Currently, the National Lighting Bureau (NLB) states there are approximately 500 million T12 fluorescent tube lamps installed in US buildings, and in use every day. This type of bulb is used mostly in commercial and industrial settings such as office buildings, schools, and warehouses. The regulations set by the US Department of Energy call for these lights to be eliminated starting in July of 2012, encouraging the replacement of the T12 with the newer, more energy efficient T5. Instead of throwing out T12 lamps, install a T5 retrofit to existing T12 bulbs, reducing energy consumption and energy costs.
The common T12 fluorescent tube lamps waste 50% of input energy, and also add to environmental heat, as these bulbs emit heat along with light. The retrofitting of 500 million T12 tube lamps with the T5 retrofit kit will save as much as 80% of air conditioned and lighting energy. It not only lowers energy use as much as 80%, but carbon footprint as well, lowering this figure by 60%.
Some hesitation in replacing these lamps comes from the labor involved with installing a completely new lamp. A T5 retrofit kit installs with just one snap to the T12, converting it into an energy saving lamp. There is no need to rewire or change the ballast. Another (and possibly greater) source of hesitation in terms of replacing T12 lamps is the cost of acquiring new lamps and having them installed. The cost of a T5 retrofit is approximately 32 dollars, and the retrofitting of 500 million lamps will save the US over $10 billion in electricity costs.
The T5 retrofit kit is a safe alternative to installing a new light. It has been tested and has received the Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) stamp of approval. This approval shows that it complies with safety standards set throughout the country, as Underwriters Laboratories Inc. is a trusted certification organization, granting this approval only to products that exhibit high-quality, safety, and professional building.