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LIGHTING INSIGHTS BLOG

Practical advice on commercial lighting from LED retrofts to lighting design

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A state by state look at light bulb bans [Interactive map]

Posted by Scott Anderson on

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Within the next year, incandescent and halogen lighting products will no longer be available for sale in the United States (with some exceptions). But some states already have additional lighting requirements in place, eliminating even more lighting products than required by federal law.

With different laws in different states, there is not much consistency over what can and cannot be sold. That can lead to a lot of confusion if you are looking for certain products or if you have businesses or franchises in several different states. Our goal is to help you understand the law in each state so you can make the right buying decision.

Click here to use the interactive map.

A quick recap of federal requirements for lighting products

First, a quick recap of the federal law that took effect in May 2022. The Department of Energy finalized two rules:

  1. New definitions of General Service Lamps (GSLs) and General Service Incandescent Lamps (GSILs). GSLs include GSILs (as well as LED and CFL).
  2. A requirement for GSLs and GSILs to meet or exceed 45 lumens per watt. All CFL and LED lamps are higher than 45 lpw and will continue to be sold.

Essentially, lightbulbs and lamps must now be much more energy efficient. Incandescent and halogen products require more energy to operate and will not meet the new requirements (with exemptions, of course).

These new definitions are now considered federal law. However, states are able to enforce additional requirements on GSLs and on other lighting products not covered by the new definitions (for example, fluorescent products).

The following states are enforcing additional requirements on lighting products:

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY DC
 

California

California has led the way on energy efficiency for the last decade and was already years ahead of the new federal law.

Now, the state is considering additional requirements for CFLs and linear fluorescents. A bill currently in the legislature would eliminate the sale of screw-based CFLs by 2024, then eliminate the sale of pin-based CFLs and linear fluorescent lamps by 2025. Again — this is currently a consideration and has not yet been passed by the state legislature.

There are additional requirements in California for CFL and LED products, outlined in Title 20.

If you're looking for Title 20 compliant products, click here to use our online store's filter.

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Colorado

Colorado has restrictions in place for high-CRI fluorescents. This was effective January 1, 2021.

All linear fluorescents with a CRI of 87 or higher cannot be legally sold. Read more about why states are restricting high-CRI linear fluorescents here.

You can shop lighting products currently for sale in Colorado by clicking here.

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Hawaii

Hawaii banned high CRI fluorescents starting January 1, 2021.

Any linear fluorescent with a CRI greater than 87 is now considered illegal. Read more about what's behind the ban on high-CRI linear fluorescents here.

You can shop products currently for sale in Hawaii by clicking here.

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Maine

In Maine, there are additional requirements for General Service Lamps (GSLs), which originally took effect July 8, 2021.

The following requirements are in additional to federal law:

  • B, BA, CA, F, and G shape lamps >=200 lumens, <=40W
  • A and C shaped lamps 200-310 lumens

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Maryland

Starting January 1, 2024, Maryland will ban linear fluorescents with a CRI greater than or equal to 87. Read more about what's behind the ban on high-CRI linear fluorescents here.

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Massachusetts

Massachusetts has additional requirements for GSLs and high CRI fluorescent lamps.

Starting January 1, 2022, the state banned linear fluorescents with a CRI greater than or equal to 87. However, sales are allowed to continue for a year, until January 2023. For more information on what's behind the CRI requirement, click here.

Additional requirements for GSLs include:

  • Incandescent lamps that are:
    • T shape lamps rated at ≤ 40 Watts or ≥ 10 inches in length
    • M-14 lamps rated at ≤ 40 Watts

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Nevada

Like California, Nevada added requirements for GSLs at least a year ago, before the new federal ruling. The state and federal requirements now align.

Nevada will also ban the sale of high CRI linear fluorescent lamps starting July 1, 2023 with an install date of January 1, 2024.

That includes the following:

  • Linear fluorescents with a CRI >= 87
  • Cold temperature linear fluorescent lamps
  • Impact-resistance linear fluorescent lamps

You can shop for products available in Nevada by using this filter on our online store.

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New Jersey

New Jersey adopted restrictions high CRI fluorescents and also has additional requirements for General Service Lamps (GSLs).

Starting January 18, 2023 the following products will no longer be for sale in New Jersey:

  • High CRI (>= 87) linear fluorescent lamps
  • Cold temperature linear fluorescent lamps
  • Impact-resistant linear fluorescent lamps

Read more about what's behind the CRI requirement here.

The following products are also no longer for sale, in addition to the federal law on GSLs:

  • Medium screw base lamps that are:
    • B, BA, CA, F, and G shape lamps >=200 lumens, <=40W
    • A and C shaped lamps 200-310 lumens

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Oregon

Oregon will ban high-CRI fluorescent lamps with a manufacture date after January 1, 2023. Learn more about why states are passing the CRI requirement here.

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Vermont

Vermont currently has restrictions in place on high-CRI lighting products and will add restrictions on mercury-containing lamps in 2023.

The high-CRI restrictions ban linear fluorescent lamps with a CRI of 87 or higher. Vermont was the first state to enforce a ban on high-CRI linear fluorescents, which began on July 1, 2020. We explain the ban on linear fluorescent products here.

Starting February 17, 2023, Vermont will also ban the sale of screw-base compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). Then on January 1, 2024, no four-foot linear fluorescent lamps will be sold in the state.

You can shop for products currently for sale in Vermont by clicking here.

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Washington

Washington state is set to implement a ban on high-CRI linear fluorescent lamps (CRI of 87 or greater) beginning in 2023.

Click here to shop products currently for sale in Washington state.

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Washington, DC

Washington, DC has both restrictions on high-CRI linear fluorescent lamps as well as additional GSL restrictions.

Starting Marching 16, 2022, the following linear fluorescent lamps are no longer for sale:

  • High CRI (>=87) linear fluorescent lamps
  • Cold temperature linear fluorescent lamps
  • Impact-resistant linear fluorescent lamps

On top of federal law regarding GSLs, the following items are no longer for sale as of March 2022:

  • Medium screw base lamps that are:
    • B, BA, CA, F, and G shape lamps >=200 lumens, <=40W
    • A and C shaped lamps 200-310 lumens

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What is a GSL (general service lamp)?

According to the new definition by the Department of Energy, a General Service Lamp:

  • Has an ANSI base (with the exclusion of light fixtures, LED downlight retrofit kits, and exemptions for specific base types);
  • Has an initial lumen output of greater than or equal to 310 lumens (or 232 lumens for modified spectrum GSIL) and less than or equal to 3,300 lumens;
  • Is able to operate at a voltage of 12 V or 24 V, at or between 100 and 130 V, at or between 220 to 240 V, or of 277 V for integrated lamps, or is able to operate at any voltage for non-integrated lamps;
  • Is not a light fixture
  • Is not an LED downlight retrofit kit
  • Is used in general lighting applications

General Service Lamp (GSL) Exemptions

There are a number of products that are exempt from the definition of a General Service Lamp and can still be sold according to federal law. (Note: state laws on exemptions may vary.)

Some of the exceptions below have tighter restrictions with the latest federal updates. For example, there is now a minimum wattage for infrared heat lamps that will result in some lower wattage heat lamps being discontinued without equivalent wattage replacements. For more detail on  exceptions, you can review this link.

The exemptions include: 

  • Appliance lamps
  • Black light lamps
  • Bug lamps
  • Silver bowl lamps
  • Colored lamps
  • G shape lamps with a diameter of 5 inches or more
  • General service fluorescent lamps
  • Sign service lamps
  • High intensity discharge lamps
  • Infrared lamps
  • J, JC, JCD, JCS, JCV, JCX, JD, JS, and JT shape lamps that do not have
  • Edison screw bases
  • Showcase lamps
  • Lamps that have a wedge base or prefocus base
  • Left-hand thread lamps
  • Marine lamps
  • Specialty MR lamps
  • Marine signal service lamps
  • Mine service lamps
  • Plant light lamps
  • Traffic signal lamps
  • Other fluorescent lamps R20 short lamps
  • MR shape lamps that:
    • have a first number symbol equal to 16 (diameter equal to 2 inches) as defined in ANSI C79.1– 2002
    • operate at 12 volts, and
    • have a lumen output greater than or equal to 800
  • Reflector lamps that have a first number symbol less than 16 (diameter less than 2 inches) as defined in ANSIC79.1–2002, and that do not have E26/E24, E26d, E26/50x39, E26/53x39, E29/2 S shape or G shape lamps that have a first number symbol less than or equal to 12.5 (diameter less than or equal to 1.5625 inches) as defined in ANSI C79.1-2002
  • T-shape lamps that have a first number symbol less than or equal to 8 (diameter less than or equal to 1 inch), nominal overall length less than 12 inches, and that are not compact fluorescent lamps

What is lumens per watt?

Lumens per watt (LPW) is a unit of efficacy, or the rate at which a lamp is able to convert power (watts) into light (lumens).

A watt is a unit of power. You can think of it as how much energy a light bulb is consuming.

A lumen is the amount of visible light output, or the amount of light produced by a light bulb.

When you bought a traditional incandescent light bulb, many people paid attention to wattage as a measurement of how bright a light bulb would be.

Now, especially with a large amount of LED products on the market, the focus is on lumens. Light bulbs can now produce more light (lumens) with less energy (wattage). Lumens per watt is becoming a more common measurement in the move towards more energy-efficient lighting.

What’s behind the CRI restrictions?

CRI stands for color rendering index. It determines how accurately a light source portrays color.

High CRI linear fluorescent lamps were excluded from EISA, so states are able to restrict them if they want.

The change mainly eliminates T12s with a CRI of 87 or higher, but may also exclude some T8s. T12s are mostly phased out already.

This change is still consistent with a push to become more energy efficient. T12s consume more energy than other linear fluorescent tubes like T8s and T5s. LEDs consume even less energy with more advanced technology.

Questions about incandescent light bulbs

If you have any questions about which products about which incandescent or halogen light bulbs are restricted in your state, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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