The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced updated standards for lighting fixtures to qualify for the Energy Star label, an efficiency program. Effective Oct. 1, 2011, to qualify for the Energy Star label, lighting fixtures must increase efficiency 30 percent above currently qualified fluorescent-based fixtures. In 2013, performance requirements will increase further, providing 40 percent higher efficiency compared to currently qualified models.

Lighting fixtures that earn the Energy Star label ultimately save consumers money on their energy bills and reduce the costs and hassle associated with lamp replacement. According to the EPA, the lamps in Energy Star-qualified fixtures last 10 times longer than standard lamps. The fixtures will continue to meet other strict performance requirements that ensure quick startup and high-quality lighting output as well as reduced toxins in the fixture materials. Additionally, the fixtures will come with a three-year warranty, which is more than the industry standard.

Consumers can expect to see a range of technology options qualifying under the new Energy Star requirements—including fluorescent and light-emitting diode lighting—each held to the same high standard.
In order to earn the Energy Star label under the new requirements, product performance must be certified by an EPA-recognized third party, based on testing in an EPA-recognized laboratory. In addition, manufacturers of the products must participate in verification testing programs run by recognized certification bodies.