ARCHIVED - Lighting Regulations

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The Government of Canada is proposing a revision to the current minimum energy performance standards for light bulbs set to come into effect on January 1, 2014, and on December 31, 2014, to provide greater choice for consumers and align with the lighting standards currently in effect in the United States. The revision will provide Canadians with more lighting options, specifically, a mercury-free halogen bulb that closely resembles and performs like a traditional incandescent bulb.

The revised standards ensure that a variety of viable, cost-effective and energy-efficient lighting options of all types is available for use by Canadians in a wide range of applications. This amendment will give consumers more choice and make it easier for business and industry to compete in an integrated market.

Energy-efficient lighting standards eliminate the least efficient products on the market.The proposed revision will place Canada on a par with the rest of North America and increase the supply of efficient lighting products for consumers, which gives them more choices at lower costs. 

The standards set a minimum performance level for bulbs imported into Canada or sold interprovincially and will phase out inefficient incandescent bulbs that range from 40 watts to 100 watts over a period of 12 months.

The standards for 75- and 100-watt replacement bulbs apply to bulbs manufactured on or after January 1, 2014, and to 40- and 60-watt replacement bulbs manufactured on or after December 31, 2014.

Once the standard is in effect, consumers will be able to choose from a variety of technologies, such as light emitting diodes (LEDs), compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and halogen bulbs.  These products will be available in various shapes and sizes, light outputs (brightness) and light appearances (colour temperatures).

Lighting accounts for approximately 10 percent of a home’s electricity use. Energy-efficient bulbs last as long as or longer than incandescent bulbs and use less electricity. While efficient light bulbs cost a bit more to buy, their energy savings pay for any incremental purchase cost and more over their lifetime. The expected reduction in household energy use will provide a cumulative net benefit to Canadian consumers of more than $750 million by 2025.

Exemptions to the standards have been identified where an alternative for an efficient bulb is not available, including oven lights, decorative lamps (light bulbs), appliance bulbs, three-way fixtures, chandeliers and rough service/utility bulbs, as well as for agriculture and industrial applications where lighting is used to keep animals or equipment warm.

In November 2011, the Government of Canada made a decision to provide more time for the market to prepare for lighting standards, including allowing for innovations in technology and giving consumers time to familiarize themselves with the various lighting options available to them.

Currently, 46 countries are participating in initiatives to improve lighting efficiency. Canada is one of 18 countries that are implementing minimum energy performance standards for light bulbs, along with Australia, Mexico and the United States.

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Media may contact: 

David Provencher
Press Secretary
Office of Canada's Minister of
Natural Resources


Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada