San Francisco Environment Department

San Francisco Commercial Lighting Ordinance

Empowering Commercial Building Owners to Improve their Energy Management

The San Francisco Commercial Lighting Efficiency Ordinance requires that fluorescent lighting in non-residential commercial buildings meet a specific efficiency standard.  In essence, the Commercial Lighting Efficiency Ordinance would:

  • Apply to all commercial spaces.
  • Cover interior and exterior lighting, including signage and enclosed signage.
  • Require that 4-foot or 8-foot linear fluorescent lamp and ballast systems produce at least 81 lumens per watt of electricity consumed, and must not exceed 5 mg  of mercury in 4-foot lamps, and 10 mg in 8-foot lamps

Any building using the systems in question will be in violation of the San Francisco Building Code, Section 13D.  The Ordinance will be enforced by the Department of Building Inspection. This standard will typically be met with T8 fluorescent tube lamps and electronic ballasts. 

T12 lamps are not only inefficient but also do not meet the new federal standard for fluorescent lighting. After July 14, 2012, T12 lamps will no longer be available as replacement lamps. Switch to T8 lamps and electronic ballasts now.  Also, the sooner you upgrade the sooner you start to see significant savings on your monthly energy bill.


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