 2035 of 20 TWh and generate $11 billion in net present value savings for consumers.

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End uses covered
  • Building end-uses
  • Lighting
  • Exterior lighting
  • Interior lighting