Low energy light bulbs

Low energy light bulbs can save you around 25% of the electricity compared to an ordinary light bulb and will last you 12 times as long.

Can I recycle low energy light bulbs?

Low energy light bulbs can be recycled at:

LED light bulbs can be put in a Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment bin at your local recycling site.

What do I do if a bulb is broken?

If a bulb gets broken please follow these guidelines:

  • make sure the room is well ventilated for 15 minutes
  • avoid inhaling dust from the broken bulb
  • wear rubber gloves, sweep up broken material with a dustpan and brush and wipe the floor with a damp cloth
  • place the bulb in a sealed bag and take it to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre
  • do not place in your normal household waste bin.

Are low energy saving light bulbs more polluting than ordinary ones?

Low energy light bulbs do contain a small amount of mercury. The Lighting Industry Federation has reported that the extra quantity of mercury emissions from burning fossil fuels in power stations to power ordinary light bulbs is three times the amount contained in equivalent low energy light bulbs. Mercury from a low energy light bulb can be collected and recycled, but mercury from power stations is released into the environment.

Is there a health risk associated with low energy light bulbs?

The UK Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has advised that no amount of mercury is good for you, but the very small amount contained in a single modern low energy light bulb is unlikely to cause any harm, even if the lamp should be broken. See notes above for safe disposal.

Contact the team

Climate Change team

If you have an enquiry about climate change or sustainability, send a message to the Climate Change Team


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