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How To Dispose of Halogen Light Bulbs: Everything You Need to Know!

Halogen bulb in a reflective shade

Halogen lightbulbs are standard and widespread bulbs with resistant glass to endure the heat. Since these bulbs tend to heat up while producing light, they need to be made with an unrecyclable type of glass. Other characteristics also make these light bulbs unsuited for a regular curbside recycling bin. That is why it is essential to know several options for proper disposal.

Read the article below to find out some of your options when it comes to recycling halogen light bulbs.

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What Are Halogen Light Bulbs?

Halogen light bulbs are a newer, improved type of incandescent light containing a tungsten filament. These lightbulbs function with the filament being heated up and eventually producing visible light. The main characteristic of halogen lightbulbs is their prolonged life span compared to incandescent lights and their much more energy-efficient use. Halogen light bulbs are filled with halogen gas, which is why their life span is much longer.

The halogen gas causes the tungsten to reattach itself to the filament in a cycle of evaporating and attaching. Halogen light bulbs also produce less heat, making them more efficient than incandescent lights but inferior to LED or CFL lights. Currently, the most energy-efficient, eco-friendly, and long-lasting bulb is the LED light bulb.

There are many places and areas where a halogen light bulb would be a perfect choice. Halogen light bulbs are mostly used for outdoor areas, indoor spaces such as kitchens and other works areas, and recessed lighting. Other common uses of halogen lights include:

  • Work lights
  • Security lighting
  • Display lights
  • Under-cabinet lighting
  • Landscape lights
  • Theater spotlights
halogen desk lamp
Image Credit: Frank Wittkowski, Pixabay

How Long Is the Life Span of Halogen Light Bulbs?

The lifespan of a halogen light bulb is longer than that of an incandescent light bulb, although it is still quite short compared to LED and CFL lights. While an incandescent light bulb will only last up to 1,000 hours, a halogen light can last between 2,000 and 4,000 hours. These predictions are nothing compared to the LED’s 50,000 hours and CFL’s predicted 20.000 hours. While a halogen light bulb is not an ideal solution when it comes to being environmentally friendly, it is a significant improvement from the standard incandescent one.

How to Dispose of Halogen Light Bulbs Properly

Since halogen light bulbs have a generally short life span, it is necessary to know the best, safest, and most efficient way to dispose of them. Below, you learn the proper way of recommended disposal and a few short steps explaining the method.

1. Avoid Throwing Halogen Bulbs in Regular Recycling Bins

The first important thing to remember is never to throw the light bulb in the regular curbside recycling bin. Halogen light bulbs are made with a heat-resistant type of glass, making them unsuitable for regular recycling with other glass types. If your municipality doesn’t offer an adequate recycling facility, refrain from placing the bulb in a regular recycling bin. This should never be the solution for disposing of these types of bulbs because a broken tungsten bulb can significantly impact the environment.

2. Find a Local Recycling Facility Which Deals with Light Bulbs

It is crucial to do research around your town or community and see if it offers a recycling facility for light bulbs, especially those containing tungsten. If not, try contacting any recycling facility near you and see if they offer any special programs which are suitable for your needs.

3. Check Battery Plus for Any Light Bulbs Recycling Programs

In some cases, Battery Plus stores offer recycling programs for light bulbs and other lighting products, especially halogen lights and CFL lights. While this is only sometimes the case, it is worth it to ask around; you might be pleasantly surprised.

4. Throw the Bulb in the Trash as a Last Resort

If there are no safer options for disposing of the light bulb, you can throw it in the trash bin with the other unrecyclable trash. Before throwing it in the trash, make sure to secure the bulb as much as possible to prevent it from breaking. Put it in its original container and wrap it in something which will shield the bulb from outside sources.

Halogen light bulb
Image Credit: Greg Brave, Shutterstock

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How to Dispose of Other Light Bulb Types

Incandescent Light Bulbs

Incandescent light bulbs share the same characteristics as halogen bulbs. Dispose of them in the regular trash bin along with other unrecyclable waste. Place it in another disposable package, such as a cereal box or its original package.

LED Light Bulbs

There are still no adequate recycling facilities for LED lights, although these are much safer to throw away than halogen or incandescent lights. They don’t contain any wiring, gas, or harmful toxins. There will surely be more facilities of this sort in the future, but for now, ask if your local recycling facility handles LED lights and if so, safely transport them off for recycling.

Fluorescent and CLF Tube Lighting

Fluorescent and CFL light bulbs contain a small amount of mercury making them unsuitable for regular trash bins, where they could quickly become exposed to air. Luckily, many home improvement stores around the US, such as Home Depot or Lowe’s, will offer special recycling programs for these lights. Check to see if your local stores have these programs available.

light bulb divider

Final Thoughts

It is crucial to remember not to mix the glass of halogen light bulbs with regular recyclable glass, as it is resistant to heat and can interrupt the process of recycling. Research an adequate facility nearby that would take these off your hands; if not, throw them in the regular trash bin. Make sure always to secure the light bulb so it won’t break.

Featured Image Credit: Piotr Wytrazek, Shutterstock


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