Energy Star Ups Green Lighting Standards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program has certainly taken some flack in recent years for having loose standards–but there now appears to be some belt-tightening, all around.

As of October 1, 2011, manufacturers will need to increase efficiency 30 percent above currently qualified fluorescent-based fixtures in order to gain that coveted blue seal of approval–and in 2013, performance requirements will increase further, to 40 percent higher efficiencies as compared to currently qualified models. (These ratios will hold for LED lighting, as well.)

GE clean-energy investment

image via GE

Other standards currently in place for Energy Star-qualified lighting fixtures will continue to apply: bulbs that comes with such fixtures must last last at least 10 times longer than standard light bulbs, the appliances must reduce the number of toxics traditionally associated with fixture materials, and must come with a 3-year warranty (above the industry standard).

As per the EPA’s new, tougher Energy Star standards, product performance meeting these standards must now be certified by an EPA-recognized third-party, based on testing in an EPA-recognized laboratory.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.