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New U.S. Department of Energy Standards Shake Up Commercial Fluorescent Lamps

Federal standards update impacts more than 76 million lamps sold in the U.S. in 2017.

New U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) standards require that all general service fluorescent lamps (GSFL) manufactured after Jan. 26, 2018, meet increased efficacy standards, or lumens per watt, to encourage the adoption of high-efficiency lighting products. Fluorescent lamps with higher wattages, which require more energy to operate, will have greater difficulty meeting the new requirements.

The federal standards change will have significant impact on fluorescent T8 sales in the United States. More than 112 million of the fluorescent T8 lamps sold in 2017 were 32W T8 lamps. Of these higher wattage lamps, nearly 70% are no longer compliant and will no longer be manufactured, according to data collected through the U.S. DOE and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance.

Customers who are not yet ready to replace their non-compliant 32W T8 lamps with LEDs can make the switch to low wattage 25W and 28W T8 lamps, which are readily available in the market. In 2017, an estimated 15 million 28W and 25W lamps were sold across the country, and nearly all of these lamps will comply with the new federal standards.

For commercial lighting customers around the country, these low wattage T8 lamps represent the simplest solution to the standards change. They comply with new standards, are comparable in price to many 32-watt models, are energy-efficient and boast reduced maintenance costs. They also provide the same occupant comfort and light quality occupants are accustomed to.

Visit the DOE’s website for more information on the new federal standards.

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