Lighting Products - December 2008

Bulletin for Package Labelling

  • General service incandescent reflector, ER and BR lamps
  • General service lamps
  • Compact fluorescent lamps

Labelling, verification, test data, reporting and importing requirements

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has amended Canada's Energy Efficiency Regulations (the Regulations). Under the amendment, dealers of general service lamps, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and general service incandescent reflector lamps, including PAR, R, ER and BR lamps – imported or shipped interprovincially for sale in Canada – have to comply with specific testing and labelling requirements for light output, input wattage and lifetime rating.

This document provides stakeholders with plain-language information for the legal text of the amendment as published in the Canada Gazette, Part II December 24, 2008.


In recent years, the availability and affordability of energy-efficient lighting products has increased significantly. Consumers are faced with a myriad of choices, and the most energy-efficient products are not always easy to identify. Consumers are demanding energy-efficient products, and it is important that consistently presented, accurate information be provided to them upon which they can make their choices.

In the United States, product packaging for the product types identified in this bulletin must provide information on light output in lumens (lm), energy used in watts (W) and average lifetime in hours. Labelling requirements provide the means for consumers to compare lamps (light bulbs) based on light output in lumens, rather than watts. Competing lamp products may provide the same lumen output at varying wattage ratings. The information that will now be displayed on common bulb packaging is designed to help consumers reduce their lighting-related energy costs by purchasing lamp products that provide the lumens they need at the lowest wattage ratings.

Mandatory labelling will create a level playing field for manufacturers/dealers of lighting products, provide verifiable and reliable information to Canadian consumers and ensure that lighting products perform as stated.

Product description

For labelling purposes, the Regulation applies to the following product types.

General service incandescent reflector lamps, BR lamps and ER lamps These reflector lamps are already regulated for minimum energy performance. This includes most R, PAR, ER and BR shaped reflector lamps with a medium screw base and a nominal wattage over 40 W.

General service lamps These are the common incandescent medium screw-based lamps. It does not include specialty lamps.

For details on the definition of general service lighting bulbs that are subject to package labelling in this bulletin see the definition for lamps that were manufactured before December 31, 2013 and the definition for lamps that were manufactured on or after December 31, 2013.

Compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) These are integrally ballasted fluorescent lamps with a screw base designed to replace the general service incandescent lamp.

For detailed product definitions please go to the Guide to the Regulations and select a specific product.

Energy performance test procedures and Effective date for labelling

These standards may be ordered from

Labelling requirements: Mandatory text on packaging

The Regulations do not prescribe a specific label design. Rather, they require that certain mandatory text be readily visible on the package's principle display panel. The text will be bilingual, with the English text appearing first, followed by the French text. The French and English texts can appear in separate locations on the packaging.

General labelling requirements

For general service lamps, general service incandescent reflector lamps (PAR, R, ER and BR lamps) and CFLs:

  1. The principal display panel of the package shall display the following information in the following order:
    • the words Light Output / Flux lumineux, followed by the product's luminous flux and the word Lumens (Exception – not required for ER and BR lamps);
    • the words Energy Used / Consommation d'énergie, followed by the product's power and the word Watts; and
    • the words Life / Durée de vie, followed by the product's life and the words “Hours / Heures”.
  2. The words Light Output / Flux lumineux, Energy Used / Consommation d'énergie and Life / Durée de vie shall be in the same font and be equal in size.
  3. The words Lumens, Watts and Hours / Heures shall be in the same font and be equal in size, but their size shall not be more than 50% of size of the words referred to in #2.
  4. The numerical values indicating a product's luminous flux, power and life shall be in the same font and be equal in size.


This illustration is a sample only and shows the elements and relative sizes of the required disclosures. The size of the display panel will vary depending on the space available on the packaging. The information can be displayed horizontally or vertically.

Sample Label

* This text is voluntary but NRCan recommends that dealers insert these statements to ensure package labelling meets U.S. Federal Trade Commission regulations.

Text version - Illustration


Table with two rows. The first row is split into three columns.
The top row, first column on the left reads:
Light output
Flux lumineux
1200 lumens.
The text size of the word lumens is 50% smaller than the text that comes before it.

The top row, second column in the middle reads:
Energy used
13 watts.
The text size of the word watts is 50% smaller than the text that comes before it.

The top row, third column on the right reads:
Durée de vie
7000 hours/heures
The text size of the words hours/heures is 50% smaller than the text that comes before it.

The bottom row reads: Asterisk, to save energy and costs, choose the bulb that has the light output you need. Then select the one that has the lowest wattage. Pour economiser énergie et argent, choisir une ampoule en tenant d’abord compte de flux lumineux, puis de plus bas wattage.

Additional labelling requirements

Design voltage considerations

If the design voltage of an energy-using product is other than 120 volts, the information displayed on the principal display panel of its package may correspond to

  • a voltage of 120 volts, followed by the words at 120 volts / à 120 volts; or
  • its design voltage, followed by the words at (insert design voltage) volts / à (insert tension spécifique) volts. In this case the same information for the product at 120 volts shall be displayed on a panel of its package other than the principal display panel followed by the words at 120 volts / à 120 volts.

The design voltage of the product shall be displayed clearly and conspicuously on all panels of its package that display information for luminous flux, power and life.

The following statement shall be clearly and conspicuously displayed on the principal display panel of the product's package where it does not display the information at 120 V:

This product is designed for (design voltage) volts. When used on the normal line voltage of 120 volts, the light output and energy efficiency are noticeably reduced. See (appropriate panel) panel for 120-volt rating.
Ce produit a été conçu en fonction d'une tension de (tension spécifique) volts. S'il est employé à la tension normale de 120 volts, son flux lumineux et sa consommation d'énergie s'en trouveront considérablement réduits. Voir le panneau (panneau en cause) pour les renseignements correspondant à une tension de 120 volts.

Multiple lamp types in a single package

If the lamps in a single package are not uniform, the following information shall be displayed on the principal display panel of the package for each type of lamp included in the package:

  • its design voltage; and
  • the information referred to in the general disclosure requirements 1-4 and additional labelling requirements.
Three-way lamps

For three-way lamps the information shall be displayed for each level of operation.

Verification mark labelling / Performance test data requirements

*The verification mark of the accredited verification program must be readily visible and affixed to a surface of the product or to the exterior of the product's package.

Reporting requirements

Energy efficiency reporting

For all products, the dealer must submit an energy efficiency report to Natural Resources Canada before the product is imported to Canada or traded interprovincially for the first time.

Note: Input voltage must be 120 V, and frequency must be 60 hertz, when testing the electrical performance of the product.

CFLs and 40% life

If the CFL is marketed and labelled having undergone only 40% of life testing:

  • an indication that 40% of the product's life has been verified
  • date on which testing for life commenced
  • life of the product
  • number of hours of life that has been verified
  • name of the laboratory or facility that verified 40 % of the product's life

Within 30 days after the day on which the verification with respect to the product's life has been completed

  • number of hours of life that was verified
  • name of the laboratory or facility that completed the verification with respect to the product's life


Dealers/importers must provide the following information on import documents or via electronic transmissions

  • name of product (e.g. CFL)
  • model number
  • brand name (if any)
  • importer's address
  • purpose of the importation (i.e. for sale or lease in Canada; for modification; for export)

More information on the current verification, reporting and importing requirements is available in the Guide to the Regulations.


NRCan attempts, as much as possible, to harmonize energy efficiency regulations with those of other regulatory agencies. The Regulations are mostly harmonized with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's requirements on labelling of lighting products.

As directive statements are outside of the legislative mandate of the Energy Efficiency Act, in the spirit of consumer education and harmonization with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission requirements, NRCan encourages dealers to voluntarily insert the bilingual-use statements in their packaging label.

For CFLs, the test standards listed above are harmonized with those referenced in the ENERGY STAR® Eligibility Criteria in both the United States and Canada.