Energy Efficient Lighting:T-12 Fluorescent Bulbs Go Bye, Bye In July!

Posted by Jimmy Hovey on Wed, Jan 04, 2012 @ 16:01 PM

You Will Have To Replace Your T-12's At Some Point....The Question Is...When?

T-12 Being Phased Out



Replacement ballasts for T-12 Fixtures are no longer being manufactured.  This is part of a long term phaseout which began in 2005. Manufacturers stopped producing the ballasts after July 2010.  As long as your ballast doesn't burn out, you will have nothing to worry about.


T-12 lamps will no longer be manufactured after July 2012.  That doesn't mean you need to go out and stock up right away, but you may want to begin now if you are set on keeping your T-12's. 

Basic economics says that price goes up when supply goes down.  You will surely see the cost on the remaining supply of T-12 bulbs go up after July 2012.

Perfect Opportunity To Upgrade Your T-12 Fluorescent Lights

At some point you will have to consider replacing your T-12 fixtures.  It may be this year or next or 5 years down the road.  Before you decide, you should consider the operating cost of what you currently have. 

Depending on the type of fixture, you could save 50% or more on your lighting costs. Once you see the numbers, you might be further inclined to replace your old fixtures now.

Let's take a look at the most common T-12 fixtures:

Types Of T-12 HO And Wattage For Each

  • T12-Standard - 158 Watts

  • T12-High Output (HO) - 237 Watts

  • T12-Very High Output (VHO)- 450 Watts (Yikes!)

As you can see, there is a wide range of options when it comes to T12 fixtures.  Knowing which one you are replacing is very important to insure you are working with the right numbers for your calculations. One option you have is to look to your replacement bulbs to see what types of bulbs you are buying. 

Be Sure To Correctly Identify Your T-12 Fixture

Looking at the bulbs is not always a surefire way to determine the right type of fixture.  If you don't know what you are looking for, it can be difficult to determine the type of fixture because all the T-12's look the same. I wrote an article about How To Calculate Total Fixture Wattage For Fluorescent Lighting for more specific information on calculating your savings from energy efficiency upgrades.

Being exact is important because most incentive programs and the Energy Policy Act of 2005 depend on kilowatt reduction. You want to get as much cash as possible from your utility ( I am sure they get enough from you already...) and get the maximum tax deduction.  Still not sure what you have?

New Fluorescent Technology Can Knock Your Kilowatts By 25-50%

Once you identify your correct fixture wattage, you can look at new options.  You could choose to retrofit, replace the fixture completely or even reduce the total amount of fixtures you have in your facility.  Saving watts will save you money ( See our article, Learn How Watts Can Improve Energy Efficiency; "Watt's" a Watt? )

Send Us A Picture Of Your Fixture; We Will Help You Determine What You Have

This day in age, you can communicate so easily so snap a couple of digital pictures and send them off to us.  If you take a couple of pictures of your fixture and send them to us, we can help you identify what you have. 

There is no obligation on your part to buy anything from us. You can contact us at or for those socially connected folks, post it on Twitter or Facebook.

Want To Learn More About Energy Efficient Lighting?

We put together a Free E-book to help business owners understand energy efficiency and how to analyze energy efficient options.  Download a Free copy by clicking below. 

Topics: T-12, T12 HO, energy efficient lighting, fluorescent lighting