AB 2208, a significant bill by Assembly member Kalra and Senator Becker that establishes phase-out dates for compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and linear fluorescent lamps (LFLs) beginning in 2024, was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on Sunday.
Advocates for the environment, public health, worker safety, and clean air celebrate the decision to shield Californians and the globe from the perils of mercury-containing lights.
Light emitting diodes (LEDs) have increased in availability, cost-effectiveness, and lighting efficiency during the past ten years. This new rule would reduce California's lighting energy costs in half and shield the state from rolling blackouts brought on by electricity shortages since LED retrofit lamps produce the same amount of illumination as fluorescents while consuming half as much electricity.
Following Vermont's decision to phase out CFLs in 2023 and 4-foot LFLs in 2024, California has become the second state to adopt a ban on fluorescent lighting. However, California went a step farther by phasing out lighting up to 8 feet in height.
Governments from all around the world are beginning to acknowledge LEDs as the best lighting technology available right now. By September 2023, the European Union will have outlawed the sale of nearly all fluorescent lights containing mercury. In March 2022, 137 nations ratified the Minamata Convention on Mercury, which calls for the phase-out of CFLs by 2025.
The new California regulation indicates that the US is prepared to make the transition to a clean lighting economy because it affects one of the largest lighting markets in the nation. The US is in a good position to lead international negotiations.
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