Confirmed: T-12 fluorescent lamps NOT being totally phased out
I emailed Osram Sylvania to verify on the T-12 phase out. They sent me an attached file in PDF that confirms what options you will have. For existing T-12 systems, you either have the option to upgrade to T-8 or you can simply buy T-12s that meet minimum standards. Colors such as Cool White Deluxe, Daylight Deluxe, Chroma/Design/Colortone 50 are exempt due to CRI. Sylvania is also introducing a new line of 900 series triphosphor T-12s in color temps from 3000K to 6500K. GE also said they will come out with the same product plus a new "Hi Lumen" T-12 that also meets standards.
This will make it convenient for those few who choose to keep and maintain vintage art-deco preheat fluorescent fixtures from the 40s. These have collector value and there are people who collect them. Small businesses also can't afford to upgrade their lighting without incentives from the utilities. Most residential fluorescent lighting is also T-12 and it's a concern if someone chooses to put in T-8s on a T-12 ballast, as overheating and possible fire hazard could occur.
Re: Confirmed: T-12 fluorescent lamps NOT being totally phased out
They're merely phasing out the older low-CRI halophosphor tubes which have already been illegal in much of Europe for years. I personally don't see why these tubes weren't phased out long ago. They're less efficient than tri-phosphor tubes and have awful CRI to boot. They're actually one big reason why fluorescent lighting in general for years got a bad rap. Besides all that, they're not even cheaper than triphosphor tubes. Bottom line-with no advantage in either price or performance but a marked disadvantage in CRI, I'm surprised anyone would even buy halophosphor tubes.