EcoGreen Award™ Minimum Requirements

This document specifies the minimal requirements for the EcoGreen Award™ certification. If you have a specific question regarding this specification, please contact us.

1. Incandescent
2. Exit Signs
3. Pathway Safety Lighting
4. Flame Lighting
5. Heat Lamps
6. Fluorescent
7. Halogen
8. Hight Intensity Discharge (HID)

Section A
Section B
Other suggested energy saving methods
Color Aesthetics


1. Incandescent

An incandescent bulb is classified as a tungsten filament type bulb with less than 70% efficiency.

  • The minimal requirement is a 100% conversion from incandescent bulbs on the exterior and interior except for heating bulbs (see section A).


2. Exit Signs

Incandescent backlit exit signs require replacement with LED bulb kits.

  • 100% conversion required.


3. Pathway Safety lighting

This includes in-room night-lights, stair and hallway lighting.

  • 100% change from incandescent. Custom fixtures where high efficiency replacement bulbs may not be possible are exempt.


4. Flame lighting

This lighting consists of a burning wick producing a flame.

Current technologies and products can now replace 100% of the current liquid and solid wax fueled lighting. Besides consuming fuel obtained from petroleum, flame burning expels toxins, soot, and heat besides the danger of fire. Battery powered candles have a very low operating cost compared to liquid or solid wax fuels and can easily be converted.

  • 100% conversion is required for interior areas. Outdoor use of natural flame lighting is exempt.


5. Heat lamps

Unshielded or uncoated glass encased heat lamp bulbs are not acceptable in food service and preparation areas as specified in NSF and FDA guidelines. (see section A)

  • 100% of heat lamps must have a shatterproof coating.


6. Fluorescent

Includes Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) and Linear Tube Fluorescent bulb types.

Fluorescent bulbs are considered acceptable in all locations. Although fluorescent bulbs efficiencies vary depending on the manufacturer and technologies, all versions are considered acceptable.

The following rules apply:

  1. Unshielded or uncoated glass encased fluorescent bulbs are not acceptable in food service and preparation areas as specified in the NSF Guidelines and FDA Charter 6, section 202.11. (see section A)
  2. A proper disposal method and proof of such must be employed and verified as shown in section B.


7. Halogen

While halogen are considered in the good range of efficiency, MR16 type bulbs can be replaced with LED technology direct replacements depending on the watts required.

  • Under 20 watts: 100% percent replacement with an LED equivalent is required.


8. High Intensity Discharge (HID)

Metal Halide bulbs, are recommended as replacements Mercury Vapor and High Pressure Sodium as this newer technology offer an operating life of up to 20,000 hrs. with superior color quality thus requiring less energy. The do however require and ballast kit or ballast change to be installed and therefore not required for certification.

HID are considered in the good range of efficiency and require specific ballast type fixtures and therefore exempt for conversion.

These are typically used for exterior lighting for parking lots, auditorium or general large area lighting are exempt.

These most often include Metal Halide, Mercury Vapor and High Pressure Sodium also referred to as (HID).


SECTION A: Bulb requirements for food preparation, food storage, food service and food processing areas.

All bulbs used in these areas must conform to the NSF Guidelines and FDA Charter 6, section 202.11. These type bulbs may be Teflon or plastic coated to prevent broken glass or mercury from getting into food.

  • 100% compliance required.


SECTION B: Fluorescent Bulb Disposal

Since fluorescent bulbs contain Mercury, proper disposable methods must be employed. A certified disposable contractor billing statement must be available if currently being used. If this is a new procedure or is a bill by use type service, the service must be already purchased to indicate ongoing use.

Also a Notice of Procedural Changes must be posted by facility management for the new disposal method.


Minimum requirements may change without notice due to new technologies or other changes within the industry. When changes or updates to the EcoGreen Award™ Minimum Requirements have been made, any current registered client that has not been certified at that time and will be submitting data for certification within the next 90 days from the date of the changes are except from the new minimum requirements for the 90 day period.

All new clients must meet the EcoGreen Award™ Minimum Requirements at stated at that time of registration.

Other suggested energy saving methods (not required for compliance)

  • Down lighting
    Down lighting for illumination of table or work surface areas may be modified to a pendant type lamp fixture to bring the illumination source light closer to the surface and thereby reducing the energy and requiring less Lumens.
  • LED Linear replacement bulbs
    Although a relatively new technology, these bulbs have a life of 50,000 hrs. and are an excellent substitute for tube bulbs in food service areas. They are a drop-in replacement for any ballast type fixture and contain no mercury.
  • Illumination level
    During the process of completing the self-audit, determine if the lighting levels are appropriate for the specific function and area. In some cases it may be possible to lower the Lumen output while maintaining the desired effect.


Color Aesthetics

Most bulbs have a specific color temperature rated light output, which is shown in the bulb's specifications. For best aesthetics the bulbs in a multi-bulb fixture or matching adjacent light fixtures should be of matched color temperatures unless for a specific reason. This error typically happens when bulbs are replaced without an understanding or lack of controls when purchasing replacement bulbs. This error can be easily rectified by using the proper bulbs to be used in each specified area as documented in the self-audit created using the EcoGreen Award™ process.


We are an Affiliate Member of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.