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Title: Max Tech and Beyond: Fluorescent Lamps

Abstract

Fluorescent lamps are the most widely used artificial light source today, responsible for approximately 70% of the lumens delivered to our living spaces globally. The technology was originally commercialized in the 1930's, and manufacturers have been steadily improving the efficacy of these lamps over the years through modifications to the phosphors, cathodes, fill-gas, operating frequency, tube diameter and other design attributes. The most efficient commercially available fluorescent lamp is the 25 Watt T5 lamp. This lamp operates at 114-116 lumens per watt while also providing good color rendering and more than 20,000 hours of operating life. Industry experts interviewed indicated that while this lamp is the most efficient in the market today, there is still a further 10 to 14% of potential improvements that may be introduced to the market over the next 2 to 5 years. These improvements include further developments in phosphors, fill-gas, cathode coatings and ultraviolet (UV) reflective glass coatings. The commercialization of these technology improvements will combine to bring about efficacy improvements that will push the technology up to a maximum 125 to 130 lumens per watt. One critical issue raised by researchers that may present a barrier to the realization of these improvements is themore » fact that technology investment in fluorescent lamps is being reduced in order to prioritize research into light emitting diodes (LEDs) and ceramic metal halide high intensity discharge (HID) lamps. Thus, it is uncertain whether these potential efficacy improvements will be developed, patented and commercialized. The emphasis for premium efficacy will continue to focus on T5 lamps, which are expected to continue to be marketed along with the T8 lamp. Industry experts highlighted the fact that an advantage of the T5 lamp is the fact that it is 40% smaller and yet provides an equivalent lumen output to that of a T8 or T12 lamp. Due to its smaller form factor, the T5 lamp contains less material (i.e., glass, fill gas and phosphor), and has a higher luminance, enabling fixtures to take advantage of the smaller lamp size to improve the optics and provide more efficient overall system illuminance. In addition to offering the market a high-quality efficacious light source, another strong value proposition of fluorescent lighting is its long operating life. In today's market, one manufacturer is offering fluorescent lamps that have a rated life of 79,000 hours - which represents 18 years of service at 12 hours per day, 365 days per year. These lamps, operated using a long-life ballast specified by the manufacturer, take advantage of improvements in cathode coatings, fill gas chemistry and pressure to extend service life by a factor of four over conventional fluorescent lamps. It should be noted that this service life is also longer (approximately twice as long) as today's high-quality LED products. The fluorescent market is currently focused on the T5 and T8 lamp diameters, and it is not expected that other diameters would be introduced. Although T8 is a more optimal diameter from an efficacy perspective, the premium efficiency and optimization effort has been focused on T5 lamps because they are 40% smaller than T8, and are designed to operate at a higher temperature using high-frequency electronic ballasts. The T5 lamp offers savings in terms of materials, packaging and shipping, as well as smaller fixtures with improved optical performance. Manufacturers are actively researching improvements in four critical areas that are expected to yield additional efficacy improvements of approximately 10 to 14 percent over the next five years, ultimately achieving approximately 130 lumens per watt by 2015. The active areas of research where these improvements are anticipated include: (1) Improved phosphors which continue to be developed and patented, enabling higher efficacies as well as better color rendering and lumen maintenance; (2) Enhanced fill gas - adjusting proportions of argon, krypton, neon and xenon to optimize performance, while also minimizing the mercury dose; (3) Improved cathode coatings to enhance electron emissivity and extend lamp life; and (4) UV-reflective glass coatings deposited between the layer of phosphor and the glass tube, to reflect any UV light back into the phosphor layer for down-conversion.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
Environmental Energy Technologies Division
OSTI Identifier:
1047754
Report Number(s):
LBNL-5403E
TRN: US201216%%696
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; ARGON; CATHODES; CERAMICS; CHEMISTRY; COATINGS; COMMERCIALIZATION; ELECTRONS; EMISSIVITY; FLUORESCENT LAMPS; FORM FACTORS; GLASS; HALIDES; KRYPTON; LIGHT BULBS; LIGHT EMITTING DIODES; LIGHT SOURCES; MERCURY; NEON; OPTICS; OPTIMIZATION; PHOSPHORS; SERVICE LIFE; XENON

Citation Formats

Scholand, Michael. Max Tech and Beyond: Fluorescent Lamps. United States: N. p., 2012. Web. doi:10.2172/1047754.
Scholand, Michael. Max Tech and Beyond: Fluorescent Lamps. United States. doi:10.2172/1047754.
Scholand, Michael. Sun . "Max Tech and Beyond: Fluorescent Lamps". United States. doi:10.2172/1047754. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1047754.
@article{osti_1047754,
title = {Max Tech and Beyond: Fluorescent Lamps},
author = {Scholand, Michael},
abstractNote = {Fluorescent lamps are the most widely used artificial light source today, responsible for approximately 70% of the lumens delivered to our living spaces globally. The technology was originally commercialized in the 1930's, and manufacturers have been steadily improving the efficacy of these lamps over the years through modifications to the phosphors, cathodes, fill-gas, operating frequency, tube diameter and other design attributes. The most efficient commercially available fluorescent lamp is the 25 Watt T5 lamp. This lamp operates at 114-116 lumens per watt while also providing good color rendering and more than 20,000 hours of operating life. Industry experts interviewed indicated that while this lamp is the most efficient in the market today, there is still a further 10 to 14% of potential improvements that may be introduced to the market over the next 2 to 5 years. These improvements include further developments in phosphors, fill-gas, cathode coatings and ultraviolet (UV) reflective glass coatings. The commercialization of these technology improvements will combine to bring about efficacy improvements that will push the technology up to a maximum 125 to 130 lumens per watt. One critical issue raised by researchers that may present a barrier to the realization of these improvements is the fact that technology investment in fluorescent lamps is being reduced in order to prioritize research into light emitting diodes (LEDs) and ceramic metal halide high intensity discharge (HID) lamps. Thus, it is uncertain whether these potential efficacy improvements will be developed, patented and commercialized. The emphasis for premium efficacy will continue to focus on T5 lamps, which are expected to continue to be marketed along with the T8 lamp. Industry experts highlighted the fact that an advantage of the T5 lamp is the fact that it is 40% smaller and yet provides an equivalent lumen output to that of a T8 or T12 lamp. Due to its smaller form factor, the T5 lamp contains less material (i.e., glass, fill gas and phosphor), and has a higher luminance, enabling fixtures to take advantage of the smaller lamp size to improve the optics and provide more efficient overall system illuminance. In addition to offering the market a high-quality efficacious light source, another strong value proposition of fluorescent lighting is its long operating life. In today's market, one manufacturer is offering fluorescent lamps that have a rated life of 79,000 hours - which represents 18 years of service at 12 hours per day, 365 days per year. These lamps, operated using a long-life ballast specified by the manufacturer, take advantage of improvements in cathode coatings, fill gas chemistry and pressure to extend service life by a factor of four over conventional fluorescent lamps. It should be noted that this service life is also longer (approximately twice as long) as today's high-quality LED products. The fluorescent market is currently focused on the T5 and T8 lamp diameters, and it is not expected that other diameters would be introduced. Although T8 is a more optimal diameter from an efficacy perspective, the premium efficiency and optimization effort has been focused on T5 lamps because they are 40% smaller than T8, and are designed to operate at a higher temperature using high-frequency electronic ballasts. The T5 lamp offers savings in terms of materials, packaging and shipping, as well as smaller fixtures with improved optical performance. Manufacturers are actively researching improvements in four critical areas that are expected to yield additional efficacy improvements of approximately 10 to 14 percent over the next five years, ultimately achieving approximately 130 lumens per watt by 2015. The active areas of research where these improvements are anticipated include: (1) Improved phosphors which continue to be developed and patented, enabling higher efficacies as well as better color rendering and lumen maintenance; (2) Enhanced fill gas - adjusting proportions of argon, krypton, neon and xenon to optimize performance, while also minimizing the mercury dose; (3) Improved cathode coatings to enhance electron emissivity and extend lamp life; and (4) UV-reflective glass coatings deposited between the layer of phosphor and the glass tube, to reflect any UV light back into the phosphor layer for down-conversion.},
doi = {10.2172/1047754},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2012},
month = {4}
}