Hello everyone, welcome back to another Green Tech Thursday.

 

Today we are going to talk about light bulbs. More specifically, really good light bulbs.

 

In the United States alone, it is estimated that 670 million fluorescent light bulbs are going to waste on an annual basis. Due to 670 million light bulbs finding their way into landfills instead of being recycled, it is estimated that around 4 ton of mercury leaks into our environment. Now, this is a problem because mercury is poisonous and when let loose into the environment it will accumulate inside living organisms and work its way all the way to the top of the food chain—human bellies. 

 

Fear not for there are better alternatives! We have all heard about LED bulbs. LED bulbs don’t contain mercury, use less energy, last longer, and provide better lighting quality but the downside is that they are slightly more expensive. There is actually more than one downside to LEDs because while they might not contain mercury, they have other toxic materials such as lead and arsenic and a bunch of other harmful substances. However, if recycled properly, those substances don’t find their way into the environment and they won’t cause damage. 

 

Now here is some more good news. You’ve heard about LED bulbs and that they can last longer but how about a light that can last 60 years. Yes, you read that correctly, 6-0 years. That is a long time for one bulb to last but that is exactly what Dyson (yes, they’re the vacuum company) did. How do they do it? The answer lies in their cooling system. This new Dyson lamp is called the Dyson CSYS and it uses heat pipe technology that draws the heat away from the bulb—which is a LED chip on top of a light source—avoiding heat damage to light mechanisms. 

 

While LED bulbs certainly have their dark sides, they are a far better alternative to regular fluorescent bulbs, especially if they can last 60+ years. Investing in quality instead of quantity is a great way for all of us to make the most out of the materials we buy. This new Dyson lamp itself will still need to be made out of materials that will be harvested in a non-sustainable way but the difference between this lamp and other lamps is that you get to have it for your entire adult life (give or take). The principle of quality over quantity should be applied to all our devices, we can make the most of what we’ve got and indirectly spare the planet and its resources.

 

Thank you for reading and have a wonderful Thursday!

-Stephen

 

Some Links

Light Bulb Recycling

The Dark Side of LED Lightbulbs