>I'm hearing through the grapevine that there is a new law "banning"
>certain types of lamps. Most specifically for theater is the possible
>end of the R-40 Flood & Spot.
The federal Energy Policy Act of 1992 outlawed a long list of lamps,
which includes the R40. The bill sets minimum efficacy standards (lumens
out per electrical watt in), but balances these minimum standards
against special needs for high color rendering or specific beam
patterns. The bill is the compromise of a lot of wrangling between the
lamp manufacturers--who frankly did NOT want these lamps outlawed--and
folks who were pushing for energy conservation. The bill has a schedule
for phasing in bans on the manufacture and importation of these lamps,
and the first date was 4/30/94, so you should be beginning to see some
changes in the lamps stocked on store shelves by now.
The lamp companies made a big deal about this at Lightfair in New York
in May, and certainly will continue to shout about it. The law cuts out
some of their biggest sellers, and forces end-users to rethink their
lamp buying and perhaps to buy new fixtures or retrofit the old. Just
about every lamp manufacturer has published lists of what in their
catalog meets the legislation's requirements, what doesn't, and what
they suggest as a substitute. Contact your lamp supplier to ask about
getting a copy.
Generally speaking, the lamps that were outlawed after April 30, 1994
are the 8' cool white and warm white full-wattage fluorescent lamps.
You'll have to switch to high color rendering lamps, or to energy-saving
substitutes. For example, the GE F96T12/CW, which consumes 75W and
provides 5660 mean lumens with a 65 CRI, is now banned. You can switch
to a F96T12/SP41, which consumes 75W and provides 6040 mean lumens with
a 70 CRI, or you can save some power and use a F96T12/CW/WM, which
consumes 60W and provides 5060 mean lumens at the same low CRI as the
regular cool white. Each manufacturer has lost some lamps in their line
that didn't meet the minimum efficacy requirements of 80 lumens per watt
or a color rendering index of 69 or above, but all have some other lamps
that can be substituted without too much trouble. You just may not be
able to buy exactly what you had before.
The next step in the prohibitions kicks in after Halloween of next year.
At that time minimum standards for 4' straight and 2' bent fluorescent
lamps go into effect, along with restrictions on incandescent R and PAR
lamps. The standard cool white and warm white fluorescent lamps will be
gone, as will all the incandescent medium-screw based PAR and R lamps.
That's right--none of the currently manufactured incandescent PAR and R
lamps meet the efficacy standards.
There are substitutes. The high color-rendering 4' fluorescent lamps
like GE's F40SPX35 are okay, but the ones you are encouraged to use are
lower wattage T8 lamps with electronic ballasts. The last option gives
you great color, high output and lower electric bills, but you have to
buy new fixtures or do a major retrofit on the old.
No incandescent R and PAR lamps larger than 2 3/4 inch in diameter will be
legal after Oct. 31, 1995, but most tungsten-halogen PARs still will be
kosher, so that substitution is easy. Unfortunately, currently no
medium-screw based PAR flood puts out as wide and as soft a beam as an R
flood. The people who are really beginning to scream about this are the
people at art galleries and museums who have inexpensive track fixtures
that use R40s. A PAR38 saves power and gives a whiter light, but the
beam has hot spots and bright rings that detract from the art work.
There are a whole host of specialty lamps like the ones that are used in
traffic signals and stage and studio lamps that are exempt from the
legislation. The major impact of this legislation on the theatre will
probably be in the work lights, the shops, the offices, and the
bathrooms. People with big dimming fluorescent installations that use
the cool white fluorescent lamps will have to bite the bullet and buy
cases of new lamps and replace them all as a group. They'll never be
able to match that ugly green and do smooth dimming if they do spot
Karl G. Ruling
P.S. This legislation was covered in Lighting Dimensions as the
legislation was developed in the magazine's news section, and also
mentioned in the trade show report for Lightfair in the September 1994
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