Buy Fluorescent Light
Simply put, lightbulbs and lamps must now be much more energy efficient. Incandescent and halogen products require more energy to operate and will not meet the new requirements (with exceptions, of course).
buy fluorescent light
These new definitions are now considered federal law. However, states are able to enforce additional requirements on GSLs and on other lighting products not covered by the new definitions (for example, fluorescent products).
Now, the state is implementing additional requirements for CFLs and linear fluorescents, which will phase out both products. The governor signed a bill into law that will eliminate the sale of screw-based or bayonet based CFLs by 2024, then eliminate the sale of pin-based CFLs and linear fluorescent lamps by 2025. You can find details outlined in CA Bill AB 2208.
Starting October 1, 2024, Maryland is set to ban linear fluorescents with a CRI greater than or equal to 87. However, this is dependent upon the regulations adopted by the Maryland Energy Administration. Read more about what's behind the ban on high-CRI linear fluorescents here.
Maryland is also currently considering the sale or distribution of screw-base or bayonet-base compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) in the state. The bill currently in the legislature would also stop the sale and distribution of pin-base CFLs and linear fluorescent lamps starting January 1, 2025.
Starting January 1, 2022, the state banned linear fluorescents with a CRI greater than or equal to 87. However, sales are allowed to continue for a year, until January 2023. For more information on what's behind the CRI requirement, click here.
The high-CRI restrictions ban linear fluorescent lamps with a CRI of 87 or higher. Vermont was the first state to enforce a ban on high-CRI linear fluorescents, which began on July 1, 2020. We explain the ban on linear fluorescent products here.
Now, especially with a large amount of LED products on the market, the focus is on lumens. Light bulbs can now produce more light (lumens) with less energy (wattage). Lumens per watt is becoming a more common measurement in the move towards more energy-efficient lighting.
This change is still consistent with a push to become more energy efficient. T12s consume more energy than other linear fluorescent tubes like T8s and T5s. LEDs consume even less energy with more advanced technology.
The quick and short answer is, if your office, store, hospital or school is still being lit with T12 linear fluorescent lamps, then yes, you have likely already experienced difficulty sourcing replacement products for burned out lamps or ballasts.
Even some T8 lamps have been phased out. US Congress has enacted legislation to prohibit the manufacture of these and other inefficient lighting technologies, and is calling for manufacturers to meet minimum efficiency requirements and lumens per watt for new products.
DOE is regulating T12 lamps and some T8 lamps, incandescent lamps, and other inefficient technologies as a method of moving energy consumers to be more efficient. The new standards for linear fluorescent lamps is based on efficacy, or ensuring that newer lighting technology offers greater lumens (light output) per watt and a higher CRI (Color Rendering Index.) In effect since July 2012, the legislation eliminates nearly all 4-foot T12 lamps, some 4-foot T8 lamps, most 8-foot T12 lamps, and almost all standard halogen PAR38, PAR30 and PAR20 lamps from the market.
Additional legislation will come into effect to continue promoting energy efficiency advancements. More T8 products will be phased out and wider use of LED and other high efficiency lighting products will become more adapted. Here is a look at some changes you can expect.
Additionally, some good online tools and resources exist such as this chart from GE showing replacement options for products phased out in linear fluorescent, halogen and incandescent technologies.
*There are exclusions to each of these regulations. For specific details go to www.gelighting.com/legislation. Eliminated products may not be manufactured on or after the effective dates noted above, but existing inventories may be sold until exhausted.
The Retrofit Companies, Inc. is a full service provider for energy-efficient lighting, lighting design, electrical contracting, and environmental recycling services. We are a woman-owned business (WOSB) with over 3 decades of experience, based in Owatonna and the Twin Cities metro area. Our expertise focuses on Industrial, Commercial, Education, Manufacturing, Healthcare, City/County Municipalities, Hospitality, Senior Care, Large Assembly, and Retail projects.
Q: Last spring I had lots of luck starting seed of coleus, impatiens, zinnias, marigolds, and vinca with just one fluorescent light. I want to add more this year, and I'd like to know which lights are best. - Kristin Fahey, Akron, Ohio
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In short, YES! LED lighting technology has come to a point where the efficiency makes it hard to justify keeping your old fluorescent lights or incandescent bulbs in place. Even though the initial replacement costs to choose LED tubes will be higher, you will see energy savings that will pay for those upfront costs within 2 years in most cases. New linear LED tube bulbs are simple plug-and-play and ballast compatible. You will simply need to remove your fluorescent bulb and plug in your LED light replacement.
LED replacement lamps are on average 30% more efficient than their fluorescent light counterparts. That means if you are spending $10,000 on your lighting energy costs per year, your bill will be reduced by $3,000 or more every year that you use the LED bulbs. Standard 4-foot T8 LED bulbs are available at as low as 12 watts of power consumption, while their fluorescent light counterparts will start at 25 watts.
One of the big reasons why LED tubes are more efficient is because it only emits light in one direction. The light emitting diodes (LEDs) are all arranged along the bottom of the lamp and send light downwards. Fluorescent lamps emit light in all directions, including up towards the ceiling where it is not needed.
Some LED lamps are now rated to last up to 84,000 hours, while the average life of a fluorescent tube lamp is only 30,000 hours. That is over twice as long, so keep that in mind when you are calculating your purchase. The LED lamp is more expensive, but you will need to replace your fluorescent bulbs 2 or 3 times during the lifespan of an LED. Keep in mind the labor costs of replacing those fluorescent bulbs, particularly if you are lighting a large warehouse.
The ability to dim your lights increases their efficiency because you will only be using the wattage necessary for the amount of light that you require. Most fluorescent lights have two settings, ON and OFF. That means that even if you only need a little bit of light, you still need to operate at full power consumption. Some expensive fluorescent bulbs are dimmable with a special ballast, but at that point, your cost is comparable to an LED option.
One of the downfalls of fluorescent lighting is that each bulb contains mercury, which is harmful to the environment and must be disposed of properly. You can purchase special recycling kits to dispose of your fluorescent lamps properly, but add that to the cost of opting for fluorescent lighting over LED lights.
Have you ever picked up a fluorescent lamp that dropped on the ground? If you did it was probably with a broom and dustpan. Fluorescent tube lamps are notoriously fragile, but their LED counterparts are quite strong. They are built with durable, plastic housing that should even be able to withstand a drop from a low height.
Fluorescent lights put off a significant amount of heat. Your air conditioner will be battling that all day to keep your environment at an acceptable temperature. LEDs on the other hand put off virtually no heat. Beyond just the energy consumption of the bulbs, LEDs will help you cut down your air conditioning energy consumption.
A great way to improve efficiency in your warehouse or other space is to install occupancy sensors. This ensures that light will only be produced in areas where someone is present. Unfortunately, this can have a big impact on the life of your fluorescent lights. Each time you turn on a fluorescent bulb, a small amount of mercury vapor is burned off. Once that is diminished, the bulb will no longer work. On the other hand, the life of an LED bulb is not affected by the number of times it is turned on and off.
Many LED tubes are "plug and play", meaning you can just install them like you would a fluorescent bulb. For this to be true, look for bulbs that are "ballast-compatible" meaning that they can use the ballast already installed in your fluorescent fixture to power the LEDs.
The time has come for fluorescent lamps to step aside and make room for LED technology because LED lights are far more efficient and affordable than fluorescent lamps. Simply put, if you want to lower your energy demands while saving time and money on labor, switch your linear light fixtures to LED!
If you don't have fluorescent fixtures and need to install new lighting, tube LEDs may not be the best choice. It is often more efficient to install a fixture with built-in LEDs that will not require bulbs. You can shop for those on ShineRetrofits.com here.
Choose the bulbs, lamps, or fixtures that fit your home and your personality. Customize the settings to fit your needs. Set automations to make life easier. Your home is personal (and your smart lighting should be, too).
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