Global Policy Overview

Research from the Clean Lighting Coalition and partners demonstrates that – in more than 35 countries around the world – it is time to make the switch to mercury-free LED lighting.  

Read our global report to learn more. 

Many economies are already taking significant steps towards a clean lighting transition by banning the sale of fluorescents, implementing stringent lighting efficiency policies, and bolstering the availability of LED alternatives.

North America

California: The U.S. state of California adopted AB 2208, a law that bans the sale of all LFLs and all non-integrally ballasted CFLs starting 1 January 2025. This law was influenced by research that supported a fluorescent lamp phase-out due to their mercury content. AB 2208 establishes a sales ban on all CFL.i starting on 1 January 2024. The California law is actively being referenced by other states.

Vermont: The U.S. state of Vermont adopted two laws which address some of the same products covered in the California legislation. The clause 10 V.S.A. §7152(A)(6) phases out all screw-based CFLs, effective 17 February 2023. Vermont also adopted H.500 which bans all four-foot LFLs (all diameters) effective 1 January 2024.

Rhode Island: The U.S. state of Rhode Island drafted a bill modelled after the California bill to phase out all CFLs and LFLs. This draft bill was introduced into the state legislature in March 2022. It did not complete the legislative process before the end of that term, but they are considering introducing it again in early 2023.

USA National:  The U.S. Department of Energy proposed a new regulation that would establish efficacy requirements for general service lamps at 120 lumens per watt. If adopted, this regulation would completely eliminate compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) from the US market because the efficacy level is too high for fluorescent technology.

Canada: Canada recently published a draft proposal in the Canada Gazette Part 1 (Proposed Regulation Amending the Products Containing Mercury Regulations, 2022-12-24 Canada Gazette Part 1, Vol. 156, No. 52) to phase-out of all fluorescent lamps containing mercury (CFLs and LFLs). The policy measure proposes to phase-out integrally ballasted CFLs are on 31 December 2023; pin-based CFLs on 31 December 2026; all T5 linear fluorescent lamps on 31 December 2026; all 4-foot or less T8 linear fluorescent lamps on 31 December 2026; all 4-foot or less and 8-foot T12 on 31 December 2026 and all non-linear fluorescent lamps including circular and square shaped on 31 December 2026.

Europe

European Union (EU-27): In December 2019, the EU adopted EU No. 2019/2020 which covers all lamps and luminaires placed on the market. On 1 September 2021, the first requirements of that regulation took effect, phasing out CFL.i and T12 LFLs. The second phase, which will take effect on 1 September 2023, will phase out T8 Fluorescent lamps of 600 mm, 1000 mm & 1500 mm length.

In December 2021, the European Commission made a decision under the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive to ban the sales of nearly all LFLs and CFLs in 2023. Under this regulation, only T9 circular and certain U-bend fluorescent lamps received an extension.

European Economic Area (EEA): Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway, while not part of the European single market, are members of the European Economic Area and as such are required to conform to European regulations to maintain favourable trade status. These countries have therefore harmonised with EU No. 2019/2020 and the 2021 Amendments to the RoHS Directive (example: Norway RoHS regulation).

United Kingdom (UK): The UK recently left the European Union, but not before it adopted EU No. 2019/2020 – (UK S.I. 2021 No. 1095). Thus, CFL.i and T12 LFLs were phased out in the UK in 2021 and certain T8 LFLs will be phased out in 2023. The UK also proposed to adopt more ambitious lighting regulations (BEIS Policy Paper, November 2021), setting efficacy levels that would phase out all fluorescent lighting (120 lumens/Watt). In addition to this policy development, the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is currently considering harmonising with the European Commission’s amendments to the RoHS Directive.

Africa

Southern Africa Development Community (SADC): In June 2021, the sixteen (16) countries[1] of SADC adopted regionally harmonised quality and performance standard SADCSTAN HT-109. This standard sets a technology-neutral efficacy requirement that phases out fluorescent lamps and transitions to LEDs.

East African Community (EAC): In July 2022, the seven (7) countries[2] adopted a regionally harmonised quality and performance standard, EAS 1064-1:2022. The standard covers energy efficiency and functional performance requirements, sampling, and test methods for general service and tubular lamps. The requirements of the East African standard are aligned with the Southern African standard and will phase out fluorescent lamps in favour of LEDs.

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[1] The sixteen countries of the Southern African Development Community: Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, United Republic Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

[2] The seven countries of East African Community: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda.

Greater Middle East

Sudan – Sudan developed an energy efficiency strategy that includes adopting UNEP United for Efficiency (U4E) lighting regulations that phase out CFLs in 2024 and LFLs in 2025. See page 96 of Sudan’s Energy Efficiency Strategy (February 2022).

Tunisia – The National Agency for Energy Management of Tunisia is drafting lighting MEPS that will phase out all fluorescent lighting technologies by setting efficacy levels that only LED technology can achieve. See the UNEP press release on the 2022 workshop where the government and stakeholders met to agree the way forward.

Asia-Pacific

India – At the Minamata Convention COP4, India supported the phase-out of compact fluorescent lamps by 2025 and linear fluorescent lamps by 2027 to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. In 2021, India’s lighting industry association, ELCOMA published Vision 2024 which sets out a roadmap for India to be fully vertically integrated in LED product manufacturing by 2024 and establish itself as the second largest global exporter of LED lighting products and components.

Pakistan – The National Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority developed the country’s first ever LED MEPS and labelling regulations with the new policy specifically “aimed to enhance the best quality LED products, for a rapid phase-out of CFL lamps and incandescent bulbs.”

Latin America and the Caribbean

Chile – the Ministry of Energy published a resolution in 2020 that will phase out CFLs by 2024 by setting mandatory efficacy requirements at a level only LED technology can achieve. In the resolution, the Ministry recognised that “a general change is required in conventional technologies from incandescent, halogen and fluorescent lighting to light-emitting diodes (LEDs).”

Dominican Republic – the Deputy Minister of Energy called for greater use of energy-efficient lighting and highlighted the problem of mercury toxicity from fluorescent tubes. News item is published here.

International Bodies

United for Efficiency (U4E) from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) – The U4E programme published “model regulations” in early 2021 which call for the total phase-out of fluorescent lamps between the years 2023 and 2025. These regulations – also called mandatory energy performance standards – recommend that all compact fluorescent lamps are phased out in 2023[1] and that all linear fluorescent lamps are phased out by 2025. [2] And, it is important to note that both U4E documents contain an explicit functional performance requirements stating that the light bulb and the luminaire shall not contain any mercury, 0.0 mg.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) – The IEA is operating at a global level, looking at the energy sector and providing guidance to governments. In two recent reports that include discussion on lighting measures, the IEA recommended that the world shift to a total LED lighting market – i.e., all new installations of lighting should be LED – in 2025. These two reports can be found here:

IEA Report: Net Zero Emissions by 2050. This IEA report identifies more than 100 actions that governments should consider implementing in order to achieve a target of net zero climate emissions by 2025. In the recommendation for lighting on page 146, the IEA declares: “The share of light‐emitting diode (LED) lamps in total lightbulb sales reaches 100% by 2025 in all regions.”[3]

IEA Report: Technology and innovation pathways for zero-carbon-ready buildings by 2030. This IEA report dedicates a whole chapter[4] to the opportunity and potential for lighting to contribute to the zero-carbon emissions for buildings by 2030. The chapter is called “Targeting 100% LED lighting sales by 2025”.

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[1] UNEP U4E Model Regulation on General Service Lamps (including CFLs):  Link

[2] UNEP U4E Model Regulation on Linear Fluorescent Lamps (including LFLs): Link

[3] IEA Net Zero Emissions by 2050 report:  Link

[4] IEA Technology and Innovation Pathways report: Link