Building Product Nutrition Labels Arrive in 2011

Light bulbs will display "nutritional labels" starting next year, according to an announcement from the FTC.
Starting in mid-2011, the Federal Trade Commission announced today, consumers shopping for light bulbs will notice new labeling on packaging designed to help them choose among the different types of bulbs on the market – traditional incandescent bulbs, and newer high-efficiency compact fluorescent (CFL) and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. The new labels will enable consumers to save money by selecting the most efficient bulbs that best fit their lighting needs.

Under direction from Congress to re-examine the current labels, the FTC is announcing a final rule that will require the new labels on light bulb packages. For the first time, the label on the front of the package will emphasize the bulbs’ brightness as measured in lumens, rather than a measurement of watts. The new front-of-package labels also will include the estimated yearly energy cost for the particular type of bulb.
Eco-insiders and sustainable design advocates have been predicting and calling for this type of labeling for years. Light bulbs are particularly well suited to the treatment, given the confusing interplay of wattage, lumens, energy cost, and more; I expect that if this program is successful it will quickly spread to other building products. Voluntary and preemptive labeling could help companies get ahead of the curve and cement their reputation for environmental leadership.

H/T TreeHugger and EcoGeek for the tip.