40W fluorescent bulbs

This is a very late response to the following message.  It's late because I
was waiting for some information before posting.  The message struck me as
incorrect when I first read it, but I had no concrete info to dispute it, so
I filed it away.

>From: JOlson8590 at aol_com
>Date: Sun, 7 Apr 1996 18:29:28 -0400
>Subject: Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V1 #381
>The switch to 32 watt fluorescent lamps has nothing at all to do with safety.
>It is a Federal Law. It is part of an Energy Conservation Program. The new,
>32 watt fl. lamps are very efficient, and give the same amount of light as
>the 40 watt ones, but they  _will not work at all on "standard" or "magnetic"
>ballasts._  It is now a Federal crime to manufacture or import 40 watt
>fluorescent tubes into the USA. If they aren't already in this country, they
>can't be obtained (legally) any more. SO - - buy up a supply or be prepared
>to do a lot of fixture replacing! 

First, 40W bulbs are still being manufactured.  In fact, I ordered some
Philips Ultralume and Philips Advantage X 40W 5000K bulbs the other day, and
was placed on back order waiting for a new batch to be manufactured.  I just
received them yesterday.

I also obtained the Philips Lamp Specification and Application Guide (dated
2/96), and this is what it said:  "The National Energy Policy Act of 1992,
which legislates the phased discontinuation of fluorescent and incandescent
lamp types that don't meet specified LPW (lumens per watt) and CRI (color
rendering index) standards, offers lighting users the opportunity to take a
fresh look at their lighting systems and select new cost-cutting options."
Notice the clause "lamp types that don't meet specified LPW and CRI
standards."  This doesn't mean all 40W bulbs, but just the inefficient
(general service) ones.  In fact, they have a table listing the ones that
are discontinued and their replacements, for example:

Obsolete            Direct Retrofit         Minimal Substitute
--------            ---------------         ------------------

F40CW (cool white)  F40/SPEC41/RS/EW        F40CW/RS/EW
F40WW (warm white)  F40/SPEC30/RS/EW        F40WW/RS/EW
F40D (daylight)     F40/50U/RS/EW           F40DX (13% less light output)

Other 40W bulbs, such as the Ultralume (F40/50U) and Advantage X (F40AX50)
exceeds the standards and are still being manufactured.

That doesn't mean that they won't be phased out in the future, but for now,
they are still okay.  In fact, they have another table showing dates after
which certain lamp types cannot be manufactured:

Effective Date      Lamp Types
--------------      ----------
April 30, 1994      F96T12 and F96T12/HO
May 15, 1995        FTC fluorescent labeling requirements go into effect
October 31, 1995    General Service Fluorescent:
                        4-foot bi-pin > 28 Watts
                        2-foot U-bent > 28 Watts
October 31, 1995    General Service R and PAR incandescent, 115-300 volt,
                        medium screw base, maximum diameter > 2.75 inches.
December 1, 1995    FTC incandescent labeling requirements go into effect

October 24, 1999    HID types not meeting standards established by 
                        October 24, 1996
October 24, 2001    All other general service fluorescent and incandescent
                        not meeting standards established by 
                        October 24, 1998
October 24, 2005    All general service fluorescent and reflector 
                        incandescent affected by amended standards 
                        established by April 24, 2004
Note that dates for future standards are set (1998, 2004), but the standards
themselves probably aren't fixed yet.  And even if your 40W bulbs are phased
out in the future, you still have at least another 5 years to go (2001,
2005). Furthermore, since most aquarists do not use general service type
bulbs, don't throw away your 40W ballasts just yet.

By the way, here are some specs for the 2 bulb types I just bought, they
seem great.  I am trying them out on my aquarium right now.

Type & Color Temp.  Length  Avg. Life   Init. Lumens   Design Lumens   CRI
-----------------   ------  ---------   ------------   -------------   ---
Ultralume 5000K      48"    20,000 hrs       3280           2950       85
Advantage X, 5000K   48"    24,000 hrs       3700           3300       82

Both are Preheat/Rapid Start, 40W, made by Philips, and I got the Ultralume
for $6.95 (another store asked for $21.95!  I don't know why there is such a
big difference), and the Advantage X for $14.95.  I don't have the spectral
data for them, but will be doing some measurements soon.