Legislation + Regulation, Light + Health

Canada Proposing To Ban HID Lamps In Addition To Fluorescent

Kudos to Al Uszynski of inside.lighting for breaking this story about the Canadian government’s proposal to ban the sale of most mercury-containing lamps.

Fluorescent lamp bans are already occurring in California and Vermont, and are under consideration in other US states. The Canadian proposal goes significantly further, to ban most HID lamps. It’s noteworthy that the US hasn’t banned HID lamps, except most Mercury Vapor lamps (US DOE), as well as the current California efforts to ban HID grow lights.

Needless to say, expanding government bans on both fluorescent and HID lamps will further increase the LED install base from roughly half of light sources installed today (a very rough ballpark that varies widely depending on light type & application) to nearly all light sources becoming LED, as existing FL & HID lamps gradually fail, and the effective dates of the bans kick in.

A Canadian HID ban is also likely to drive some significant replacement of HID luminaires with LED integrated luminaires, acknowledging some end users will opt for “corn cobs” and other forms of lower-cost LED retrofit solutions for HID sources. Additionally, if finalized, this Canadian proposal will increase efforts in progressive US states, and some in Congress, to pass similar FL+HID bans.

Here are three disclaimers with my following interpretation of the regulatory proposal:

  1. This Canadian government announcement is a proposal, not the final adopted regulations/standards. The proposal could be modified before becoming adopted.
  2. My interpretation below is after multiple readings of the regulatory language. I am less familiar with Canadian regulatory norms and terminology, so errors in my interpretation are possible.
  3. These regulations are based on phasing out exemptions for mercury-containing lamps, from existing regulations of mercury-containing products. These are not energy efficiency regulations, with lumen per watt requirements.

The chart, below, shows the various category of lamps to be banned. By my interpretation, the “Start Date” column represents when manufacture and import are prohibited, and the “End Date” column represents when retailers must cease sales of existing inventory. Essentially, the first date is the manufacture & import ban and the latter date is the retail sales ban.


  • Most fluorescent and metal halide lamps would have manufacture & import prohibited by 1/1/24, while most high-pressure sodium would be 1/1/29.
  • Generally, speaking, retailers would have two years to sell through existing inventory, after the manufacture & import ban takes effect.

I welcome anyone deeply familiar with this regulatory language to either confirm or correct my interpretation, in the comment section below. If needed, I will make corrections to this article.

Read the full regulatory proposal here. Thanks to Al Uszynski for sharing this link with me.





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David Shiller
David Shiller is the Publisher of LightNOW, and President of Lighting Solution Development, a North American consulting firm providing business development services to advanced lighting manufacturers. The ALA awarded David the Pillar of the Industry Award. David has co-chaired ALA’s Engineering Committee since 2010. David established MaxLite’s OEM component sales into a multi-million dollar division. He invented GU24 lamps while leading ENERGY STAR lighting programs for the US EPA. David has been published in leading lighting publications, including LD+A, enLIGHTenment Magazine, LEDs Magazine, and more.


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