With incandescent lighting on the way out, you will need to find an alternative. LEDs are the obvious choice. Not only are they energy efficient and last for years, they are also easy to recycle.
CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) bulbs contain mercury, so are much harder to dispose of safely. They cannot be included with your regular recycling. You should check to see if your local council offers recycling facilities for your old CFL bulbs.
Safety is another issue with CFL lighting. If a CFL bulb is broken, special procedures must be taken to avoid risk of mercury escaping and harming you and the environment. Add this to the cost of petrol and the environmental impact of taking them to your local tip, and you’ll see why LEDs make sense.
LED bulbs do not contain any hazardous materials. In fact, they are the safest form of lighting.
They don’t get hot and are very durable. LEDs are easily recyclable, and your supplier might offer a recycling service under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE)
LED lighting has a long lifespan, so you won’t need to replace them or worry about recycling them for years to come. Overall, LEDs are more efficient than CFL bulbs: they’re easier to dispose of, help keep your electricity bills down and will reduce your carbon footprint.
If you’re thinking of replacing your CFLs with LEDs now but they are still working, the Earth 911 website recommends donating them to shelters for the homeless or other low-income charities. That way, you’ll get the benefits of LED lighting without wasting the precious resources which already went into the CFL bulbs – good advice!