Learn about fluorescent light

Linear fluorescent lighting offers long life and quality energy efficient task lighting in a broad range of colors and sizes to fit any décor. Whether you want to create a comfortable, pleasant atmosphere in your kitchen or bath or bring the outdoors in with a bright white light similar to natural outdoor light for any room in the home, Philips line of fluorescents can meet your needs.

Most fluorescent bulbs are straight (linear) but some fixtures use circular (Circline) bulbs, while other fixtures use a U-shaped (U-bent) design. Specialty fluorescent bulbs like Philips Plant and Aquarium fluorescents are ideal for growing indoor plants and are a popular choice for freshwater aquariums. Philips Blacklight fluorescents are the ideal bulb for special effect lighting.

Color technology

Fluorescent bulbs are available in many colors, or color temperatures, which create different light moods. Color temperature is a measure of the light bulb's color when illuminated, and is measured in degrees Kelvin. The higher the number, the whiter, and then bluer, or cooler the color. The lower the number, the more yellow, or warmer the color. The color of the light itself creates a mood in the lighted space.

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Find the right bulb
ALTO Lamp Technology

Philips ALTO II fluorescent bulbs combine low mercury with long life and energy efficiency—which together help achieve sustainability.

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Better for the environment

Philips has always believed that a product can be good for the environment and provide the same, or superior performance. This belief led to one of the industry's most innovative technologies. In 1995, Philips transformed the market by launching a line of linear fluorescent lamps featuring ALTO Lamp Technology. This technology led to some of the lowest mercury lamps in the industry. ALTO Lamp Technology became widely recognized as a leading low-mercury solution for lighting.

In 2007, Philips introduced ALTO II Technology. These bulbs have 50% less mercury than the original ALTO, making them the most sustainable linear fluorescents available. Best of all, these bulbs offer the same superior performance levels as before. That means you don't have to sacrifice bulb life, light quality or energy to help you be more sustainable.

Mercury in T8 lamps

All fluorescent lamps need a small amount of mercury to operate efficiently but Philips has been working hard to reduce the mercury levels. With the use of ALTO Lamp Technology, Philips set a standard by reducing the amount of mercury in T8 lamps to a then industry-low 3.5mg. With ALTO II Technology, fluorescent T8 lamps now have only 1.7mg of mercury and still deliver outstanding performance. And to further help reduce environmental impact, Philips only uses recycled mercury in the lamp.

Better for the environment. Same performance characteristics.

There is a misconception that lowering the mercury will reduce lamp life, energy savings or light output—this is not the case. Philips has developed an innovative way to lower the mercury level without sacrificing life or any other performance parameters.

Federal DOE Legislation
Bright lighting alternatives

Light bulb efficiency standards will be phased in 2012–2014 and require the use of more efficient light bulbs. In 2012 many fluorescent bulbs must meet minimum Lumen per Watt (LPS) requirements. These new standards apply to linear T5, T8, T12 and U-shape fluorescent bulbs in 4', 8' lengths and 2' U-shape sizes. Use this comparison guide to see the products affected by the Energy Independence and Security Act and to see Philips energy efficient replacement options. All replacement fluorescents are recommended based on the closest lumen output.

Affected light bulbs

  • 8 foot: T8, T12 Single-Pin Base; T8, T12 High Output (HO)
  • 4 foot: T8, T12 Medium Bi-Pin Base; T5 Miniature Bi-Pin Base; T5 High Output (HO)
  • 2 foot: T8, T12 U-Shape Medium; Bi-Pin Base

But there are a few exceptions to this rule:
See the complete listing of exempted bulbs in the Light bulb exemptions flyer.

Light bulb exemptions (34 KB)

Understanding light bulb efficiency standards

How will the Federal Energy Efficient Legislation affect you? (3.64 MB)

General service linear fluorescents

Bulb shape Color Temp.
Min. Lumens per Watt (LPW) Legislation Requirements Philips Recommended Replacement Bulb
4 Foot Linear
T12, T8 Medium Bi-Pin Base, 25W or more ≤4500K 89 LPW 32 T8 Cool White Long Life with 2950 lumens (92 LPW), and CRI
32W T8 Neutral with 2950 lumens (92 LPW), and 85 CRI
40W T12 Natural Light–C50 with 2200 lumens (55LPW), and 92 cRI
40W T12 Cool White Deluxe with 2550 lumens (63 LPW), and 89 CRI
4500K-7000K 88 LPW 40W T12 Daylight Deluxe with 2325 lumens (58 LPW), and 90 CRI*
T5 Miniature Bi-Pin Base, 26W or more ≤4500K 86 LPW T5 Miniature Bi-Pin with ALTO Lamp Technology already meet requirements
4500K-7000K 81 LPW
T5 High Output Miniature Bi-Pin Base, 49W or more ≤4500K 76 LPW T5 and T5HO with ALTO Lamp Technology already meet requirements
T5 Miniature Bi-Pin with ALTO Lamp Technology already meet requirements
4500K-7000K 72 LPW
8 Foot Linear
T12, T8 Single-Pin Base, 52W or more ≤4500K 97 LPW 75W T12 Natural Light C50 with 4650 lumens (62 LPW), and 92 CRI
75W T12 Daylight Deluxe with 4500 lumens (59 LPW), and 90 CRI*
4500K-7000K 93 LPW
T12, T8 Single-Pin Base, 52W or more ≤4500K 92 LPW 110W T12 Cool White Deluxe HO with 8800 lumens and 59 CRI*
4500K-7000K 88 LPW  
2 Foot U-Shape
T12, T8 Medium Bi-Base 25W or more ≤4500K 84 LPW 40W T12 Daylight Deluxe with 2250 lumens (56 LPW), and 90 CRI*
4500K-7000K 81 LPW
* Cool White Deluxe, Daylight Deluxe and Colortone C50 bulbs are exempt.

So many ways to save

Beautiful, energy saving light. Lighting can have a powerful impact on your wallet and our environment.

Reduced energy usage

Lower wattage bulbs like Philips AmbientLED, EnergySaver compact fluorescents, and EcoVantage bulbs are direct replacements for energy guzzling incandescents that can save you money on your electric bills.


Philps offers exciting promotions to help start your savings. Check back frequently for the newest rebates.

Philips works with local utilities to bring you savings. Find a utility rebate near you.

Preserving our environment

You and your home can help the Earth sustain itself for future generations.

What is sustainability?

Sustainability is defined as meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

Philips firmly believes that corporate responsibility and community action play a key part in responding to today's energy challenges. At Philips transforming the way the world thinks and acts to reduce its ecological footprint has long been our passion. We meet the energy efficiency challenge with new solutions to drive responsible energy practices and savings—and by inspiring individuals to make simple changes that can have profound results, while still providing the high quality of light our customers require.

See the light

Worldwide, lighting consumes 19% of electricity.* But that figure can shrink dramatically. Today, homeowners have a variety of choices of energy efficient light bulbs that can save energy and last much longer than inefficient incandescent bulbs.

*Environmental News Network, "Let there be light – for the next 35 years the green
  gift that keeps on giving"
, 12/4/07. www.enn.com/energy/article/26500/print

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