Canada’s Standard for Efficient Light Bulbs

The Government of Canada has announced in Canada Gazette, Part 1, a proposed revision to the current minimum energy performance standards for light bulbs, set to come into effect starting January 1, 2014. The revision will provide greater choice for Canadians and align our standards with those in effect or planned in the United States.

Following an announcement to increase performance standards for lighting in 2007, the Government consulted with Canadians and made a decision in 2011 to allow consumers and industry more time to prepare for new lighting standards. The proposed amendment allows for a variety of cost effective lighting options, including an additional incandescent halogen light bulb that operates in the same way as traditional incandescent light bulbs while saving energy.

This change will reduce costs for industry as they will not need to differentiate between American and Canadian markets. The change also aligns with Canada’s commitment to regulatory cooperation with the United States set out in the Regulatory Cooperation Council Joint Action Plan.

For more information about the announcement, visit NRCan’s Media Room.

Interested persons are invited to provide comments on the proposed changes by Thursday, December 19, 2013.  For contact information, please refer to the Canada Gazette, Part 1.

Lighting Options

Halogen bulbs

A halogen light bulb

Halogen incandescent bulbs use at least 28% less energy, and can last up to three times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. There are two types of these bulbs available in a wide range of shapes and colors, that can be used anywhere an incandescent bulb is used and they produce more light for the same amount of energy. 

Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs):

A compact fluorescent light bulb

Improvements to CFLs since their introduction in the 1980s include: better colour rendering, less mercury content, elimination of buzz or flicker, instant start up, and dimmability. CFLs can produce the same light output and warm colours as incandescent light bulbs and are far more energy efficient. ENERGY STAR-qualified CFLs use up to 75% less energy. Many CFLs last 8 or more times as long as traditional incandescents.  Some CFLs are encased in a cover to further diffuse the light, providing a similar shape to traditional incandescent bulbs and providing extra breakage protection. 

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs):

A light-emitting diode light bulb (LED)

LED bulbs offer similar light quality to traditional incandescents, last 25 times as long, and use even less energy than CFLs. They are dimmable, start up fast and can operate in all weather conditions.  They are available for many applications in a variety of shapes and colours.