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New Department of Energy Pool Lighting Regulations for GSL’s

Learn about the new DOE regulations regarding inefficient lighting

New Energy Conservation Standards for General Service Lamps, recently passed by the U.S. Department of Energy, are set to impact the pool and spa industry. These regulations, which apply to all lamps emitting between 310 and 3,300 lumens, are designed to manage energy usage in various applications and industries, including pools and spas.

Under these regulations, all lamps falling within the specified lumen range must emit at least 45 lumens per watt. This requirement applies to both traditional lamps and LED lights, although many LED products currently comply with the standards.

It’s important to note that the enforcement timeline for these regulations is more stringent than previous rules. As of January 1, 2023, manufacturers are no longer permitted to produce, sell, or import non-compliant lights. Violators may face penalties for non-compliance.

How Department of Energy Regulations Will Impact The Pool Industry

To get a better understanding of the new regulations we spoke with Ben Forrest of PAL Lighting, one of the industry leaders in the pool lighting sector.

“The bottom line is the Department of Energy has made a decision that they want to introduce legislation to stop the continual use of really inefficient lighting,” explained Forrest, “most importantly, this is not just for the pool industry. This is right across the entire lighting sector and electrical sector nationwide. The legislation relates to what they call GSL’s, or General Service Lamps, defined as lamps that either have an anti-screw fitting or pin connections.”

“It doesn’t include nicheless lights or the niche lights that are full fixture lights. It does include LED lamps, but any light that is not a lamp is not included under this. So the obvious target for the Department of Energy is the incandescent lamps,” said Forrest.

“What they’ve said is that any lamp that doesn’t produce at least 45 lumens of light per watt is not considered energy efficient, and it’s not sufficient to pass the legislation. Now, that will rule out virtually every incandescent lamp immediately, and it will rule out a lot of the LED lamps,” explained Forrest.

What About a “Grace Period”?

What this news means is that distributors and retailers are also subject to these regulations. As of March 1, 2023, retailers are prohibited from selling non-compliant lights. Companies selling non-compliant lights between March 1 and July 31 will face reduced penalties, but starting August 1, full penalties will be imposed on distributors and retailers who continue to sell non-compliant lights.

“They’re giving a grace period where you’re not going to get penalized too bad or a reduced penalty period, which may be nothing more than a written warning. Most likely that’s what it’s going to be for first offences, but if you’re caught repeatedly, they’re going to start issuing fines,” warns Forrest.

These regulations are part of the DOE’s efforts to promote energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption in various industries, including the pool and spa industry. It’s essential for pool contractors and consumers to be aware of and comply with these new standards to avoid penalties and ensure environmentally responsible practices.

Listen to our entire conversation with Ben Forrest of PAL Lighting and learn more about the new DOE lighting regulations on the Pool Magazine podcast.


Claro Pool is a pool company in Palm Desert, CA, leading the way in swimming pool repair & maintenance services and offering professional pool inspection during escrow.

We love our community, and that's why our mission is to make pools cleaner, healthier and safer. We have more than 20 years of experience in the pool industry and service many pool homes in the Coachella Valley.

Our team manages over 100 million gallons of recreational water every month! Our expertise and unmatched professional pool service are why thousands of Coachella Valley families trust the Claropool daily to ensure their pools are safe and ready to enjoy.

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