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Canada's Energy Efficiency Regulations

General Service Lamps
– New Regulations

Final Bulletin – December 2008

The 10th amendment to Canada's Energy Efficiency Regulations (the Regulations) was approved under which dealers of general service lamps that are imported or shipped interprovincially for sale or lease in Canada must comply with minimum energy performance standards referenced in the Regulations.

The amendment has been published in the Canada Gazette Part II.


On April 25, 2007, the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources at that time, announced that Canada would be phasing out inefficient incandescent lamps by 2012. Steps were taken by the OEE to initiate the regulatory process to establish minimum energy performance standards.

NRCan engaged in significant consultations with stakeholders including the June 27, 2007 workshop in Toronto that was attended by more than 100 stakeholders. The objective was to identify potential barriers and issues regarding the implementation of a standard and to present a first draft proposal to stakeholders. After receiving feedback from stakeholders NRCan released a bulletin in December 2007 providing details of a second draft proposal.

The standard was prepublished in the Canada Gazette Part I in March 2008.

There were a number of issues that resulted in significant discussions and some changes between prepublication and publication including stringency, structure, timing, scope, and exclusions.

The scope covers the majority of sales of existing medium screw base incandescent lamps. Incandescent lamps of 25 and 150 W are not covered as they currently only represent approximately 2% of total sales.

Exclusions were defined where effective replacement products were not available. NRCan will continue to monitor changes in the market to ensure that anticipated energy savings are realized, and to also keep track of sales of product specifically excluded from the standard or outside of the scope of the regulation.

The purpose of this bulletin is to provide details, in plain language, of the final amendment as published in the Canada Gazette Part II.

Product Description

The standard applies to General Service Lamps (GSL) that are electrical devices that provides functional illumination and

  1. have a luminous flux of at least 250 lumens but no greater than 2600 lumens
    (Note: equivalent wattages covered are the 40, 60, 75 and 100 watt lamps)
  2. have a nominal voltage or voltage range that lies at least partially between 100 and 130 volts
  3. are screw based

   but do not include the following lamps:

  1. an appliance lamp;
  2. an integrally ballasted CFL;
    (Note: already meets high efficiency performance standards)
  3. a coloured lamp;
  4. an explosion-resistant lamp;
  5. an infrared lamp;
  6. a left-hand screw-based lamp;
  7. a plant lamp;
  8. a showcase lamp that has a T-shape and a maximum wattage of 40 W or a length exceeding 25 cm and is marketed as a showcase lamp;
  9. a sign service lamp ;
  10. a silver bowl lamp;
  11. a lamp using solid state technology;
    (Note: already meets high efficency performance standards)
  12. a lamp that has a G-shape and a diameter of 13 cm or more;
  13. a submersible lamp
  14. a traffic signal module, pedestrian module and street light
  15. a lamp having an Edison screw-base size of E5, E10, E11, E12, E17, E26d (three way lamps), E26/50×39, E26/53×39, E29/28, E29/53×39, E39, E39d, EP39 or EX39
  16. a lamp that has a B, BA, CA, F, G16-1/2, G25, G30, s or M-14 shape or other similar shape, and a maximum wattage of 40 W;
    (Note: the A-shape lamp is the main focus of this regulation)
  17. a rough service lamp;
  18. a vibration service lamp;
  19. an incandescent reflector lamp
    (Note: this lamp category is already regulated)

Modified Spectrum Lamps

Modified spectrum lamps are also included in this regulation and are required to meet an efficacy of 75% of the efficacy level of a reference standard spectrum lamp.

Modified spectrum lamp means a lamp that is an enhanced, modified or full spectrum and marketed as such, is not coloured and has colour point chromaticity coordinates on the 1931 chromaticity diagram, as described in the CIE standard CIE 15: 2004 entitled Colorimetry, that lie outside a four-step MacAdam ellipse, as described in the IES standard IES LM-58-94 entitled Guide to Spectroradiometric Measurements, that is centred at the chromaticity coordinates of a reference standard spectrum lamp.

The “Reference Standard Spectrum Lamp” is a general service lamp that has no design features that enable it to emit a modified spectrum but whose other features, including all other design and performance features, are identical to those of the modified spectrum lamp.

Energy Performance Test Procedure

The following standards are currently used for safety requirements of incandescent lamps in Canada, and will also be used to establish the lamp’s efficacy:

IESNA LM45 for lamp lumen output and wattage
IESNA LM49 for lamp life
CIE 13.3 for lamp colour rendering index or CRI

Modified spectrum lamps: refer to CIE 15:2004 for lamp colorimetry and IES LM-58-94 for spectroradiometric measurements.

Minimum Efficiency Requirements

The following formula is used to calculate the minimum lamp efficacy required to meet the regulation (efficacy is a function of the rated lumen output of the lamp):

General Service Lamps:

EFFICACY >= 4.0357 * ln (Lumen output) – 7,1345

(Note: the expression: “ln(lumen output)” means the natural logarithm of the lumen output of the lamp)

Modified spectrum general service lamps:

Efficacy >= 75% of the efficacy of the reference standard spectrum lamps

The OEE is also regulating the life and CRI of the lamps:
Life >= 1000 hours
CRI >= 0.80

The following Sample Look-Up Table (Table 1) contains pre-calculated efficacy levels required to meet the regulation at the corresponding lamp lumen output.

Table 1 – Sample Look-up Table

Lumens Minimum
Lumens Minimum
250 15.15 11.36 1500 22.38 16.79
300 15.88 11.91 1600 22.64 16.98
400 17.05 12.79 1700 22.88 17.16
500 17.95 13.46 1800 23.12 17.34
600 18.68 14.01 1900 23.33 17.50
700 19.30 14.76 2000 23.54 17.66
800 19.84 14.88 2100 23.74 17.81
900 20.32 15.24 2200 23.93 17.95
1000 20.74 15.55 2300 24.10 18.08
1100 21.13 15.85 2400 24.28 18.21
1200 21.48 16.11 2500 24.44 18.33
1300 21.80 16.35 2600 24.60 18.45
1400 22.10 16.58      

* GSL = general service lamp / MS = modified spectrum lamp

Effective Date

The amendment for general service lamps only applies to products manufactured on or after the following dates:

Lumen Range Effective Wattage
of original lamps
Effective Date
1050-2600 75 W to 100 W January 1, 2012
250-1049 40 W to 60 W December 31, 2012

Labelling Requirements

NRCan is also requiring that general service lamps be labelled according to the requirements in lamp labelling bulletin.

Verification Mark Labelling Requirements

Compliance verification procedures for the performance of general service lamps will be addressed in a future amendment.

Reporting Requirements

Energy Efficiency Report

This report must be submitted, by the dealer, to the Minister of NRCan before the product is imported into Canada or traded interprovincially.

  • Type of product;
  • Brand name;
  • Model number;
  • Manufacturer;
  • Name of the organization or province that carried out the verification and authorized the verification mark that will be affixed to the product;
  • Lamp description;
  • Lumen output;
  • Rated wattage;
  • Life;
  • Colour Rendering Index.

Importing Reports

A dealer who imports general service lamps into Canada must include the following information on the customs release document:

  • Type of product;
  • Model number;
  • Brand name;
  • Address of the dealer importing the product;
  • Purpose for which the product is being imported (i.e. for sale or lease in Canada without modification; for sale or lease in Canada after modification to comply with energy efficiency standards; or for use as a component in a product being exported from Canada).


NRCan attempts as much as possible to harmonize with other regulatory agencies. There are, however, some distinct differences between US EISA and the Canadian Standard as follows:

Standard Level and Structure

NRCan is adopting the formula as described above, based on Efficacy per Lumen Output of the lamps, that was developed based on a best fit curve of existing incandescent lamps sold in Canada today. This differs somewhat from the “stepped approach” being followed in the US that provides for maximum wattages for a “bin” or range of lumen outputs. Canada’s approach is equivalent to that being proposed in the European Union and Australia. NRCan feels that the step approach may promote dimmer lamps and risk “bin jumping” by the consumer. Bin jumping is the phenomenon in which consumers purchase lamps with higher wattages in order to obtain familiar light outputs. Canada’s curve approach encourages the development of high efficiency light sources with optimum energy savings.

Lumen Range

NRCan’s standard covers a slightly larger range of lumen output at the lower lumen output range. (250 to 2600 vs 310 to 2600)

Modified Spectrum Lamps

NRCan has added some precision to the definition of this category of products in order to have good validation of a true modified spectrum lamp and its corresponding efficacy.

Canadian Provinces

The provinces of British Columbia and Ontario have both announced their intentions to also regulate general service lamps in their respective provinces.

Tier II Standard for General Service Lamps

NRCan will be investigating a more stringent Tier II standard over the next few years to determine an acceptable level and timeline. Improvements in the quality of CFLs and other highly efficient lighting technologies such as LED are expected to prepare the market for a more stringent level of energy performance.


Pierrette LeBlanc
Senior Standards Engineer
Office of Energy Efficiency
Natural Resources Canada
1 Observatory Cr., Bldg #3
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0E4