Which Lamps Have Mercury?
Fluorescent lamps are three to four times more energy efficient than incandescent lamps, and they last up to ten times longer. In the long run, fluorescent lamps cost less to use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The following lamps contain mercury and cannot be put in the garbage or dumpster. They must be recycled.
Fluorescent tubes: linear tubes 1 - 8 feet long, including the T-12 and T-8.
Low mercury or 'green tips': linear tubes that sometimes contain lesser amounts of mercury;
Compact fluorescent lamps (CFL's): 'twisty' bulbs that replace traditional incandescent light bulbs;
High intensity discharge (HID) lamps: mercury vapor (farmyards, streets, general floods); metal halide (sports stadiums); high-pressure sodium (street lights, general floods); low-pressure sodium and xenon short-arc lamps. They are used when high levels of light over large areas are required, as in gymnasiums and parking lots, and are also used in vehicle headlamps;
Fluomeric lamps: high-wattage lamps with a long-burning life (up to 20,000 hours) that replace incandescent systems. Ideal for high-bay lighting such as industrial ceilings, street lights, building facades, billboards and sports arenas.
Ultraviolet: specialty lamps used for suntanning, medical treatments of the skin, in black lights and in germicidal lamps that disinfect food, water and air;
Other lights: neon lights, U-tubes and circular tubes, shatter shields (fluorescents coated with plastic to prevent breakage).