4-pin CFL Bulbs

When choosing lighting, LEDs are preferable since they do not contain toxic mercury, are more energy efficient and longer lasting. Can't avoid fluorescents? Try the products below, which have lower levels of toxic mercury than other fluorescents.

Type

Consumer, Industrial

Info on this product category: Compact Fluorescent (CFL) Bulbs

Why Go Green

Manufacturers are not required to indicate how much toxic mercury is in fluorescent lamps. So in 2008, SF Environment created the nation's first list of fluorescents with the least amount of toxic mercury. Using energy-efficient lighting also reduces demand for coal-burning power plants, which are the largest man-made source of mercury emissions to the air in the U.S.

Why Mercury Is Toxic

When fluorescents break, they release toxic mercury vapors. Short-term acute exposure can cause pneumonia-like symptoms, tremors; muscle atrophy, headaches; decrease of cognitive function. Higher exposures can lead to respiratory failure and death. (Read more).

Mercury released in the air gets into water and fish. When pregnant women eat fish that have mercury, it can lead to a loss of IQ in their children.  

Criteria for Compact Fluorescent (CFL) Bulbs

Green products must meet or exceed all of the following requirements:

4-pin compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs 

  1. 12,000 hour minimum rated life
  2. 1 year warranty
  3. Minimum color rendering index (CRI) = 82
  4. 5 mg of mercury or less

Self-ballasted CFLs (<50W), bare spiral (twist)

  1. Meets Energy Star CFL v. 4.0 
  2. 10,000 hour minimum rated life
  3. 1 year warranty
  4. 3.5 mg of mercury or less

Self-ballasted CFLs (<50W), other shapes (reflectors, A-shaped, globes, bullets, candles, etc.)

  1. Meets Energy Star CFL v. 4.0 
  2. 8,000 hour minimum rated life
  3. 1 year warranty
  4. 3.5 mg of mercury or less

Self-ballasted (≥50W) bare spiral (twist)

  1. Meets Energy Star CFL v. 4.0 
  2. 10,000 hour minimum rated life
  3. 1 year warranty
  4. 5 mg of mercury or less

Self-ballasted (≥50W), other shapes (reflectors, A-shaped, globes, etc.)

  1. Meets Energy Star CFL v. 4.0 
  2. 8,000 hour minimum rated life
  3. 1 year warranty
  4. 5 mg of mercury or less

Self-Ballasted Cold cathode CFLs, low-wattage (<10 watts)

  1. 18,000 hour minimum rated life
  2. 2 year warranty
  3. Minimum CRI = 80
  4. 3.5 mg of mercury or less

Self-ballasted cold cathode CFLs, high wattage (>10 watts)

  1. 15,000 hour minimum rated life
  2. 2 year warranty
  3. Minimum CRI = 80
  4. 3.5 mg of mercury or less

 

For exceptional situations, "Limited Use" products may be purchased that meet or exceed the following requirements:

2-pin CFLs

  1. 10,000 hour minimum rated life
  2. 1 year minimum warranty
  3. Minimum CRI = 80

 

Last updated

Last updated: 
February 12, 2014

Guide for City Staff

Need help switching to lighting that's Required above? 

  • Get funding for retrofits with the SF Public Utilities Commission: 415-554-2424, TOSullivan@sfwater.org.
  • Contact Steven Mesh, LC, IESNA, Pacific Energy Center, 415-972-5238, sdmn@pge.com.

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.

Citywide Contract

Special Purchasing Instructions

See discounted prices in the most recent Lamps and Ballasts Contract Award.

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.

Write a Review

Log in or register to post reviews