Linear fluorescent lamps are available as straight or circular tubes. They are cheap to run, last for 8000 to 16,000 hours and at home are ideal for kitchens, garages and workshops.

Because of their high luminous efficacy and long lamp life (compared with incandescent and halogen lamps), many commercial and industrial lighting installations use fluorescent tubes.

At a glance...



Energy Rating Label


New Zealand

Linear Fluorescent Lamps



GEMS Determination


Mercury levels reduced for fluorescent lamps

On 1 June 2017, requirements for maximum mercury content were reduced for linear fluorescent lamps and compact fluorescent lamps in Australia, in order to meet the requirements of the Minamata Mercury Convention and align with levels set by major markets. Changes are reflected in the GEMS (Double-capped Fluorescent Lamps) Determination 2017 and the GEMS (Self-ballasted Compact Fluorescent Lamps for General Lighting Services) Determination 2017 and came into force on 1 December 2017.

MEPS requirements

Linear fluorescent lamps manufactured in or imported into Australia or New Zealand must comply with Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) requirements which are set out in AS/NZS 4782.2. The scope of linear fluorescent lamps MEPS covers FD and FDH lamps ranging from 550mm to 1500mm in length (inclusive) and having a nominal lamp power of 16 Watts or more. The intention of MEPS is to improve end-use energy efficiency by eliminating lower efficiency fluorescent lamps from the market and to encourage the sale and purchase of higher efficiency fluorescent lamps.

The MEPS for linear fluorescent lamps in AS/NZS 4782.2 are set out as minimum luminous efficacy in lumens per Watt (lm/W) for various lamp sizes. There are also requirements for minimum colour rendering index (CRI) and mercury content. The test methods for measuring luminous efficacy are set out in AS/NZS 4782.1 and AS/NZS 4782.3.

These standards can be purchased from SAI Global or Standards New Zealand.

Find out how to make an application for MEPS

Exclusions: MEPS in AS/NZS 4782.2 does not apply to lamps that are clearly not intended for general illumination, specifically:

  • Lamps with a dominant colour or with an output that is predominantly outside the visible spectrum.
  • Lamps for colour matching and that have a CRI greater than 90 and a colour appearance approximating to a point on the black body locus.
  • Lamps that are specifically for use in an industrial or agricultural process.
  • Lamps for medical applications.
  • Lamps that have been given written exemption by the relevant regulatory authority on the grounds that they are for a specific purpose other than general illumination and are clearly distinguishable from lamps for general illumination.

AS/NZS 4782.2 does not specify electrical safety requirements.

When measured in accordance with AS/NZS 4782.1 the initial efficacy (at 100 hours) and the maintained efficacy (at 5000 hours) shall exceed the values specified in the table below. Lamps shall also have a CRI which exceeds the value in the table below.

Lam       p nominal length L (mm) mandatory

550 < L < 700

700 < L < 1150

1150 < L < 1350

1350 < L < 1500

Lamp typical power (watts) (informative)

16 – 24

17 – 40

28 – 50

35 – 80

Initial Efficacy (F 100) and Maintained Efficacy (FM)

F 100 > 66.0 and FM > 57.5

F 100 > 74.0 and FM > 61.0

F 100 > 80.0 and FM > 70.0

F 100 > 85.0 and FM > 70.0

Minimum CRI





The maximum quantity of mercury present in fluorescent lamps <60W shall not exceed 5 mg. The quantity of mercury present is determined in accordance with the relevant Clauses of AS/NZS 4782.3.

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