GUEST POST: New Energy-Efficient Lighting Changes Take Effect This Summer

Danielle Stewart has written before about the five benefits of lighting retrofits for commercial or warehouse spaces with lighting that can be more energy efficient.  Here, along a similar line of thought, she addresses the old standard T-12 fluorescent lamp.

Lighting Terms Used in this news:

T5 — 5/8″ diameter fluorescent lamps. “T” stands for tubular, while the number “5” stands for the 5 in 5/8”. Therefore a T8 lamp would be a Tubular 8/8”, or 1” diameter lamp.

T8 — 1″ diameter fluorescent lamps.

T12 — 1 1/2″ diameter fluorescent lamps.

Please see the lighting glossary for more details

A couple of years back the  Department of Energy (DOE) started talking about phasing out T12 lamps and switching to the newer and more energy-efficient T8 and T5 lamps. The DOE was offering incentives to get people motivated to switch from the old to the new. Shortly, these incentives will expire.

Beginning in July 2012 U.S. lighting manufacturers will stop production of most T12 lamps in order to comply with DOE regulations. There will be some T12 lamps being produced but they will be much more expensive than what you used to pay for them. The idea behind the regulation and the price increase is to force people to upgrade to T5 and T8 systems.

This idea may make you squirm a bit, but sometimes new things have to be forced down the public’s throat in order to get people to change their old habits in lieu of better ones. The federal government will likely not offer incentives to retrofit because of the scarcity and cost of the new T12s, most people will have no choice.

If you think upgrading your facility’s lighting is too expensive, think about the benefits, which far outweigh the initial costs. Replacing a T12 system with a T8 or T5 system provides energy and cost savings. For instance, by switching to T8 lamps, you can reduce energy use by 33% and save $12 per fixture per year. If you have 1,000 fixtures, that adds up to $12,000 a year in savings.

Also, T8 and T5 lamps outlive T12 lamps. Though a T12 lamp lasts for 28,800 hours, a T8 lamp can last for 36,000 hours and a T5 for 52,000. After upgrading to a T8 or T5 system you will be paid back in energy savings between one and three years!

Time is running out to replace your T12 system with a more energy-efficient system. If you get on it now you will still be able to take advantage take advantage of those government incentives before they expire. If you’re going to have to switch soon regardless, better to switch and get some cash back while you still can.

If you need help with the upgrade, P-2 can connect you with an energy-efficient lighting professional who can recommend the most effective lighting system for your facility. Visit them online today.

About the author: Danielle Stewart has become increasingly interested in lighting retrofits and making energy efficient lighting information available to consumers. She blogs for [P-2], a commercial lighting manufacturer and the online source for lighting retrofit solutions.

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  • I would like to get ahold of the owner of this blog about guest posting on here, but I can find nowhere that this blog allows you to do such. I am an electrical engineer with my own blog at in case you are interested.

    I could add a lot to this topic, but will hold off until some one contacts me abt guest blogging on this site.

  • I personally prefer the T8 fluorescent lamps. The T12 is a bit huge than what I usually use in my room.

    Bilson Miles

  • I agree to this idea. I really prefer those thing fluorescent lamps. I’ve been using T5 lamps on my study table and it does the right lighting for me.

  • Great information. I have been using T12 fluorescent lamps for the past 6 years and it is just a great thing to know that you could actually save money from your energy bill through switch to T8 or T5 lamps.