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"Dos and Don'ts" of Lightbulb Disposal

As we explored the different types of lighting in our previous blog post, there are also a variety of light bulbs with unique functions. They vary in properties and technology so the way they are disposed should be handled accordingly. Here are a list of the different types of light bulbs and how they should be properly thrown away:

LED lights do not contain any harmful chemicals, so you can throw them away in the regular trash can.

Incandescent light bulbs are becoming less common than LED lights, but they can be tended to in a similar manner to LED lights: they are allowed in a regular trash can, but it’s better if you recycle them. Commercial stores like Ikea and Home Depot offer free recycling services for these bulbs.

Halogen lights are named after the halogen gas they contain which makes these bulbs difficult to recycle. Most recycling centers don’t accept halogen lights, but it’s always a good idea to check. Otherwise, you can throw them into the trash like your LED and incandescent light bulbs.

CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lights) are popular for their energy conserving properties which can be attributed to the mercury they contains. This is an extremely toxic chemical which could seep into the drinking supply were it to end up in a regular landfill. This is why it’s crucial to carefully dispose of these and recycle them. To be extra cautious, we suggest that you place the bulbs back into their original packaging before recycling to ensure they don’t shatter.

Fluorescent tubes also contain mercury. Additionally, its long thin shape makes it especially prone to shattering. Fluorescent tube lights are fragile and dangerous, so make sure to be cautious when throwing them away. This can be done by disposing them like you would with CFL’s: return them to their original packaging to prevent shattering, and take them to a disposal.

With all this in mind, the bottom line is that light bulbs should be recycled whenever they can.

You can find a list of locations that provide recycling services in your area by entering your zip code here.

We hope this blog post made the light bulb in your head go off so you know what to do when the light bulb goes out. Give us a call for all of your home electric safety questions.

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