The Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) program was implemented in a staged fashion, commencing with an Australian import restriction on tungsten filament incandescent lamps used for general lighting service (GLS) lamps on 1 February 2009. In November 2009 GLS tungsten filament and extra-low voltage (ELV) halogen non-reflector lamps were subject to the more traditional “point of sale” MEPS in Australia.

On 20 April 2018, Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Ministers agreed to further improve lighting energy efficiency regulation by phasing out inefficient halogen lamps in Australia and introducing minimum standards for LED lamps in Australia and New Zealand in line with European Union (EU) standards.

The phase out will remove remaining incandescent light bulbs and a range of halogen light bulbs from the Australian market, where an equivalent LED light bulb is available.

Timing of the new regulation will align with revised EU minimum standards that will apply to LED light bulbs (planned for September 2020).  The details of the new EU regulation are expected to be final in 2018.

The Equipment Energy Efficiency (E3) Program will continue to seek stakeholder advice in implementing this important decision.

Download the Decision Regulation Impact Statement for Lighting.

Tungsten filament incandescent

Tungsten filament incandescent lamps (often referred to as general lighting service, or GLS lamps) were the most common lamp type for domestic lighting for many years.

The tungsten filament incandescent lamp is a low efficiency light source and has a short lamp life. Due to these factors, standard omnidirectional tungsten filament lamps (apart from candle, decorative and fancy round lamps 25W and below) are unable to comply with Minimum Energy Performance (MEPS) requirements and are therefore not to be sold in Australia.


Halogen lamps are a type of incandescent lamp. They can be either mains or low voltage lamps.

Halogens are marginally more efficient and have a slightly longer life span than traditional tungsten incandescent lamps. However, they cannot compete with CFLs or LEDs for efficiency or lifespan.

Halogen downlights are a poor choice for general purpose lighting– large quantities of lamps are required to light open spaces. For a more efficient option, look for CFLs or LEDs, which are more efficient and last longer.

The Phase Out

It is estimated that the phase out of incandescent light bulbs is saving the average household 300 kWh and $75 per annum.

Read more

At a glance...





New Zealand

Incandescent Lamps




GEMS Determination »


* Whilst no Energy Rating Label is required, GEMS labelling requirements do apply. For more information see the relevant GEMS determination.

Regulatory requirements

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.

Standards are available for purchase from SAI Global or www.standards.co.nz.

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 timeline for certain lamps being subject to MEPS:

Lamp Types Sales Restriction From

Tungsten incandescent GLS lamps

1 November 2009
ELV halogen non reflector 1 November 2009

Greater than 40W Candle, fancy round and decorative lamps

1 October 2010
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 (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

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 improve 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.

minimum initial lamp efficacy formula curve on a chart.

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