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Practical advice on commercial lighting from LED retrofts to lighting design

Lighting rebate trends for 2023

Posted by Nina Frye on


Rebates have been a staple in the commercial lighting marketplace for decades, helping millions of customers transition to more efficient lighting at a reduced cost. Each year, these programs adjust their offerings, evolving to match the current market needs.

When you're working on a project involving lighting, cost is almost always a central focus. Rebates are an effective way to reach your goals while staying within budget. But they typically change so frequently that it can be hard to keep up with the best available options.

Briteswitch recently released its report on the top commercial lighting trends for 2023 — and we found several of them very interesting. Here's a breakdown of the top rebate trends for commercial lighting in 2023 and how businesses can use them strategically to get the most savings.

Rebate trends for commercial lighting in 2023

Before you think rebates don't apply to you, it's important to note more than 3/4 of the U.S. has a commercial lighting rebate program in place. That's about the same as the past several years, and there aren't any major ups or downs in the amount of programs.

Here's a look at three trends that we've noticed for 2023.

1. Rebate changes for general service lamps (GSLs)

This is the biggest trend change for 2023 and it correlates directly with the federal government's decision to phase out incandescent and halogen lighting products. Starting this year, the next phase of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) will go into full effect. To put it simply — most incandescent and halogen light bulbs will no longer be sold in the United States because they do not meet new efficacy requirements. (Check out our article explaining the latest changes.)

The impact on rebates is two-fold: first, there is a rush to replace incandescent and halogen products; then, there is a stop to the programs altogether.

You can likely find a great program to purchase general service lamps, like A19s and PARs, during the first half of the year. Briteswitch noted that the average rebate for a screw-in/incandescent replacement lamp shot up 71% from last year, now at $7.66 per lamp. That's a pretty big incentive for businesses that still rely on incandescent and halogen products for aesthetics, like restaurants, hotels, and multifamily buildings.

But after the new regulations take full effect around August, programs for general service lamps (GSLs) disappear because the products being replaced will no longer be sold. 

2. Rebate amounts

Rebate amounts held steady for the third year in a row, likely motivated by higher LED prices and inflation. This is great news if you're looking to upgrade.

The table below shows the average rebate amount across North American in 2023 compared to 2022. New LED fixtures that save the most energy (for example, high-bay fixtures) often qualify for the highest rebate amount.

Type of LED Bulb 2023 % change from 2022
Replacement Bulbs
(A19s, PAR, MR)
$8 71%
Linear tube $4 1%
Pin-based CFL $6 -11%
Screw-in HID $58 4%
Accent / Track Lighting $50 -2%
Type of LED Fixture 2023 % change from 2022
Downlights $28 -2%
Troffers / Panels $35 1%
Retrofit Kits $38 10%
Outdoor Wall Mount $98 4%
Outdoor Pole / Arm Mount $106 3%
Parking Garage Fixtures $101 4%
High-Bay Fixtures $127 4%

Other consistencies include rebates to lighting control modules as well as more advanced controls like Networked Lighting Controls (NLC). For lighting controls specifically, rebates continue to cover most of the product cost.

For additional savings related to rebates, consider a lighting rebate bonus program.


3. Ease of program use

There are a lot of positives for lighting rebates, especially when you combine savings with availability. But there is one downside. Programs are unfortunately becoming harder to use, primarily due to downsizing because of technology.

Many programs are now streamlined, meaning they've moved to online portals and reduced staff. Some of these portals can be difficult to navigate. The result is glitches, more time spent on applications, and not enough staff to answer questions that will inevitably pop up.

The rebate process already required mounds of paperwork before. Now it requires even more electronic paperwork, patience, and time. Our team of lighting experts has managed lighting rebates since they first came out 15 years ago. We can help you keep up with the rebate process, tracking each step from start to finish

Additional resources on rebates:

The top places for lighting rebates in 2023

Some states offer more rebates than other states. This has always been a trend and has held steady for many years. The Northeast and Northwest still tend to offer the most robust programs. Ohio, Kansas, and North Dakota offer no rebates at all.

If you're looking for rebates in California, Florida, or Texas, you may find plenty of options, but it's often difficult to qualify for rebates in those states. One example that Briteswitch provides is in Florida. The utility Florida Power & Light allows only a handful of fixture types to qualify. On top of that, the amounts given in rebates are very low.

Take a look at the current rebate climate map by Briteswitch to see how it has changed over the past 15 years.

How to take advantage of commercial lighting rebates

When you're ready to start planning your next lighting project, don't hesitate to contact our team. We like to work with you from the beginning, to help you select products that will likely qualify for rebates. Then, our team can file rebate paperwork on your behalf so you can focus on more important things — like keeping projects on track. Contact us to get started with a free consultation.

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