Following implementation of the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (GEMS) Legislation in 2012, specific product requirements are now specified in legislative instruments. Incandescent lamps are covered in the GEMS (Incandescent Lamps for General Lighting Services) Determination in Australia. Product requirements are set out either directly in the Determination or the Determination refers to the applicable clause in the product standard.

MEPS Requirements

Commencing 1 November 2009, certain general purpose incandescent lamps (tungsten filament and tungsten halogen) have been required to comply with Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) set out in AS 4934.2. Test procedures for Incandescent Lamps are set out in AS/NZS 4934.1.

Note: MEPS Requirements for Incandescent Lamps do not apply in New Zealand.

From 1 February 2009 there has been an import restriction for general lighting service (GLS) incandescent lamps implemented through Commonwealth Regulation. Further information is available on the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service website.

The intended timeline for certain lamps being subject to MEPS is as follows:

Lamp Types Sales Restriction From
  • Tungsten incandescent GLS lamps
  • ELV halogen non reflector
1 November 2009
  • Greater than 40W Candle, fancy round and decorative lamps
  • ELV halogen reflector (the average measured wattage shall be no more than 37W effective from 14 April 2012)
1 October 2010
  • Mains voltage halogen non-reflector (until 30 September 2016, when tested in accordance with AS/NZS 4934.1, these lamps may comply with a reduced initial efficacy requirement)
1 January 2011
  • Greater than 25W Candle fancy round and decorative lamps
1 October 2012
  • Mains voltage reflector lamps including halogen (PAR, ER, R, etc)
October 2016
Date to be reviewed and determined dependent on availability of efficient replacement products
  • Pilot lamps 25W and below
To be determined dependent on availability of efficient replacement products


The definitions of lamp types in the above table can be found in the summary of Part 2 of the Australian Standard. These include tungsten filament and tungsten halogen lamps with varying voltages, wattages, shapes and lamp caps, used for general purpose lighting. MEPs will also be applied to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).

MEPS improves end-use energy efficiency by eliminating lower efficiency lamps from the market.

MEPS for incandescent lamps are set out as minimum efficacy (in lumens per Watt; lm/W). The required minimum initial lamp efficacy is given by the formula:

Initial efficacy: Average value shall be ≥ (2.8 ln (L) − 4.0)

Where In (L) is the natural logarithm of the measured initial luminous flux (in lumens)

The curve resulting from this formula is depicted in the figure below.

Initial luminous flux (lumens) is on the x-axis and initital efficacy (lm/W) is on the y-axis. The lograithmic curveis concave downwards, beginning at about 100 lumens and 9 lm/W, and ending on the graph at 2600 lumens and 18 lm/W.

Until 30 September 2016, when tested in accordance with AS/NZS 4934.1, mains voltage halogen non-reflector lamps may comply with an alternative initial efficacy requirement, as follows:

Initial efficacy: Average test value shall be ≥ 0.95 x (2.8 ln (L) − 4.0)

There are also requirements for lumen maintenance (minimum of 80% measured at 75% of rated lamp life) and minimum lamp life (median lamp life of at least 2000 hours). The methods for measurement of efficacy, lumen maintenance and lamp life are set out in AS/NZS 4934.1.

Find out how to make an application for MEPS.

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