Sydney, ANZAC and Glebe Island Bridges, Sydney - photo Marghanita

Ecologically Sustainable Sydney

Energy Efficient Lighting

Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature. Ramin Communications is not recomending the specific products mentioned here and accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of information about specific products. Electricity is DANGEROUS and should not be treated lightly. Information on individual product packaging should be read carefully and understood before installation. The advice of qualified Electricians should be sought on specific requirements and installations.

Unlike CFLs, LED Lamps contain no mercury. For more on Fluorescent lamps and mercury, see end-of-life management and Mercury in Fish .

Direct Replace LEDs vs T8 vs T5 Fluorescent Tubes

LED stands for light-emitting diode. LEDs are small light sources that become illuminated by the movement of electrons through a semiconductor material. LEDs can be integrated into all sorts of products to provide white and colored light, such as flashlights, light bulbs, and integrated light

1939: Early in this year (around Feb-March) GE introduced the now ubiquitous 48 inch (4 ft) 1-1/2 in. Diameter T-12, 40 watt MAZDA F lamp. Initially there was much skepticism among GE engineers that such a long lamp was not practical or even possible to manufacture. Again GE accomplished the "impossible"! Like the 30 watt lamp, this new lamp at first used 240 volt choke ballast and a step-up transformer if used on a 120 v circuit. This size quickly became and remains to this day, the most popular fluorescent lamp ever made! Even today's 4 foot T-8 F lamps aren't at all "high tech" and were made experimentally in 1939!

Lighting TechnologyPrice (Random Sample)1Mercury2GHG Emissions/Energy Use3Lifetime Hrs(Years at 6 hours/day)4
36W, T8, Fluorescent Tube$7.87 (inc GST) + Installation9 - 12 mg mercury36W + production of Tube30,000hours (13years)
28W T5 Fluorescent Tube + Adapter (also avail in 35W,21W,14W)$29.00+ Installation3 mg mercury28W + production of Tube30,000hours (13years)
9W,15W,18W,22watt SMD LED (T8 1200mm) Tube
LED Tubes
Unit Price $55,$59,$59,$69 + InstallationNo Mercury18W+ production of Tube50,000hours (22years)

1Assumes T8 Fitting already in place & Electrician to carry out replacement

2Management and disposal by businesses of fluorescent light bulbs and other mercury-containing bulbs are regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Universal Waste Rule (UWR) and Subtitle C hazardous waste

"You’ll maximize the lifetime savings and effectiveness of your CFLs by keeping them on for 15 minutes or more at a time." -

3The carbon price will be $23 for each tonne of pollution beginning on 1 July 2012.

450,000 hours for LED Tubes is conservative. The tubes are being quoted at 50-100,000 hours. A website (viewed 7 December 2011) pushing the T5 approach quotes: "LED bulbs can have anywhere between 35,000 - 50,000 useful life hours, while linear fluorescent bulbs maintain anywhere between 20,000- 30,000 useful life hours.

LED Tubes LED Tubes

Disposing of mercury-containing lamps

FluoroCycle ( is a voluntary, national scheme that aims to increase recycling of mercury-containing lamps. It commenced operations on 21 July 2010. The initial focus of the scheme is on those sectors that account for the largest consumption of mercury containing lamps, the commercial and public lighting sectors....A variety of lamp types used in Australia require mercury to operate. Generally, the higher the power usage, the more mercury that is required to operate the

Disposing of LED Lighting

While LED Lighting does not contain mercury and has a long life, its electronic and plastic components will eventually pose an e-waste problem or resource.

light globe being installed in garden fittingDirect replacement Baynet and Edison Screw Lamps

LED downlights connected to rangehood light switchLED alternatives to Halogen Downlights and Under/in Cabinet Lights © Ramin Communications 2011. Last modified 28 August 2013.