Energy-saving bulb disposal guide

In 2011, old-fashioned, GLS (tungsten) light bulbs were phased out and energy-saving bulbs replaced them. Follow our simple question and answer sheet for hints and tips on safety and disposal.

Safety and recycling of energy saving bulbs - frequently asked questions

Q: Do CFL and LED bulbs have a strobe-like effect?
A: No, they give a constant, flicker-free light.

Q: How do I change a CFL or LED bulb?
A: Make sure the bulb has cooled before replacing and handle by the base, never by the glass

Q: Do they contain mercury?
A: CFL bulbs contain a minute amount of mercury between 1.9 and 3.5mg, well within the safe, legal limit of 5mg. LED bulbs do not contain any mercury.

Q: What do I do if I break a CFL bulb?
A: Ventilate the room for 20—30 minutes. Always use gloves to remove debris and dispose of by recyling.

Q: How do I dispose of a CFL or LED bulb?
A: All CFL and LED bulbs should be recycled at your nearest recycling bank, which will be found at

Q: Do CFL bulbs emit ultraviolet radiation?
A: Yes – however this is minimal, but as a precaution bulbs should be at least 30cm away from exposed skin.

Q: Can LED bulbs interfere with DAB radio signals?
A:Some poor quality LED’s may interfere with the reception of some DAB radio signals, depending on their proximity to each other. Our LED bulbs should cause no interference with reception.

Please note: Both CFL and LED bulbs should never be disposed of in your household waste.