Fluorescent Fixtures

Industrial Consumer





Info on this product category: Fluorescent Fixtures

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 Fluorescent Fixtures

All luminaires and fixtures must meet all applicable UL and ANSI safety standards, including UL 1598.

All luminaires or fixtures that contain fluorescent lamps must have lamps with a Color Rendering Index (CRI) of 80 or higher.

Outdoor luminaires or fixtures must be fully shielded to ensure that they do not contribute to light pollution.

Luminaires that contain ballasts designed to power 32-watt 4-foot T8s must include only ballasts that are on the NEMA Premium Efficiency ballasts list.

Last updated

Last updated: 
December 29, 2017

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.

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.