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In East and Southeast Asia it is very rare to see incandescent bulbs in buildings anywhere. Some countries are encouraging the phase-out of incandescent light bulbs and substitution of incandescent lamps with fluorescent lamps or other types of energyefficient lamps. The newest fluorescent lamps can be used to grow indoor plants to maturity. These lamps are marketed as High-Output T5 Fluorescents. The T8 and T12 predecessors can be used to rear seedlings, but are not powerful enough for mature plant growth.

Fluorescent lamps are manufactured to a chosen CCT by altering the mixture of phosphors inside the tube. Warm-white fluorescents have CCT of 2700 K and are popular for residential lighting. Neutral-white fluorescents have a CCT of 3000 K or 3500 K. Cool-white fluorescents have a CCT of 4100 K and are popular for office lighting. Daylight fluorescents have a CCT of 5000 K to 6500 K, which is bluish-white. High CCT lighting generally requires higher light levels. At dimmer illumination levels, the human eye perceives lower color temperatures as more natural, as related through the Kruithof curve.

A fixed voltage drop occurs at the electrodes. Some of the energy in the mercury vapor column is also dissipated, but about 85% is turned into visible and ultraviolet light. Not all the UV energy on the phosphor gets converted into visible light. In a modern lamp, for every 100 incident photons of UV impacting the phosphor, only 86 visible light photons are emitted (a quantum efficiency of 86%). The largest single loss in modern lamps is due to the lower energy of each photon of visible light, compared to the energy of the UV photons that generated them.

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