Fluorescent Tubes

Industrial Consumer

City staff are required to buy LEDs.  Compared to fluorescents, LEDs do not contain toxic mercury, are more energy efficient and longer lasting.  

Comply with the Guide for City staff below. 

Can't avoid fluorescents?  Try Limited Use fluorescents that meet criteria below.  They have lower levels of toxic mercury than other fluorescents.

Required

Suggested

Limited

Prohibited

Info on this product category: Fluorescent Tubes

Criteria for Fluorescent Tubes

Limited Use T8 fluorescent lamps (high-efficiency linear & U-bent): 

If LED replacements do not exist, suppliers may only sell products meeting specifications below.

Linear T8s, 48 inches:

  • Minimum rated life (hours): 24,000
  • Minimum warranty (years): 3
  • Minimum color rendering index (CRI): 80
  • Maximum mercury content (mg): 3.5

Linear T8s, <48 inches:

  • Minimum rated life (hours): 18,000
  • Minimum warranty (years): 2
  • Minimum color rendering index (CRI): 80
  • Maximum mercury content (mg): 3.5

Linear T8s, >48 inches and U-bent T8s:

  • Minimum rated life (hours): 18,000
  • Minimum warranty (years): 2
  • Minimum color rendering index (CRI): 80
  • Maximum mercury content (mg): TCLP-compliant** required

Limited Use T5 fluorescent lamps (high-efficiency linear): 

If LED replacements do not exist, suppliers may only sell products meeting specifications below.

Standard linear T5s:

  • Minimum rated life (hours): 24,000
  • Minimum warranty (years): 2
  • Minimum color rendering index (CRI): 85
  • Maximum mercury content (mg): 3.0

High-output linear T5s (T5H0s):

  • Minimum rated life (hours): 30,000
  • Minimum warranty (years): 2
  • Minimum color rendering index (CRI): 85
  • Maximum mercury content (mg): 3.0

Prohibited products are all other fluorescent lamps including:

  • All general service (not specialty) T12, T10 and T9 fluorescent lamps (including linear, u-bent and circular models);
  • Preheat T8s and T5 fluorescent lamps; and
  • Circular T5 fluorescent lamps.

*Minimum rated life is based on 3-hour/start cycle testing on an electronic instant start ballast

** TCLP-compliant lamps have reduced mercury content and often are labeled “ECO”.

Last updated

Last updated: 
December 2, 2019

Guide for City Staff

City staff should see the buy green guide for lamps (bulbs), ballasts, LED fixtures, and drivers, and recycling.

Need help switching to LEDs?  Get funding for retrofits with the SF Public Utilities Commission: 415-554-2424, DAYoung@sfwater.org.

Recycling Instructions

Hang posters where lighting is collected for recycling.

In City-owned buildings, pay for a pickup from your lighting vendor or SF Department of Public Health (SFDPH).

In privately-owned buildings, use companies serving the San Francisco Bay Area.

Guide for Small Businesses & Homes

  • Get a free on-site assessment for low-cost installation of energy-saving equipment. Contact SF Energy Watch, 415-355-3769. 
  • Recycle lighting with companies serving the San Francisco Bay Area or the rest of the U.S.

Guide for Large Organizations

  • Get a free on-site assessment for low-cost installation of energy-saving equipment. Contact SF Energy Watch, 415-355-3769.
  • Recycle lighting with companies serving the San Francisco Bay Area or the rest of the U.S.