Just as the industry has adjusted to the July 2009 / 2012 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) standards on general service linear fluorescent lamps, DOE, in March of 2015, added new higher efficiency standards that will affect primarily 4-foot T8 and T5 lamps starting in January 2018.
The 2009 rules, which for the most part took effect July, 2012, eliminated a majority of 4-foot linear and 2-foot U-shaped T12 lamps as well as many 8-foot T12 and T12HO lamps. The 2009 standards also eliminated 700 series, low color rendering (70 – 79 CRI) 4-foot T8 lamps. The deadline for this last provision was extended to July 2014 because of the scarcity of rare earth materials used in 800 and 900 series, higher color rendering lamps.
The recent DOE rule-making further tightens the lumens per watt efficacy requirements for 4-foot T8, 2-foot U-shaped T8, 4-foot T5 and 4-foot T5 high output. 8-foot fluorescent lamps are generally unaffected by the new standards.
2018 DOE Requirements For Standard 4-ft T8 & T5 lamps
4-ft T8, 800 Series (CRI >80)
- Current: 89.0 lm/watt
- New: 90.0 (1% efficiency improvement)
4-ft T5, 800 Series (CRI >80)
- Current: 86 lm/watt
- New: 93.5 lm/watt (~ 10% efficiency improvement)
As with the earlier DOE standards, certain specialty linear fluorescent lamps are excluded from the new rules including: cold temperature applications, horticulture lamps, UV lamps, colored lamps, impact resistant lamps and lamps for other specialized uses.
Limited Number of 4-foot, 32W T8 Lamps Likely Available in 2018.
With over 500 million 4-foot T8 lamps installed in commercial and industrial facilities in the U.S., the impact on the replacement market will be significant.
According to industry analyst and publisher Craig Dilouie writing in Electrical Contractor, “Today’s basic-grade 32W T8 lamps do not comply” with the new DOE standards.
Those that do comply, according to DiLouie, are the 32WT8ES reduced wattage lamps, 25W, 28W and 30W. “Some conventional 32W T8 lamps may be re-engineered, but the overall effect is predicted to be reduced availability,” said DiLouie.
Manufacturers have almost three years to evaluate their line and either upgrade or eliminate lamps that don’t meet the new requirements.
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