On Dec. 19, 2007, President George W. Bush signed into law the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 (HR6). The bill implemented some of the most sweeping energy initiatives since the oil embargoes of the 1970s, including the setting of higher fuel-economy standards for cars and light trucks and new efficiency requirements for households and government buildings.
Although the law’s principal focus was not directed at lighting, two of its provisions did have a major impact. First, the law moved to introduce energy-efficient lighting measures by 30 percent, leading to a phaseout of traditional general-service incandescent and halogen light sources from 2012 to 2014. And, like all rules, there were exceptions: A long list of specialty lamps such as traffic signals and infrared were excluded. The second provision that impacted lighting, which halted the production of 150W to 500W probe-start metal halide magnetic ballasted fixtures, went into effect at the beginning of 2009.
EISA’s promotion of research and innovation was also significant. It established the Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize, also known as the L Prize. The competition, launched in 2008 by the federal government, encouraged the implementation of high-performance, energy-efficient lighting with a specific focus on solid-state lighting. The competition had three categories: 60W incandescent replacement lamps, PAR38 halogen replacement lamps, and the Twenty-First Century Lamp Prize, which called for the development of an LED replacement lamp that attained 150 lumens per watt or better. In the end, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) only moved forward with the competition for the 60W replacement.
On Aug. 3, 2011, the DOE announced that Philips Lighting North America had won the L Prize. The $10 million purse included a federal contract purchasing agreement. Philips introduced the prize-winning lamp in early 2012 to market. Since then, a number of lighting companies have introduced A19 LED replacement lamps, pushing the price point below the critical $10 threshold.