Revisiting ENERGY STAR® Lamps (Light Bulbs) Specification

Testing and Certification Under Version 2.1

20 March 2018

The ENERGY STAR® Program Requirements for Lamps (Light Bulbs) continues to undergo amendments.  On October 1, 2017, Version 2.1 replaced Version 2.0 for all new certifications. The changes do not impact existing or pending certifications, but some changes must be considered for new product development.

Lamps V2.1 features several key changes and minor clarifications intended to simplify testing and certification:

  • Three new flicker metrics are required for dimmable lamps only. All labs should export raw data file for flicker in .csv format to send to CBs. These requirements are as follows:
    • Short Term Flicker Indicator
    • Stroboscopic Visibility Measure
    • ASSIST Flicker Perception Metric
  • All lamp types may now have a life rating of 15,000 hours regardless of shape. Previously, this was split between 15,000 and 25,000 hours.
  • Added language to address decorative wattage equivalency claims not supported  by the table of referenced incandescent lamps in the specification.
  • Clarified references to Department of Energy (DOE) test procedures, as well as the requirement for noise for dimmable lamps to be made within one meter of the lamp
  • Clarification for confirming dimensions of variations impacting lamp dimension
  • Definitions for filament style of LED lamps were added and definitions not referenced in the specification were removed.

Other items of interest, though not necessarily new, should also be noted. These include:

  • The DOE Time to Failure test method may be used for lumen maintenance and life time tests.  While not new, it is likely that this will come into play more in the future.
  • If not using the DOE Time to Failure method, all lamp types must be tested in elevated temperatures unless they are labeled "not for use in totally enclosed luminaires" AND "not for use in recessed luminaires. 

For more information on the ENERGY STAR specifications for lamps, download our tip sheet or visit

Jacki Swiernik is a Photometric Staff Engineer in Intertek's Lighting group. In this role Jacki is responsible for the training, development, and expansion of Intertek's performance testing services. She has more than 25 years of experience and is a committee member of Illuminating Engineering Society (IES).