While fluorescent light bulbs use a lot less energy than incandescent ones, they do have some toxic substances like mercury present in them, which can make them a potential threat to the environment if they are not disposed of correctly. If you are wondering how to dispose of fluorescent lightbulbs, here are some methods you can try. You may be under the impression that you can get rid of your fluorescent light bulbs in the same way you dispose of your incandescent light bulbs- by throwing them in the trash. Before doing that, however, you need to keep an important thing in mind- there is an essential difference between the two types of light bulbs.
Best Methods of Light Bulb Disposal
There are plenty of electrical stores that provide areas where you can deposit your used fluorescent bulbs. These light bulbs are collected from the community to be taken away for recycling. Not only fluorescent bulbs but any other fluorescent component in your home, like tubes, should also be recycled with safety. Recycling these components will ensure that none of the toxic mercury ends up in the environment.
Ensure safety first
One particular safety measure you should take before taking out a burnt-out light bulb from its socket is to ensure that the electricity in that part of the home has been turned off temporarily. This simple safety measure will allow you to escape some major damage that can be caused by electrical shocks. Also, while disposing of the fluorescent bulbs, you should be extra careful not to break them. The moment the bulb is broken, there is a high chance that the mercury will leak out and infect the surroundings. To be safe, it is highly suggested that you wrap the old fluorescent bulb in old packaging material to be sure that they do not break open.
How are Light Bulbs Different?
Incandescent light bulbs do not have any poisonous substances as such. Fluorescent light bulbs are not that innocent. As mentioned earlier, each fluorescent light bulb has about 4 milligrams of the highly toxic metal, mercury. The amount of mercury may seem small, and it is not enough to cause any significant damage on its own, but if you dispose of light bulbs incorrectly over a regular time, this metal can get accumulated in landfills and water bodies and toxify the environment.
How to Dispose of Halogen Light Bulbs?
Halogen light bulbs are often used as floodlights because of their strength of illumination. Essentially, a halogen light bulb belongs to the family of incandescent light bulbs- it is like a smarter cousin of the incandescent light bulb. Halogen light bulbs are strong and can withstand a lot more pressure than incandescent light bulbs. They also operate for a far longer time.
However, since they are essentially advanced incandescent light bulbs, the process of halogen light bulb disposal is not that different from its incandescent counterpart.
- You can safely perform halogen lamps disposal by throwing the burnt-out bulbs in the trash. Since halogen light bulbs do not contain any toxic substances, it is safe to get rid of them in this way.
- However, you should be careful to not break the glass of the bulb, as loose shards of glass can act as a safety hazard.
- If you are not interested in halogen bulb disposal, then you can recycle the used lamps and use them for different projects. There are a lot of DIY projects that help you make vases, ornaments, and terrariums out of used halogen lamps.
How to Dispose of LED Light Bulbs?
LED bulbs, or a Light Emitting Diode, are one of the most popular choices of illuminating light in modern households, mainly because of their efficiency. LED lights are 90 percent more efficient than incandescent bulbs, thus saving you a lot of energy. Since they consume very less energy, LED bulbs last for a long time, so it can take a while before you feel the need for disposing the bulb and getting a new one. LED bulb disposal is easy because they do not contain any hazardous chemicals or otherwise toxic substances.
- You can simply throw it away in the trashcan.
- However, the more responsible thing to do would be to recycle the bulb. Recycled LED bulbs work just as fine, and in fact, help to save a lot of valuable material that goes into the production of these bulbs.
Can You Recycle Light Bulbs?
The answer to that is- YES! Light bulb recycling has been around for a long time, and in the modern age where there is such a crisis of resources, recycling light bulbs are probably the more responsible thing to do.
- Why recycle light bulbs?
It is particularly important to recycle fluorescent light bulbs, to ensure that the mercury contained within them is not exposed to the environment at any cost.
- Where can you dispose of them?
- To dispose of these bulbs, you can take them to the place specified for the collection of hazardous waste in your locality.
- Other light bulb shops in your locality may house a container to collect and recycle light bulbs.
Where to Recycle LED Light Bulbs?
Well, the best way to confirm that would be by asking your local electronics store. Some stores even have baskets ready to collect used LED lights and send them off for recycling. Doing this can act as a major step towards saving resources for the environment.
How to Dispose of a Light Bulb That is Not LED or Fluorescent?
If you are wondering where to recycle light bulbs that are not fluorescent or LED, the first place you should look at is your own home.
Repurpose LED Light Bulbs
Incandescent light bulbs can be repurposed and made into several different things, including vases and other decorative items for your home. If you want to do that, however, you have to be careful not to break the glass of the bulb, otherwise, you will no longer be able to use them. With a little bit of creativity, it is possible to create many wonderful things out of used light bulbs.
How Does a Light Bulb Work?
Each kind of light bulb contains a filament, the primary component of the bulb. When electricity passes through the filament, the light bulb functions and emanates light. The filament is made from different materials in different light bulbs. For example, in incandescent bulbs, the filament is usually made from tungsten, and the shell of the bulb is filled with argon. In LED bulbs, the electricity flows through tiny microchip inside the bulb, which then reacts to light up several tiny LEDs inside the bulb.