Eco-friendliness of Induction Lights

There is very little mercury used in induction light (only 3% of mercury used compared with Metal Halide Light; 5% of mercury used in fluorescent tube). The mercury in induction light is in solid amalgam (alloy). It is much easier to recycle than the liquid mercury used in MH and fluorescent. Plus the extremely long life of the induction lamp make the recycling not much a big issue.

Almost all modern high output light sources depend on using mercury inside the lamps for operation. When considering the environmental impact of the mercury in lighting, we must take three factors into consideration:

  • The type of mercury (solid or liquid) which is present in the lamps
  • The amount of mercury present in a particular type of lamp, and
  • The lifespan of the lamp which will determine the amount of mercury used per hour of operation.

Liquid mercury, which is the most common form of mercury used in lighting, represents the greatest hazard. If a lamp is broken, the liquid mercury can find its way into cracks in concrete flooring, the fibers of carpets, or into spaces in other floor coverings. Over time, the mercury will evaporate into the atmosphere causing a local hot spot of low level contamination. The more liquid mercury present in a lamp, the longer the resulting contamination will last.

eco friendly

Mercury can be compounded with other metals, into a solid form called an amalgam. This is the type of mercury used in induction lamps. It is similar to the once widely used dental amalgam in tooth fillings. The solid form of mercury poses much less of an environmental problem than liquid mercury. The small slug of amalgam can easily be recovered (always wear disposable gloves) in the case of induction lamp breakage and therefore can be disposed of properly with little or no risk of creating a locally contaminated area. The solid mercury amalgam is also simpler to recover for recycling at end of lamp life.

 

 

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