Farewell to fluorescent lighting: How a phaseout can cut mercury pollution, protect the climate, and save money

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Mercury-free LED replacements for linear and compact fluorescent bulbs are widely available and provide the same or better lighting, longer product life, and much lower total cost than fluorescents. This study finds that drop-in LED replacement lamps are available for all common linear fluorescent tubes, pin-based compact fluorescent lamps, and specialty applications. Policies to accelerate the phaseout of fluorescent lighting and a full transition to LED lighting would eliminate a significant source of mercury pollution and its threat to human health and the environment. Government policies to limit mercury have often exempted fluorescent lighting—the most common use of mercury in homes and commercial buildings—because ready-to-go, mercury-free substitutes did not exist. Our findings show that such exemptions for fluorescent lighting are no longer necessary.

A Greener Bottom Line With Sustainable Store Lighting

Read the full story in Progressive Grocer.

Lighting accounts for a major portion of supermarket energy use and expense, and retailers are benefiting both from their own increasing use of sustainable lighting, and from suppliers that have made sustainability a priority in this area.

White House to Relax Energy Efficiency Rules for Light Bulbs

Read the full story in the New York Times.

The Trump administration plans to significantly weaken federal rules that would have forced Americans to use much more energy-efficient light bulbs, a move that could contribute to greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.

The proposed changes would eliminate requirements that effectively meant that most light bulbs sold in the United States — not only the familiar, pear-shaped ones, but several other styles as well — must be either LEDs or fluorescent to meet new efficiency standards.

American households use a variety of lightbulbs as CFL and LED adoption increases

Read the full story from the Energy Information Administration.

As lighting technologies evolve and adapt to federal standards, lighting in U.S. homes is in a state of transition. Data from the 2015 Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) show that, as of 2015, most homes in the United States used more than one type of lightbulb, primarily a mix of incandescent and compact fluorescent (CFL). Adoption of light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs has been increasing, with 29% of U.S. households reporting at least one LED bulb installed.

Two new fact sheets from the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center

ISTC Case Study: Sustainability Certification Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP): GFX International
GFX Printing, located in Grayslake, IL, produces large format graphics printed on a variety of media. GFX earned initial SGP certification in 2010 and was re-certified in 2012 and 2014. Since attaining their certification, GFX has reduced waste to landfill by setting reduction goals and evaluating waste streams for further reduction and recycling. They also reduced emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC), hazardous air pollutants (HAP), and carbon dioxide. From 2008-2013, they reduced their landfill waste by 42%, hazardous waste by 32.7%, VOC emissions by 35%, and HAP emissions by 100%.

Save 50% Energy by Replacing Linear Fluorescent Lamps with LED Lamps
Lighting is a crucial component of the manufacturing process. It impacts worker productivity, product quality, and facility appearance. Lighting also comprises a significant portion of a facility’s energy costs and is frequently overlooked by maintenance and purchasing personnel. Old lamps are often replaces with new identical lamps without consideration being given to energy efficiency or cost. Today, LED (light emitting diode) technology is changing that practice. Burgeoning LED products offer a variety of energy-efficient alternatives for industrial applications. ISTC has identified a simple, quick-fix solution to a very common scenario of upgrading linear fluorescent lighting.

What Today’s Lighting Efficiency Proposal Is And What It Isn’t

Read the full post at the EERE Blog.

Today, the Department of Energy (DOE) proposed an efficiency standard for General Service Lamps, better known as light bulbs. These issues are complicated, and there has been confusion about DOE’s work to ensure Americans have affordable and efficient lighting technology, so it’s worth understanding exactly what is happening today and how we got here.

GE To Phase Out CFL Bulbs In Favor Of LED

Read the full story in Consumerist.

Both retailers and consumers are increasingly choosing higher-efficiency LED lights over incandescent and compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs, and General Electric is responding, announcing plans to end CFL production in favor of providing more LED options.

GE announced Monday that it would phase out the sale of CFL bulbs in the US over the next year.

The company plans to work with retail partners, like Walmart and Sam’s Club, to manage its shift to LED.

A Brilliant MIT Invention Makes Incandescent Bulbs As Efficient As LEDs

Read the full story in Fast Company.

An energy-saving light bulb containing LEDs uses up to 80% less energy and lasts up to 25 times as long as a traditional incandescent bulb. There’s just one problem: many people think that the quality of light coming from an LED bulb feels less natural. A new innovation from MIT might help consumers get the best of both worlds, bringing the incandescent bulb closer in line with the energy efficiency of LED lights while maintaining its homey glow…

You can read MIT’s paper on their new approach to incandescent bulbs here.

California To Go All-In on LEDs

Read the full story at FutureStructure.

The Sacramento-based California Energy Commission is pondering energy-efficient lighting standards that, if approved, would establish LED bulbs as a statewide staple and consign some forms of track lighting to history’s discard pile.

[Naperville] Council OKs switch to LED lights citywide

Read the full story in the Chicago Tribune.

Naperville is keeping the lights on, and spending less to do so.

A final $1 million outlay approved last week to convert the city’s conventional high pressure sodium streetlights to more energy-efficient light emitting diode fixtures will save money and wrap the project up ahead of schedule, staff said.