bulb disposal and mercury information

bulb disposal and mercury information

According to Energy Star (www.energystar.gov), a compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) saves $30 over its lifetime, pays for itself in 6 months, uses 75 percent less energy and lasts 10 times longer than a traditional incandescent bulb.

Mercury is an essential part of CFL bulbs. Verilux CFL bulbs contain only 2.6 to 3.5mg of mercury while, in comparison, 10mg of mercury is emitted from power plants just to produce the electricity needed to power an incandescent bulb. It's clear that Verilux CFL bulbs are the right choice to light your home and help protect the environment.

It is important to know the proper use and disposal of CFL bulbs, to help maintain a healthy home and planet. At Verilux, we want to encourage you to locate a recycling center near you and understand the proper clean-up procedure if a CFL bulb breaks in your home.

The FAQ's and links below will help you understand a little more about CFL bulbs and assist you in locating recycling centers in your area so you can properly dispose of your CFL bulbs.


Why do CFL's contain mercury?

Here is why mercury is a critical component in the production of visible light:
There is a stream of electrons flowing between the electrodes at both ends of the fluorescent bulb. As the electrons interact with mercury vapor atoms floating inside the bulb, the mercury atoms become excited. When they return to an unexcited state, they release photons of light in the ultraviolet region of the spectrum. These ultraviolet photons collide with the phosphor coating on the inside of the bulb, and the phosphor creates visible light.

Since CFL’s contain mercury, how can they still be good for the environment?
A CFL uses 75% less energy than an incandescent light bulb and lasts up to 10,000 hours. That means less energy used, fewer greenhouse gas emissions and fewer bulbs in landfills.

Can I use a Verilux CFL bulb with a dimmer switch?
Verilux CFL bulbs are not intended or manufactured for use with dimmer switches. There are dimmable CFL bulbs offered by other companies, however, using regular CFL bulbs that are compatible with dimmer switches shortens bulb life.


A one-stop source of information about recycling bulbs

Clean-up and Disposal Guidelines for Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs)

Environmental Protection Agency 2007 waste facts and figures report (PDF format)


A Recycling Revolution List of recycling facts from aluminum, paper, plastic, and much more

Earth 911 “Making Every Day Earth Day”
Find recycling centers near you

Environmental Protection Agency
3 Steps to Recycle a Product

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