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Lights Out on the T12: How to Make the Switch

September 06, 2017 Joe Plummer

If we were a diner, T12s would be 86’d off the menu. But in our industry, it’s not as quick as a chalkboard erase or menu reprint. Our program teams need to get out there – they need to provide education and outreach to serve up savings and bring better efficiency to the table, business by business. The U.S. federal government has regulations putting an end to T12 fluorescent lighting – but they only apply to the import or manufacture of it.  

Regulation isn’t a stop button. There are many businesses across counties and cities operating without that knowledge or understanding of how much lighting efficiency can help them. It’s not something top of mind when you’re managing staff, budgets, local regulation, tax compliance, and services or products. Even more, T12s have been around since the 1930s; so, while they are outdated, they’re what many individuals are accustomed to using.  

But it’s a cost for companies not to make the switch. A typical 4-foot T12 lightbulb is 40W and will cost an average of $15 per year to operate. This could be replaced with a 15W LED tube, which would cost only $5.60 per year to operate and last 2.5 times longer. The actual cost to a business depends on the number of T12s they have and how many hours they use them, of course – but the bottom line is more Watts equals more dollars.