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Can LED light be recycled?



LED lighting is now a popular technology. LEDs are energy-efficient and eco-friendly too. With these characteristics, LED products are not toxic and can be recycled. Where can LED lights be recycled ?



trash bin

If you have switched to LED already, you are participating in improving the ecological footprint. If not, it’s never too late to make a good gesture for the planet. LED is much more efficient than incandescent bulbs or gas discharge lamps. LEDs have a longer lifespan, therefore reduce the frequency of disposal of lamps.But due to the increasing demand for LED lamps, it is only a matter of time until the product needs to be processed. Generally, LED bulbs have a logo with a crossed bin. This means that they should not be thrown in the garbage, but have to be recycled. In addition to that, this lighting technology is listed as RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) compliant. With this restrictions, it is forbidden to use six dangerous substances (Lead, Mercury,Cadmium...etc.). As a result, LEDs could be recycled just as it’s done with an ordinary light lamp.



How will LED lights be recycled?


As said before, LEDs don’t include toxic elements. However it is made of electronic components which are useful to be recycled. Diodes, semiconductors or transformators that can be recycled like any standard electronic equipment. Besides, LED is made of glass (88%), some metals (5%) and other different materials (7%). Some metals contained in LEDs are really useful for recycling such as indium, gallium or some rare-earth element (REE) that you can find in crust. It’s still better to avoid those lights to make their way to landfills. There are no special major programs to recycle LED for the moment.


recycle bulb

In most countries in EU, there are commissions which takes care of the regulation of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) in UK and ‘Recyclum’ in France for example. If you have difficulties to know where to recycle your old LED bulbs, don’t hesitate to ask the information to your local commission in order to know about the requirements. As long as we’re trying to improve the lifespan of LED, recycling LED is also a matter to be taken cared of. There are some options for recycling your LED bulb:



  • Local recycling center/ e-waste recycling center
  • Large retail distributors or DIY store


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