Active List of U.S. States Banning Fluorescent Lights

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Last updated: April 26, 2024

Across the United States, a significant shift towards more sustainable lighting options is underway as an increasing number of states that have either enacted or set to officially enact bans on the sale of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and linear fluorescent tubes (T8, T5, T12).

Below is an active list of US states enacting bans, as well as their respective phase out dates, for the sale, offer, or distribution of screw-base, bayonet-base, and pin-base CFLs, as well as linear fluorescent tubes.

List of U.S. states that have enacted bans on fluorescent lamps

8 U.S. States with Fluorescent Bans
  1. California
    • Screw-base & bayonet-base CFL: Phase out date of January 1, 2024
    • Pin-base CFL and liner fluorescent tube: Phase out date of January 1, 2025
    • Read more on California ban through Inside Lighting »
  2. Colorado:
    • Screw-base & bayonet-base CFL: Phase out date of January 1, 2025
    • Pin-based CFL and liner fluorescent tube: Phase out date of January 1, 2025
    • Read more on Colorado ban through colorado.gov »
  3. Hawaii
    • Screw-base & bayonet-base CFL: Phase out date of January 1, 2025
    • Pin-based CFL and liner fluorescent tube: Phase out date of January 1, 2026
    • Read more on Hawaii on Environment America »
  4. Maine
    • Screw-base & bayonet-base CFL: Phase out date of January 1, 2025
    • Pin-based CFL and liner fluorescent tube: Phase out date of January 1, 2026
    • Read more on Maine ban through Portland Press »
  5. Oregon
    • Screw-base & bayonet-base CFL: Phaseout date of January 1, 2024
    • Pin-based CFL and liner fluorescent tube: Phaseout date of January 1, 2025
    • Energy Trust of Oregon incentive for replacement of pin-base CFL and linear fluorescent tubes end July 1, 2025!
    • Read more on Oregon ban through Energy Trust of Oregon »
  6. Rhode Island
    • Screw-base & bayonet-base CFL: Phase out date of January 1, 2024
    • Pin-based CFL and liner fluorescent tube: Phase out date of January 1, 2025
    • Read more on Rhode Island ban through rilegislature.gov »
  7. Vermont
    • Screw-base & bayonet-base CFL: Phase out date of February 17, 2023
    • Pin-base CFL and liner fluorescent tube: Phase out date of January 1, 2024
    • Read more on Vermont ban through Vermont DEC »
  8. Washington
    • CFLs and linear fluorescent tubes: Phase out date January 1, 2029
    • Read more on Washington ban through Inside Lighting »

These states are just the beginning, with others expected to announce their own regulations soon.

Why are states banning fluorescent lights?

Fluorescent lights, once a common sight in offices and industrial facilities, contain mercury — a toxic heavy metal that is used in CFLs to help them emit light more efficiently.

When CFLs or linear fluorescents break, hazardous mercury is released into the environment, taking a substantial toll on both the environment and the health of humans and animals. Mercury also creates serious (and costly) waste disposal challenges.

On top of the mercury concerns, modern technologies like LEDs are substantially more energy efficient and have a longer lifespan — with top-quality LED fixtures offering rated lifespans of 100,000+ hours.

These factors contribute to the growing consensus that moving away from fluorescent lighting is both an environmental imperative and an economic advantage, leading to the current wave of statewide bans.

How impacted businesses can prepare for impending bans

Retrofitting existing fixtures to accommodate new technologies, such as LED, can represent a daunting investment — but it can also be a major opportunity if handled with care and long-term consideration. Finding the right LED upgrade your facility can reduce energy spending by up to 80%, provide payback periods of under 3 years, slash carbon emissions, and dramatically improve the safety and overall environment for employees! Here are some key things to keep in mind to maximize on your LED transition:

Consider optics and grid design

Beyond the ability to provide more light with less energy, modern LED technology has an improved ability to direct light, leveraging sophisticated optics to distribute light throughout a space in the most energy efficient manner. Settling for 1:1 fixture replacements may lead to excessive energy consumption, over-lighting your space, and create “hot spots” that lead to visibility challenges for employees.

It is recommended for businesses to work with an experienced lighting designer to audit their space design a system that provides OSHA compliant and consistent light using the least amount of energy.

Be cautious of TLED bulb swaps

Tubular LED technology can be traced back to the early 2000s at a time where the development of white LEDs made it possible to use LEDs for general lighting. Traditionally designed to be a retrofit replacement for fluorescent tubes in compatible luminaries, LED tubes (TLEDs) were an attractive option offering significant cost and energy savings. When specified and installed correctly, they can reduce electricity consumption by over 50% compared to T8 fluorescent lamp technology.

However, understand the safety concerns with TLED bulb swaps.

Dangers of TLED Upgrades

We have heard a number of stories from customers who came to us after having bad experiences with TLEDs and substandard LED “solutions” — including severe fires that led to costly production shutdowns.

See some of the cautionary TLED tales in our blog here »

Don’t overpay for subpar quality

As LED has become increasingly more affordable to manufacture, the LED market has become incredibly saturated with new-entrant brands that over-promise and under-deliver. In fact, many manufacturers will offer the same performance criteria on the spec sheet, have a price tag that reflects top-shelf performance, but never have been actually battle-tested in the field — ultimately leading to failures and performance issues down the road.

A big advantage of working with a solution expert like PEC is that we work with clients as a vendor agnostic service provider. This means that when we design a project, we put together a mix of lumen package options and walk our clients through the pros and cons of each. We help you correlate price and performance, incorporating quality-assured fixture options that we have been used in our experience of over +8,000 projects.

Understand your ROI options before you invest

LED lighting retrofits make for attractive investments because you can confidently predict your future energy savings and cashflows.

LED Lighting Proposal Options - Good, Better, Best

This is done through an energy audit and photometric analysis. Experienced auditors and lighting designers will record your current lighting technology and light levels through an on-site audit, correlate that audit data with your monthly energy consumption, and determine what your new energy spend will be based off the proposed new system.

This analysis allows you to accurately forecast your project payback period (often less than 3 years) and your project your future added cashflow from energy and maintenance savings over time.

Learn more about PEC Energy Audits »

Conclusion

The move to ban fluorescent lights in favor of more sustainable alternatives like LED is gaining momentum across the U.S. This trend reflects a broader commitment to environmental responsibility and public health, with the above states leading the way in legislative reforms. As more states join this initiative, it becomes increasingly important for businesses and consumers to stay informed and prepared for the changes ahead.

Ready to make the transition?

Connect with PEC to setup an intro call and see how we can support your next project.

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