Price Increase in Fluorescent Bulbs


My son owns a large electrical company.  He received this letter today from SYLVANIA regarding the price of fluorescent light bulbs.  You may want to think about stocking up on them before Aug. 1.

General Illumination

Senior Vice President – Sales, Service, Logistics – NAFTA
Executive Committee Member – OSI

June 28, 2011
To OSRAM SYLVANIA customers:
By now you may have seen the numerous articles and industry communications regarding how
the scarcity of Rare Earth oxides combined with the hyper-inflation of prices, is having a serious
adverse impact on the lighting industry. Since our May 23, 2011 price increase announcement,

China has dramatically reduced the amount of rare earth oxides available for export and the cost
continues to increase beyond our ability to compensate.
The lighting industry consumes less than 10% of the Chinese export quota for these oxides,
putting the lighting manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage as the supply of these materials
shrinks. Even when it is possible to obtain the oxides, the costs have continued to skyrocket in
recent weeks.

Due to these continued cost increases, OSRAM SYLVANIA is revising our previously announced
September 1st 10% price increase on all Fluorescent Lamps to include Compact Fluorescent
lamps to an overall average increase of 25% to be effective August 1, 2011. Actual price
increases will vary by fluorescent product type. Please note that all other products will not be
impacted by this increase.

In addition, OSRAM SYLVANIA will be implementing increases on a monthly basis until the global
rare earth oxide market has stabilized. Future price increase announcements will be posted to

New pricing goes into effect for new orders on August 1, 2011 (11-2 book) and is over and above
the July 1, 2011 (11-1 book) price increase previously announced.
New price schedules will be available for download on We will continue
to post announcements and detailed information regarding the Chinese rare earth situation to
mySylvania. Our sales professionals will continue to provide you with our current pricing status
and they also will notify you in advance of any availability issues.

I appreciate your continued cooperation and understanding during this global shortage.

And they say there is no inflation.


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12 Responses to Price Increase in Fluorescent Bulbs

  1. Ellen says:

    I hate these bulbs even though they have saved a little money on the light bill. They are the worst things to read by. If you take a digital photo indoors the color is off.
    I guess I will go buy some candles, they say everyone looks good by candlelight.

  2. caryn verell says:

    stock up on these if you want…but also stock up on incadescent bulbs as well-all sizes. the fluorescent bulbs are indeed very poor lighting for those who like to read, sew or do anything that requires good lighting. the only thing that makes them a good buy is they last a very long time.

  3. Matt in Oklahoma says:


  4. A veteran who is preparing says:

    Couple things to consider about these new fluorescent bulbs:
    1) China controls/owns over 90% of the rare earth mineral deposits on the planet. Right now they are working to buying the rest of those deposits to include here in the USA.

    2) These new fluorescent bulbs are HIGHLY toxic. I have read and seen stories from multiple sources that if one of these break, then by OSHA Hazmat standards you have to be in full protective suit with respirator to change the bulb. AND have to air out the whole building for no less than 2 weeks before it can be inhabited again. But hey, they are better for the environment….aren’t they?

    Oh yeah, another note… by Federal Law signed by President Bush they are also the only legal bulb to be manufactured and sold in the USA as of this year. After the current supply of incandescents run out in stores , they can no longer be sold legally. But can be used until the supply is gone… at least for now.

    • A veteran who is preparing says:

      Forgot to mention. I have heard that the rare earth mineral mines/quarries China does own here in the USA were shut down. China bought them, fired the workers, and closed them till further notice.

      Only conspiracy theorists still believe China is an enemy. We’ve been hearing for over 20 years now that they will open their markets completely to American made goods any day now. We just have to keep ours open for them as an example till they do it, or so we always are told by the media and congress.

  5. admin says:

    I am stocking up on the old incandescent blubs for my personal use. But eventually we will all probably have to buy the new bulbs or go back to candles. The whole thing just makes me made.

  6. Ashley says:

    I have a light bulb and ballast company and can share in your distress. I can’t help but question a plan is also in play here to drive the public to purchase incandescents phasing them out sooner. Flourescents will be gone also I beleive before we know it. With the price increases having the potential to rise to 800%, can you imagine just how much it would cost to purchase LED’s leaving us without choices?

    Just a thought of mine to share.

  7. Nelson says:

    Facebook will not let this site be put on as a link???? why?

  8. The issue with China and Rare Earth metals is unfortunately very real. The lamp manufacturers are scrambling trying to recover significant losses through unprecidented phosphor (a by-product of these ‘rare earth metals’) cost increases. Probably the most frustrating aspect of this problem is that this problem didn’t just happen overnight. The U.S. used to be self-reliant on rare earth metals back in the ’90s before our largest mine closed due mostly to competitive pressure from China.

    So now after nearly 20 years of sourcing most all of our rare earth through China (for the manufacturer of lamps, wind turbines, batteries and other ‘green’ technologies), we’re all up-in-arms and shocked that China is imposing tarrifs and export restrictions.

    Did not anybody learn from the oil embargo in the ’70s?

    We’ve been amassing all the information we could on this crisis here:

    I hope this helps.

    Dan Dobski
    Director of Marketing

  9. I am continuously searching online for articles that can facilitate me. Thank you!

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