Feb 01 3 min read

Fluorescent Tube Phaseout: State-By-State List and How To Stay Ahead

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With five more states passing legislation to ban pin-based fluorescent light tubes, now is the time for organizations to transition ahead of the deadlines to reduce utility costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

Several states in the US, including Hawaii, Colorado, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Maine, have passed laws that aim to phase out the sale of standard pin-base fluorescent tubes in addition to screw-base compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). These legislations are expected to help organizations save approximately $2 billion in utility costs by 2050 and significantly reduce the risk of mercury exposure. Likewise, California and Vermont had already enacted similar "clean lighting" laws last year, indicating that the country is moving toward more energy-efficient and eco-friendly lighting solutions.

Why Are Fluorescents Being Phased Out?

Fluorescent tubes were once the most energy-efficient lighting option available to consumers, and they remain common in places like schools, offices, and warehouses. Advances in technology and lower costs have made LED light design more widely available and cost-effective as a replacement for fluorescent tubes. LED technology has positioned itself as the most energy-efficient technology, using up to 75% less electricity and with lifetimes of up to 200,000 hours. Unlike fluorescent, LED lighting does not contain toxic materials like mercury and does not risk contaminating public areas or landfills.

In the seven states where sales of fluorescent will end over the coming years, the transition to LEDs is expected to lead to a total reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of approximately 11.6 million metric tons by 2050, the equivalent of emissions from about 2.5 million gasoline-powered vehicles driven for one year. Additionally, these states are expected to save 5,675 gigawatt-hours of electricity in 2030.

The phasing out of fluorescent tubes is a crucial step to reduce exposure to toxic elements like mercury, a potent neurotoxin that threatens human health and the environment. A fact sheet from the US Environmental Protection Agency highlights, "Exposure to mercury, a toxic metal, can affect our brain, spinal cord, kidneys and liver, causing symptoms such as trembling hands, memory loss, and difficulty moving." Unfortunately, roughly 75% of fluorescent tubes are not disposed of properly by end-users, which can contaminate rivers, lakes, and oceans with mercury. To address this issue, these new laws have been enacted to prohibit the sale of new, general-purpose fluorescent tubes.

When Are Fluorescents Being Phased Out?

Below is an interactive map, a list of states, and the deadlines for phasing out screw-based CFLs, pin-based CFLs, and pin-based fluorescent tubes. These recent state laws were passed with broad support, including labor unions, environmental and advocacy groups, and waste management companies. It is expected that in 2024, more state legislatures will take the opportunity to pass similar regulations that assist businesses with cutting utility costs, combatting carbon emissions, and protecting the environment.

 
 
State Screw-Based CFL Phaseout Date Pin-Based CFL and Fluorescent Linear Tube Phaseout Date
California [AB-2208] January 1, 2024 January 1, 2025
Colorado [HB23-1161]
January 1, 2025 January 1, 2025
Hawaii [SB690 SD2] [HB192 HD2] January 1, 2025 January 1, 2026
Illinois [HB2363] Introduced Legislation Introduced Legislation
Maine [LD1814] January 1, 2025 January 1, 2026
Maryland [HB1021]
Introduced Legislation
Introduced Legislation
Massachusetts [H.777] [S.538]
Introduced Legislation
Introduced Legislation
Minnesota [HF3326]
Introduced Legislation
Introduced Legislation
Nevada [AB144]
Introduced Legislation
Introduced Legislation
New Mexico [HB185]
Introduced Legislation
Introduced Legislation
Oregon [HB2351] January 1, 2024 January 1, 2025
Rhode Island [HB550] January 1, 2024 January 1, 2025
Vermont [H.500] February 17, 2023 January 1, 2024
Washington [HB1185]
Introduced Legislation
Introduced Legislation

 

How To Prepare For The Fluorescent Phaseout

Whether a single site or national footprint, now is the time for organizations to prepare for the fluorescent tube phaseout in these states. With the help of US LED, here are three steps to get ahead of the transition.

1. Get professional on-site lighting audits of your facilities.

A professional lighting audit identifies energy-saving opportunities within a facility. It involves gathering critical information about the lighting system and the facility to develop a project plan incorporating measures to achieve operational goals. US LED's lighting audit process efficiently collects comprehensive data to analyze the benefits of retrofitting fluorescent tubes with LEDs. This data includes insights on cost savings, providing facility managers with all the necessary information to make informed decisions.

2. Retrofit facilities based on their geographic location and potential payback.

With lighting audits complete, US LED project management can assist you in better understanding which geographic locations to prioritize lighting retrofit projects to get the most significant financial payback and stay ahead of the fluorescent phaseout deadline dates. Furthermore, US LED's Return on Investment (ROI) analysis can reveal immediate energy savings, the project payback, the cost of waiting, and the environmental impact.

 

3. Take advantage of additional rebates and tax deductions.

Now more than ever, utilities and government entities offer substantial rebates and incentives to organizations upgrading from legacy fluorescent technology to energy-efficient LEDs. As a part of the ROI analysis, US LED can estimate the total applicable rebates for each lighting project, complete the appropriate documentation, and help ensure you get the funds. Additionally, organizations looking to capitalize on available benefits fully can take advantage of the 179D Energy Efficient Tax Deduction. This federal tax deduction allows property owners to claim up to $5.00 per square foot for installing qualifying energy-efficient systems like interior lighting and HVAC.

Choose A National Lighting Partner

Partnering with an experienced lighting provider like US LED can help companies reduce personnel involvement and liability while reducing energy consumption and staying up to date with new legislation. US LED's extensive expertise in LED lighting, controls, and other efficiency solutions makes it a top choice for businesses wanting to improve their productivity and lower expenses. To take the first step towards a brighter future, contact US LED today to discuss an initial project assessment.

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