LED bulb is eco-friendly choice

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by WFAA Project Green

wfaa.com

Posted on February 5, 2010 at 4:28 PM

By PAIGE PHELPS / The Dallas Morning News 

The government says that if every American home replaced one light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb, we could save enough energy to prevent greenhouse gases equal to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars. Certainly great news, yet recycling burned-out CFL light bulbs poses a quandary for homeowners.

Disposal of mercury is a concern with CFLs. In Dallas, for example, CFL bulbs must be disposed of at the Home Chemical Collection Center, a facility that specializes in recycling hazardous wastes, including pesticides and house paint. If a consumer elects to throw CFLs into household trash, she must seal the dead bulbs in two plastic bags first; good to know if you happen to break a CFL bulb in your house.

A newer version of the eco-friendly bulb uses LED technology. The Pharox bulb uses half the energy and emits half the carbon dioxide of CFL bulbs, says its maker, Lemnis Lighting. It is wholly recyclable because it contains no mercury.

The Pharox bulb isn't cheap ($59), but it offers a burn time of 50,000 hours compared to 5,000 to 10,000 hours from CFLs, Lemnis says. When it does finally burn out, you can toss it into your blue recycling bin with no fear of mercury pollution or poisoning.

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