News Brief

Fluorescent Lamps Getting More Efficient

DOE aims to tighten energy standards for fluorescent lamps, claiming it will save $8 billion in electricity over the next 30 years.

Lamp Operating Hours in Commercial Buildings

Because of long operating hours, as seen in this table from a 2012 DOE report, increasing the efficiency of all sorts of lamps can have a huge impact on electricity use nationwide.

Source: U.S. Department of Energy 2010 Lighting Market Characterization
Lighting constitutes 20% of total electricity use in the U.S.—and while LEDs may be the future, the ubiquitous fluorescent tube is responsible for 42% of the nation’s lighting energy, according to a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) study.

Although much of that share is due to the long hours during which our T8 and T4 lamps are turned on (eleven hours a day in average commercial spaces), a proposed DOE rule aims to curb energy consumption by raising efficiency standards for these lamps. The agency claims the new rule would save $8 billion over 30 years and prevent about 100 million tons of carbon emissions by 2030.

Proposed standards range from an efficiency increase of 2.1% (to 99.0 lumens per watt, or lpw) for 8' slim-line lamps to an increase of 12.9% (to 97.1 lpw) for 4' miniature bi-pin lamps. The rule also proposes modest efficiency increases for incandescent reflector lamps (flood lights and the lamps used in recessed lights) rated higher than 45W.

Published May 5, 2014

Melton, P. (2014, May 5). Fluorescent Lamps Getting More Efficient. Retrieved from

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