The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced new light bulb labeling that will begin appearing over the course of the next couple years. In the biggest change, new packaging will emphasize a bulb's brightness in lumens instead of wattage.

Though familiar to consumers, wattage is actually measurement of energy usage, not brightness. As a result, it has traditionally been difficult to compare incandescent bulbs with newer, more energy efficient models such as CFL light bulbs and LED light bulbs.

New label for a CFL bulb

We think these changes make a lot of sense. Regardless of technology, it will soon be easier to compare bulbs by their brightness. Labeling will also offer  estimated yearly energy cost, bulb life and color temperature.

New label for an incandescent bulb

Not familiar with these new terms? Here's a handy resource on lumens from the ENERGY STAR® website: How Much Light? from ENERGYSTAR.gov

And, learn more about color temperature here: Color & Mood from ENERGYSTAR.gov

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