Glamox is advising businesses not to leave it too late to make the switch to LED lighting ahead of an EU phase-out of the most common types of fluorescent tubes.

From 25 February 2023, with few exceptions, new compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and long-life tubes will be phased out in the EU. From 25 August, the phase-out extends to the most popular linear fluorescent tubes. Fluorescent lighting is in around 70 percent of commercial buildings in the EU. Glamox is urging businesses to seize the opportunity to make the switch sooner rather than later to avoid potential disruption and enjoy the benefits of energy savings and smarter ways of working.

Glamox fully supports the EU RoHS directive – short for Restriction of Hazardous Substances – which aims to eliminate toxic substances in electronic waste.

Fluorescent tubes are being phased out because they contain mercury, which is harmful to the environment and public health. There are millions of linear T5 and T8 fluorescent tubes installed across Europe, and around 10 million fluorescent luminaires of all types in Norway alone. Most linear fluorescent tube luminaires do not have electronics optimised for replacement LED tubes. Some luminaires may require rewiring or replacing to avoid impacting the performance or life of the LED tube. A last-minute rush by businesses to replace their lighting could lead to a shortage of installers and some supply issues in the industry.

“From 25 August, there will be no new T5 and T8 fluorescent tubes placed into the EU market. Existing stock may be sold but when it runs out, the familiar linear fluorescent tube will be confined to the wastebin of history,” said Astrid Simonsen Joos, Group CEO, Glamox. “Some businesses have started hoarding fluorescent tubes in hopes of postponing upgrades to their building lighting. We all need to accept that the transition to LED is a good thing – not only for the environment but for savings on energy bills as well.”