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The last of a multi-step technology phase out is just a few months away. As of July 1, 2010, the U.S. Department of Energy ballast efficiency regulations will prohibit ballast manufacturers from making and selling T12 magnetic ballasts for use in new fixtures with full-wattage T12 lamps in commercial and industrial applications. And according to the National Lighting Bureau, that’s a good thing—T12 technology is outdated, especially compared to more efficient T5 and T8 fluorescent technologies.

The July 1 phase out date also affects replacement ballasts: fixture manufacturers will no longer be able to sell fixtures that include ballasts that do not pass the new requirements, and ballast manufacturers won’t be able to manufacture replacement ballasts that don’t meet the new requirements. However, until July 1, manufacturers will continue to make and sell replacement ballasts that have output leads shorter than the length of the lamp they operate, may be shipped in packages limited to 10 units or less, and will be marked “for replacement only.”

The phase out is actually good news for facility owners and managers who can choose from several upgrade alternatives:

  • Replacing existing magnetic ballasts with electronic ballasts
  • Modifying fixtures to accept T8 lamps and electronic ballasts
  • Replacing the entire existing fixtures and relying on modern T8 or T5 fixtures with electronic ballasts

More good news for facility owners and managers is that energy-efficient lighting upgrades can provide energy savings of up to 48 percent, a two- to three-year ROI, reduced maintenance costs, and a start on a path to a more sustainable lighting future. Some lighting upgrades qualify for federal and state tax incentives as well.

Read more details on the history of the T12 phase out and the upcoming final phase here.

Contact Monterey Lighting today to learn how to take advantage of rebate funding to replace your old T12 lighting. Send an e-mail, or call 909.397.8000.