US Ban on Fluorescent Ballasts
U.S. to Ban the Manufacture and Import of Many Fluorescent Ballasts in Late 2014
Effective November 14, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy will ban the manufacture and importation of certain fluorescent ballasts that do not meet the minimum BLE (ballast luminous efficiency) level as described in the DOE 10 CFR 430 rule making – See The ENERGY POLICY AND CONSERVATION ACT – Public Law 94–163, As Amended Through P.L. 113–67, Enacted December 26, 2013.
This rule making will impact many electromagnetic fluorescent T12 and T8 that operate four-foot and eight foot rapid start, instant start, high output and sign ballasts, as these do not meet the new efficiency requirements and cannot be made to do so. Ballasts manufactured prior to November 14th and are in the U.S. can still be sold after that date, however, once they are gone they can not longer be imported.
For Instance, the 4’ and 8’ T12 and High Output fluorescent tube has been a staple in forward facing signs for decades. As these products become unavailable for purchase, LED 4’ and 8’ tubes provide a great solution.
For backlit channel letters, LED RGB modules provide color changing and back lighting solutions which will outlast and outperform fluorescent and neon. In fact, sign companies have been one of the earliest adopters in making the switch to LED and many no longer use the outdated technology.
LEDs are increasingly dominating illuminated signage and are becoming the new standard. The advantages are evident. In comparison with traditional lighting solutions such as neon or fluorescent lamps, LEDs have longer lifespans, which results in less maintenance. Their sustainability can result in significant energy cost savings. In addition colored RGB LEDs can also be used in order to enhance the perception of sign backlighting.
For people still unsure if LED lighting is here to stay, as the saying goes ‘the proof is in the pudding’ or perhaps it is now in the sign.