Commercial Lighting Trends: Fluorescent Lamp Bans and LED Alternatives

3 min read - Industry News

Out with the old, in with the new.

Fluorescent lamps that require massive quantities of energy are quickly falling out of favor as sustainable, energy-efficient alternatives rise to the occasion. And that’s not just based on individual preferences; more efficient technology is being signed into federal law.

Let’s dive into some of the current lighting regulations and trends and review viable fluorescent light alternatives.

Countrywide and Statewide Phase-Outs of Fluorescent Lamps

In spring 2022, the Department of Energy finalized two new rules for general service lamps (GSLs) with the intent to offer better energy efficiency and save people money. These rules updated the definition of general service lamps and implemented a new minimum standard of 45 lumens per watt (LPW) for light bulbs that meet the new definition.1 

It’s the 45 LPW requirement that’s key here, as many incandescent and halogen lamps use more than that to operate. This new law essentially renders some existing lamps to be in violation of these regulations in the United States.

California Compact Fluorescent Lamp Bans

While these new federal regulations are established throughout the country, numerous states are taking further action and implementing their own sets of rules. California in particular is a standout, as the state has been a leader in clean energy policies for years.

In September 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom approved AB-2208 for the prohibition of the sale and distribution of screw-based or bayonet-based compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) after January 1, 2024, and pin-based compact fluorescent lamps or linear fluorescent lamps as the state defines it after January 1, 2025.2

Whether these California light bulb regulations are an indication of things to come elsewhere remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: Commercial and industrial spaces nationwide need to rethink their lighting arrangements.

Energy-Efficient Fluorescent Light Alternatives

With many old-fashioned, energy-gobbling fluorescent lamps not only getting cast aside but banned entirely, those that rely on effective and efficient lighting to conduct business or light up their warehouses must look for alternative sources. The top choice? Light emitting diodes — LEDs.

LEDs have continued to grow in popularity, efficiency, and efficacy in all areas over the years. Perhaps the biggest contributor to their recent prominence is their energy savings: 

Most commercial and industrial fluorescent to LED lighting transitions result in more than 50% energy reduction and payback between 1-3 years.

It’s predicted that overall widespread use of LED lighting could result in combined annual savings of 569 TWh — or the equivalent energy output of over 92 1,000 MW power plants — by 2035.3

By their very nature, LEDs can’t help but use less energy. They’re simply made for it, and when you find a light source that uses less energy and emits less heat than fluorescents, for example, chances are you’ll want to stick with it.

LED Fixtures and Controls

As remarkable as they are, efficient LEDs alone don’t simply shine the right amount of light in any given area and save money; the fixtures, arrangements, and controls can all have a major impact on cost savings. 

A facility fitted with incandescent or fluorescent fixtures doesn’t have to completely gut the works and start over; LED retrofits work with existing infrastructure to upgrade the entire lighting operation for higher efficiency and cost savings.

When controls are added to the mix, even more energy savings are possible. Such features as motion detection, zone settings, and customizable timers are able to adjust the light usage to its appropriate levels — and only when it’s needed. That can add up to an additional 24-38% in operational savings for a facility.

The experts at Orion are here to recommend the ideal LED fixtures for your space, along with lighting controls that can be customized for the right usage anywhere in your facility — making for even greater efficiency by helping to ensure minimum energy use.

Orion’s Cost-Cutting Lighting Solutions

Indoor. Outdoor. Offices. Schools. Hospitals. You name the place, we’ll light it.

Orion offers a wide variety of LED fixtures for many industries, all with sustainability top of mind. Rely on turnkey solutions that pay for themselves in short order and continue to save money throughout the long product lifecycle. 

Learn How Orion Helped Colby Metal See a 30% Increase in Light Levels and 60,000 kWh in Energy Savings 

On top of the products and services we offer, rebates are also available for even more cost savings once you’ve made the purchase. Our rebate finder makes it easy to find and select the rebate for your exact product so you can tack on those savings and help subsidize your project in virtually no time.

We’re dedicated to a sustainable future with clean energy, as well as helping our valued customers drastically cut costs. It’s a win-win arrangement, and we believe in sustainability so much that we walk the talk with our own facilities and protocols.

If you have a new construction project or you’re considering a fluorescent to LED retrofit, contact us today!

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SOURCES, Biden Administration Implements New Cost-Saving Energy Efficiency Standards for Light Bulbs, April 26, 2022

2California Legislative Information, Bill Text, AB-2208 Fluorescent lamps: sale and distribution: prohibition, September 18, 2022, LED Lighting, Undated

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