While new efficiency requirements for incandescent bulbs have gotten much of the recent attention, there are also requirements in place that will lead to the phasing-out of most older T-12 fluorescent tubes (and associated magnetic ballasts for these lamps), as well. Production of magnetic ballasts was to end as of July 1, 2012, and production of lamps using these older ballasts and the T-12 tubes was to end as of July 14.
To replace the older tubes, two styles of newer fluorescent bulbs, T-8 and T-5, are available (and have been around for many years). These are thinner (1" diameter for the T-8 and 5/8" for the T-5) and more energy efficient than the older T-12s. The newer bulbs are not compatible with older lamps, so owners of older fixtures will need to replace their lamps or install retrofit kits.
In addition to the energy savings, switching from T-12 to T-5 fluorescents also drastically reduces the amount of mercury in circulation. A T-5 fluorescent tube contains "3 milligrams of mercury compared to T12, older technology fluorescent tubes with 27-30 milligrams of mercury. That's 89% less mercury."
written by Edwin, August 24, 2012
written by MalikTous, October 15, 2012
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