Yes they are. LED lamps are regarded as the most environmentally friendly among the various types of lighting currently available on the market.
First of all, they are much more energy efficient compared with other lightings, especially with traditional incandescent bulbs. LEDs use 70-80% much less energy than traditional lamps to produce the same amount of light. Lower energy usage means less fossil fuels are burned out and less CO2 emissions go into the atmosphere. It was estimated that one single LED lamp saves the atmosphere a half of ton of CO2 through its life-cycle.
The U.S. Department of Energy has estimated that within 20 years LED lights will decrease greenhouse gases so much, that it may lead to the closure of 44 coal-fired power plants.
LED lamps do not contain mercury or other toxic substances. Fluorescent lamps contain small amount of mercury. The amount is not enough to cause a serious hazard to human health when a single bulb is broken, but when we count millions of lamps that are burned out each year, the overall effect on the environment cannot be ignored.
Mercury-containing lamps require special disposal. They are sent to special recycling facilities where mercury is separated. As the recycling process for these lamps is more complicated than for LEDs, it also consumes more energy. As a consequence, recycling a CFL, or a halogen lamp results in a higher carbon footprint (or more impact on the environment).
Moreover, some areas still lacks facilities accepting mercury-containing lamps. In effect, many CFLs and halogen bulbs end up mixed with general household waste that is sent to the landfill. There, mercury can get out of broken bulbs and contaminate soil and even groundwater.
So if you are looking to make a positive impact on the environment and/or reduce your carbon footprint, try installing energy efficient and eco-friendly LED lights.
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