Saturday, September 5, 2009

Mercury Vapor Legislation - Laws and Legalities Regarding the EPA Act 2005

The EPA Act 2005 passed mercury vapor legislation that essentially outlawed the production of these more harmful lights and light fixtures in the United States. As of January 1, 2008, mercury vapor lights cannot be made, marketed, or imported to the United States because of this act. Unfortunately, because of their affordability and bright white light, many mercury vapor lights are still in use today as security lights and outside lights that people use to light up their property. When it comes to the family of HID (high intensity discharge) lighting, mercury vapor was certainly the black sheep of the family. Not only is mercury a very poisonous substance, but these lights had the worse efficiency of all of the different bulbs available.

The EPA Act 2005 made people look to other light sources for what they needed. It didn't matter if they wanted easy maintenance, a bright white light source, or just an affordable lighting solution for their needs. Mercury vapor lamps had all of that and more. High pressure sodium and metal halide are now the most commonly used HID light sources for outside lights, security lights, and more. There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, it is actually better for the environment that things are working this way. However, there is still a gap in the markets for those people who are looking for affordable, easily maintained lighting fixtures that offer that pure white light that they got from the mercury vapor lamps.

As time goes on, the EPA will probably keep finding new ways to make lights safer and less toxic to people by finding another method of conduction or way to produce light so that mercury doesn't have to be used at all. When it comes to getting the light that you need, nothing is more important than having safe light, and mercury vapor lights just weren't that safe. They had much more mercury than standard fluorescent bulbs, and could be toxic when broken. Many people are trying to offer solutions for those who want the same quality of light that they got from mercury vapor, but it is slightly difficult because there isn't really a comparable product out there.

Since this legislation was enacted, many people have turned to the rest of the HID lighting family to find effective solutions for their lighting needs. The closest that people have come is in metal halide, which provides a very white light compared to the rest. However, this light is expensive and not nearly as low-maintenance as mercury vapor was. Until there is some type of new innovation, people will have to settle for what's out there for them to choose from. After all, getting rid of the mercury vapor lights was a step to get the planet in a healthier direction, so people should be seeking out healthier light sources for their needs from here on out. With the huge emphasis on going green, many people have already started converting to the cheapest lighting solutions that they can find that have the lowest impact on the environment, and it's only a matter of time before more people join the cause.

Mark P Hudson has been in the lighting industry for over ten years and is an expert in Mercury Vapor and is a contributing editor for

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1 comment:

  1. Why can we buy CFL lights then, if they too use mercury vapors to emit light?


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