Bright Idea: Better Light Bulb Labeling Ahead

What's Hot

23 Upgrades Under $50 to Make Your House Look AwesomeAround The House

Trump Worth $10 Billion Less Than If He’d Simply Invested in Index FundsBusiness

Do This or Your iPhone Bill May SkyrocketSave

11 Places in the World Where You Can Afford to Retire in StyleMore

19 Moves That Will Help You Retire Early and in StyleFamily

What You Need to Know for 2017 Obamacare EnrollmentFamily

8 Things Rich People Buy That Make Them Look DumbAround The House

50 Ways to Make a Fast $50 (or Lots More)Grow

32 of the Highest-Paid American SpeakersMake

The 35 Two-Year Colleges That Produce the Highest EarnersCollege

5 DIY Ways to Make Your Car Smell GreatCars

Amazon Prime No Longer Pledges Free 2-Day Shipping on All ItemsMore

More Caffeine Means Less Dementia for WomenFamily

7 Household Hacks That Save You CashAround The House

5 Reasons a Roth IRA Should Be Part of Your Retirement PlanGrow

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

Beware These 10 Retail Sales Tricks That Get You to Spend MoreMore

Starting in 2011, light bulbs will be labeled with brightness and cost to operate, making it easier to comparison shop.

The Federal Trade Commission announced last week that, starting in mid-2011, light bulb labeling will no longer be just about watts (a measure of how much electricity a bulb uses) and will include lumens as well (a measure of how much light a bulb puts out).

The change will affect all types of bulbs: incandescents, compact fluorescents (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The new labels will also include estimated average annual energy usage, expressed not just in energy consumption but in dollars and cents, as well as a bulb’s estimated useful life.

Under direction from Congress to re-examine the current labels, the FTC announced the new labeling as a “final rule,” meaning the new labels will start showing up next year, absent any changes resulting from public feedback.

The new labeling proposal stems from a desire to make it easier to compare different types of light bulbs. For decades, the only choice was incandescent, so the “watts” label was sufficient to make apples-to-apples comparisons of different bulbs. However, with the introduction and growing acceptance of more efficient technologies, the FTC wants to make it easier for consumers to compare the amount of light offered by LEDs, CFLs and incandescent bulbs, as well as the cost to operate each.

Lighting Facts Per BulbHere’s what the FTC’s press release has to say:

Under the new rule, the back of each package of light bulbs will have a “Lighting Facts” label modeled after the “Nutrition Facts” label that is currently on food packages. The Lighting Facts label will provide information about:

  • Brightness.
  • Energy cost.
  • The bulb’s life expectancy.
  • Light appearance (for example, if the bulb provides “warm” or “cool” light).
  • Wattage (the amount of energy the bulb uses).
  • Whether the bulb contains mercury.

The bulb’s brightness, measured in lumens, and a disclosure for bulbs containing mercury will be printed on each bulb. A sample of a mercury bulb labels appears below:

New Back Label for Bulbs Containing Mercury

If you think this new labeling will be illuminating, expect to start seeing it in about a year. But if you think the folks at the FTC aren’t the brightest bulbs in the box, now’s the time to comment on the proposed change. Information on how to submit public comments can be found here.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: Sam’s Club Reveals Details of Black Friday, 5 Other Holiday Sales

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,726 more deals!