Understand U.S. Laws that Ban Fluorescent Bulbs to Build a Greener Future

Understand U.S. Laws that Ban Fluorescent Bulbs to Build a Greener Future

Across the U.S., consumers, retailers, and facilities professionals are adjusting to legislative changes that ban fluorescent light bulbs in favor of energy-efficient alternatives. As businesses and organizations look for alternative lighting solutions to comply with new regulations, the spotlight shines on LED lighting technology as the primary replacement option. However, transitioning facilities to LEDs can’t happen overnight — especially for large organizations with robust facilities.

This state-by-state overview will help you get ahead of the legislative changes by understanding how the laws affect your business depending on the state (or states) in which you operate. 


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Federal Impact of Lighting Efficiency Regulations

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) enacted legislation in May 2022. The legislation came into full effect in August 2023, and these changes impact the types of lighting products available in the market. Facilities management and operations professionals should understand these new efficiency standards when purchasing lighting products. By switching to energy-efficient lighting products, businesses can contribute to a more sustainable future and save on energy costs in the long run. Therefore, companies must stay informed about these changes and take necessary steps to comply with the new regulations.


Reduction in Incandescent and Halogen Product Accessibility

While some of the regulations ban certain types of lighting products altogether, other regulations were created to prevent the production of inefficient lighting products. The federal regulations have led to a noticeable reduction in the availability of incandescent and halogen products on store shelves as these products generally cannot meet the new efficiency standards. 

The shift to more energy-efficient lighting is essential to reduce electrical consumption and associated costs while also decreasing environmental impact.


Key Federal Lighting Regulations

  • New Definitions: The DOE has expanded the definitions of general service lamps (GSLs) to include general service incandescent lamps (GSILs), light-emitting diode (LEDs), and compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) lamps. This broader definition encompasses a wide range of lighting products under federal efficiency guidelines.
  • Efficiency Requirements: A crucial aspect of the new rules is that GSLs and GSILs achieve a minimum efficiency of 45 lumens per watt (lpw). This standard is designed to phase out less efficient incandescent and halogen bulbs, which primarily produce heat rather than light and fail to meet this threshold. Most CFL and LED lamps already exceed this efficiency standard and are unaffected by this change.


State-Level Impact of Lighting Efficiency Regulations

The impact of these legislative actions extends beyond mere compliance and presents challenges and opportunities for organizations across the country. With an increasing number of states enacting bans on fluorescent lighting to meet sustainability goals, the landscape is evolving rapidly. Many states have outlawed fluorescent bulbs with more expected to follow suit. The laws pose both logistical and strategic considerations for businesses and organizations that rely on traditional lighting solutions.


Impact of Lighting Legislation on National Organizations

For national organizations with facilities spanning multiple states, navigating this complex regulatory environment presents a unique set of challenges. Regional facility directors and sustainability leaders find themselves grappling with varying timelines for the phase-out of fluorescent bulbs, requiring careful coordination and planning to ensure compliance and operational continuity.

Complying with these regulations and how they affect organizations that operate in multiple states can be complex and time-consuming. That’s why partnering with companies like Earth Savers is a great opportunity. They can help your business comply with these regulations and contribute to a greener future.


Staying Ahead of State Lighting Legislation 

As a business manager, it’s crucial to keep up with the latest regulations and standards in your industry. Many states have introduced additional restrictions on lighting products beyond federal regulations. They mainly focus on fluorescent lamps due to their harmful impact on health and the environment. State-specific regulations surpass federal standards to promote the adoption of safer and more sustainable lighting solutions.

To achieve environmental sustainability and reduce energy consumption, several US states have taken significant steps to ban fluorescent bulbs. This move minimizes ecological hazards like mercury pollution while encouraging the adoption of more efficient lighting technologies like LED. 


Explore Fluorescent Bans and Lighting Legislation by State


  • California 
  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • Oregon  
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • Washington DC


California Fluorescent Bulb Ban/Law

California has set a benchmark in environmental legislation with its comprehensive approach to phasing out fluorescent lighting. By 2025, all major forms of fluorescent bulbs will be discontinued, reflecting the state’s commitment to reducing energy use and environmental impact. The transition is supported by significant potential savings and improvements in public health and environmental quality. 

The state has introduced new regulations for CFLs and linear fluorescents. As per the new law, both products will be discontinued. The governor has signed a bill that mandates the phasing out of screw-based (e.g. E26, etc.) or bayonet-based (e.g. GU24, etc.) CFLs by 2024. Moreover, the law will also lead to the discontinuation of pin-based CFLs and linear fluorescent lamps by 2025. The state claims that this step will result in energy savings of $1 billion per year.

 If you want to know more about these regulations, you can check out the details mentioned in CA Bill AB 2208.

Source: California Legislative Information


Colorado Fluorescent Bulb Ban/Law

Colorado’s legislation, effective in 2025, targets CFLs and linear fluorescent bulbs, with an early focus on high-CRI fluorescents since 2021. This initiative aligns with the state’s environmental goals to minimize mercury waste and improve energy efficiency across various sectors.

Source: Colorado General Assembly


Hawaii Fluorescent Bulb Ban/Law

Starting on January 1, 2021, Hawaii prohibited the sale of high-CRI fluorescents with a CRI greater than 87. Furthermore, starting in 2025, selling and using all compact and linear fluorescent lamps will also be banned in Hawaii. This initiative is part of Hawaii’s comprehensive approach to addressing environmental concerns related to mercury and encouraging energy-efficient alternatives.

Source: Hawaii State Legislature


Maine Fluorescent Bulb Ban/Law

Maine has passed a law restricting certain types of lamps beyond federal regulations. The bill was initially signed into law by Maine’s governor on July 8, 2021. By January 1, 2026, fluorescent lights will be phased out in Maine, and businesses will be encouraged to adopt more environmentally-friendly technologies. This initiative is part of Maine’s larger environmental goals to reduce energy consumption and hazardous waste.

Source: Maine Legislature


Maryland Fluorescent Bulb Ban/Law

Maryland lawmakers are discussing a proposed legislation that aims to phase out high-CRI fluorescents by 2024 and other types by 2025. The purpose of this move is to comply with federal energy standards and to contribute to a cleaner environment. In addition, the state is also considering allowing the sale or distribution of screw-based (e.g., E26, etc.) or bayonet-based (e.g., GU24, etc.) compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). However, if the bill passes, it will prohibit the sale and distribution of pin-based CFLs and linear fluorescent lamps starting January 1, 2025.

Source: Maryland General Assembly


Massachusetts’s Fluorescent Bulb Ban/Law

In Massachusetts, the focus has been on eliminating high-CRI fluorescent lamps. The state is taking active steps to encourage the switch to LED technologies, which offer greater energy savings and lower environmental impact.

Source: Massachusetts Legislature


Nevada’s Fluorescent Bulb Ban/Law

Nevada is among the states that have decided to ban high-CRI linear fluorescent lamps by 2024. This move aims to reduce the environmental and health effects of these lighting products. In line with California’s regulations, Nevada also imposed requirements for GSLs before the new federal ruling. With the state and federal requirements aligned, the goal is to achieve a safer and healthier environment for everyone.

Source: Nevada Legislature


New Jersey’s Fluorescent Bulb Ban/Law

New Jersey has taken significant steps to enhance its environmental policies by implementing stringent regulations on fluorescent lighting. The state has targeted high CRI (Color Rendering Index) fluorescent lamps, which are known for their higher quality light but are less energy-efficient and contain harmful substances like mercury. These high-CRI lamps are no longer for sale as of January 18, 2023, reflecting New Jersey’s proactive approach to reducing environmental impact and promoting energy conservation.

Source: State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection


Oregon Fluorescent Bulb Ban/Law

Oregon has banned high-CRI fluorescent lamps manufactured after January 1, 2023. With the introduction of House Bill 2531, Oregon has set clear timelines for the phasing out of CFLs by 2024 and linear fluorescents by 2025, demonstrating the state’s commitment to adopting progressive environmental policies. Additionally, the sale or distribution of compact fluorescent lamps with a screw-base (e.g., E26, etc.) or bayonet-base ( e.g., GU24, etc.) type will be prohibited starting January 1, 2024.

Source: Oregon Legislative Information


Rhode Island Fluorescent Bulb Ban/Law

Rhode Island has passed a new law to phase out the sale of fluorescent lamps. Starting from January 1, 2024, the sale of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) will be eliminated. On January 1, 2025, the sale of pin-based and linear fluorescent lights will also be illegal. Rhode Island will completely phase out all fluorescent lamps from January 1, 2025. This initiative aligns with the state’s environmental objectives to reduce mercury pollution and promote energy efficiency.

Source: Rhode Island Legislature


Vermont Fluorescent Bulb Ban/Law

Starting in 2023, Vermont will enforce restrictions on high-CRI lighting products and mercury-containing lamps. As an advocate for environmental responsibility, Vermont has already banned high-CRI linear fluorescents since 2020. Moreover, the state will implement a comprehensive ban on other fluorescents starting in 2024. These regulations highlight Vermont’s enduring commitment to safeguarding the environment. Additionally, Vermont has also prohibited the sale of screw-base compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) since February 17, 2023. From January 1, 2024, no other compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or four-foot linear fluorescent lamps can be sold in the state.

Source: Vermont Legislature


Washington Fluorescent Bulb Ban/Law

Washington State has banned high-CRI linear fluorescent lamps with a CRI of 87 or greater, effective 2023, to reduce energy consumption and promote environmental sustainability.

Source: Washington State Legislature


Washington D.C. Fluorescent Bulb Ban/Law

Washington D.C.’s laws, effective since March 2022, focus on high-CRI linear fluorescents, part of a broader strategy to improve energy efficiency and reduce environmental impact.

Source: D.C. Laws


Choosing LED Technology and Smart Lighting Solutions for Commercial Excellence

The technology behind LED lighting and controls has undergone significant advancements in recent years. Now, it’s more possible than ever to integrate intelligent features that improve energy efficiency and functionality. These advancements offer lighting solutions for commercial settings that can contribute to happier, healthier public spaces while ensuring compliance with state and federal regulations and reducing operational costs.

Advancements in the lighting industry include:

  • Adaptive lighting systems that adjust brightness in response to natural light
  • Motion sensors for energy-saving automatic turn-off
  • Customizable light spectrums that can improve workplace mood and productivity

Furthermore, LED fixtures now often come with IoT connectivity. That allows for remote control and monitoring of energy usage and offers commercial spaces significant operational efficiencies and cost reductions that extend beyond the capabilities of traditional lighting systems.


Partnership Perks with Earth Savers

As you navigate the transition to energy-efficient lighting solutions, partnering with industry experts can help your organization to avoid unnecessary costs and post-project dread. Upgrading to LED lighting can be a long and stressful process for large organizations or facilities managers who wear many hats. But, there is another way.

Partnering with an industry leader will ensure the upgrade to LED lighting systems is smooth and efficient for your business or organization.Here are a few of the perks Earth Savers brings to lighting upgrade projects:

  • Comprehensive Expertise: Earth Savers has been dedicated to lighting excellence for more than 30 years, focusing on commercial and industrial settings. Our history of successfully navigating complex lighting challenges ensures a wealth of experience in regulatory compliance and environmental stewardship. Over 5,000 businesses and hospitals trust Earth Savers and provide a full-service solution for lighting needs, from design and installation to maintenance and upgrades. Our proven track record of success in the industry has earned us a reputation for being a reliable and trusted partner to our clients.
  • Quality and Safety: We train in-house crews for superior workmanship and safety adherence while emphasizing the highest standards.
  • Environmental and Financial Savvy: Beyond meeting compliance requirements, our’ solutions aim to reduce energy use by 30% to 75%. This helps to improve your company’s environmental standing and generate financial benefits through rebates and tax incentives.


Embrace Energy Efficiency: Partner with Earth Savers for LED Lighting Solutions

In conclusion, as legislative changes across the U.S. enforce bans on fluorescent light bulbs and regulations affecting other lighting products, businesses must adapt to energy-efficient alternatives like LED lighting. Understanding the state-specific regulations is crucial for compliance, especially for organizations operating across multiple states. 

Forging strategic partnerships with specialized firms like Earth Savers while upgrading to LED systems ensures compliance and contributes to a more sustainable future. You’ll address the immediate need to follow the law and support broader environmental objectives while demonstrating a solid commitment to sustainability and corporate social responsibility. 

Contact Earth Savers today to navigate the transition smoothly and embrace sustainable lighting solutions. Together, let’s illuminate a brighter, more energy-efficient tomorrow.

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