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California To Phase Out Linear Fluorescent Lamps

Sept. 22, 2022
The bill sets phase out dates for compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and linear fluorescent lamps (LFLs) starting in 2024

As reported in a release from the Clean Lighting CoalitionCalifornia Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 2208 into law on September 18, 2022. AB 2208 is a bill by Assemblymember Kalra and Senator Becker that sets phase out dates for compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and linear fluorescent lamps (LFLs) starting in 2024. Climate, clean air, worker safety and public and environmental health advocates applaud the move to protect Californians and the planet from the dangers of mercury containing lamps.

“We are delighted to have legislative champions in Assemblymember Ash Kalra and Senator Josh Becker who were willing to take action to remove toxic mercury from lighting which unnecessarily exposes the public and waste workers to a potent neurotoxin,” said Heidi Sanborn, Executive Director of the National Stewardship Action Council (NSAC), sponsor of the bill.

In the release, the Clean Lighting Coalition said, "Over the last 10 years, light emitting diodes (LEDs) have become an increasingly available, cost-effective and much more efficient lighting solution. Because LED retrofit lamps produce the same illumination as fluorescents but use half as much electricity, this new law will cut California’s lighting energy bills in half and protect the state from rolling blackouts caused by electricity shortages."

A recent market study found that by 2030, California could save over $1 billion annually on electricity bills, achieve annual electricity savings of about 5,600 gigawatt hours and avoid the release of 950,000 metric tons of CO2 per year.

California is now the second state to pass a ban on fluorescent lamps, following Vermont’s vote to phase out CFLs in 2023 and 4-foot LFLs in 2024. California, however, went further by including lamps up to 8 feet in the phase-out.

Governments around the world are increasingly moving away from florescent lighting and toward LEDs. In December 2021, the European Union banned the sale of almost all mercury-containing fluorescent lamps by September 2023, and in March 2022, 137 governments voted to phase out CFLs by 2025 through the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

As one of the biggest lighting markets in the country, the new California law could signal that the US is ready to make the transition to a clean lighting economy.

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