ENERGY STAR® Standards Ensure Quality
ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs must meet a number of efficiency and quality benchmarks to earn the label. A few examples are listed below.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY – The efficiency of light bulbs is referred to as efficacy, which is the measure of light output (lumens) compared to the energy needed to power the bulb (watts). ENERGY STAR qualified CLSs generally provide three to four times more lumens per watt than incandescent bulbs.
LONG LIFETIME – The minimum lifetime requirement is 6,000 hours, which is about five years, based on typical use. The most common lifetime of all ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs is 10,000 hours. Some last a long as 15,000 hours.
QUALITY ASSURANCE – All qualified bulbs are required to carry a manufacturer warranty of at least two years for residential use and at least one year for commercial use. Qualified CFLs are subject to independent third-party testing.
QUICK START – Bulbs must start in under a second. Note that start time is different than warm-up time, i.e. the time it takes for a CFL to come to full brightness. Bulbs must reach brightness in less than three minutes.
SAFETY – Bulbs must be UL listed for fire safety.
RELIABILITY – Bulbs must pass tests that show they can withstand voltage surges and frequent on/off cycling.