The above Ad will no longer appear after you Sign Up for Free!

Do not drop HPL Lamps

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by willbb123, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. willbb123

    willbb123 Active Member

    Messages:
    455
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    Iowa USA
    Today I was cleaning out the LX closet and there were a few HPL lamps that had corroded basses that needed to be thrown away. I had a trash bag sitting outside the closet on the concrete floor. So for the first lamp I reached out and dropped it like a foot to the ground. I then thought I really don't want broken glass everywhere, so I should be more careful, but what is the worst that can happen :rolleyes:. The second lamp I thought I dropped from the same height, well as soon as it hit the ground, I hear a little pop and suddenly a piece of glass hit me in my nose.

    Yea, so I just figured out the hard way that HPL lamps will explode if dropped. Probably common knowledge, that I somehow didn't know... I am extremely lucky that it hit my nose instead of my eyes. So now I have three little cuts on my nose... :oops:
     
    ship and (deleted member) like this.
  2. Sony

    Sony Active Member

    Messages:
    856
    Likes Received:
    96
    Occupation:
    Freelance Electrician/Rigger
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Technically you shouldn't be throwing HPL's or any Halogen lamps at all in the common trash. I know in Rhode Island and Massachusetts they are considered Hazardous Waste and must be disposed of as such in the same fashion as you dispose of fluorescent tubes. Our facilities department gave us a special disposal bucket to throw ours in, they empty it out about once every couple months when it gets full.
     
  3. xander

    xander Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    848
    Likes Received:
    113
    Occupation:
    Production Electrician, Programmer
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Yes, Halogen lamps contain Mercury, an extremely toxic chemical, and should be disposed of properly. Not to scare anybody, if you drop and brake the envelope it's not armageddon, you don't have to run for cover, but if you put them in the normal trash, they will end up in a landfill which can then contaminate water supply. Contact your local solid waste district to find out how to safely dispose of them.
     
  4. jwl868

    jwl868 Active Member

    Messages:
    697
    Likes Received:
    47
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Lamps fall under the Universal Waste Rules (40 CFR 273) only if they display a characteristic of a hazardous waste (40 CFR 261), typically because of mercury and occassionally because of lead. [The reg is poorly structured, first is says lamps are Universal Wastes, then, later, it states that only lamps that display a hazardous characteristic are Universal Wastes.]

    The applicability portion of 40 CFR 273.5 regarding lamps (in part):

    "..(b) Lamps not covered under this part 273. The requirements of this part do not apply to persons managing the following lamps:
    (2) Lamps that are not hazardous waste. A lamp is a hazardous waste if it exhibits one or more of the characteristics identified in part 261, subpart C of this chapter..."

    Rhode Island and Massachusetts are very clear in their state hazardous waste regulations that mercury-containing lamps are Universal Wastes. The regulation was developed primarily to reduce the amount of mercury being disposed of in conventional landfills.

    Double check what is in those lamps before spending the money on Universal Waste disposal.

    By the way, don't break the lamps in the special disposal bucket.


    Joe
     
  5. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,028
    Likes Received:
    1,252
    Location:
    North Wales PA
    HID lamps contain mercury. Halogen lamps do not.

    If they did, they would turn into HID lamps and the result would not be pretty! (Mercury conducts in a vapor form and would bypass the filament.)

    Outside of the fragment damage, Halogen lamps do not present any hazardous disposal problems. For more information, search the forum. Ship did a pretty good write-up on all lamp disposal awhile back. The gas used in Halogen lamps is often Bromine or an iodine derivative. (Thus the old name of Quartz-Iodine.)
     
  6. Sony

    Sony Active Member

    Messages:
    856
    Likes Received:
    96
    Occupation:
    Freelance Electrician/Rigger
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I never said Halogen lamps contain mercury, and YES I know not to break them in the special disposal bucket. All I know is that Rhode Island State Law, the Environmental Protection Agency and on-campus Health and Safety services REQUIRE us to dispose of all of our Halogen lamps in special containers. I can understand why if the lamps contain Bromine...which is very hazardous to the environment. Your local laws and regulations may differ.
     
  7. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

    Messages:
    950
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    Somewhere far far away, Vic, Aus
    I spoke to a local politician recently that assured me that all lights would be replaced with energy efficient ones, this is the shadow environmental minister. (Having said that, our environmental minister was once the lead singer of a rock band that was very popular, ever heard of Midnight Oil? That's our environmental minister, you guys may have Arnold Swartznegger but we have a rock star!) I pointed out to him there are times, like in the theatre, you can't use them. But no, he assured me, they would be energy efficient. We will see what happens...
    Nick
     
  8. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,028
    Likes Received:
    1,252
    Location:
    North Wales PA
    Actually, I was replying to this post:


    A search of the EPA website came up with no hits on "Halogen Lamps" under Laws and Regulations. (Plenty of hits for Mercury!)
    http://www.epa.gov/lawsregs/

    Here is the page about CFLs, HIDs, etc.
    http://www.epa.gov/osw/hazard/wastetypes/universal/lamps/faqs.htm
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2009
  9. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,026
    Likes Received:
    770
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    As printed in the NY Times 4/24, comments about the CFL craze, from Howard Brandston (do a Google)

    Howard Brandston, an award-winning lighting designer, has worked on a number of high-profile projects in his career — from a makeover of the Statue of Liberty in the 1980s to helping to develop the nation’s first standards for energy-efficient building design.
    Now, amid a growing raft of legislation around the globe aimed at phasing out the standard incandescent light bulb (and in some corners, popular resistance to that idea), Mr. Brandston is stepping out of retirement and into the debate over energy-efficient lighting.
    Specifically, Mr. Brandston accuses “energy zealots” of using faulty science to determine the efficiency of light bulbs, and he says that simplistic lumens-per-watt comparisons obscure questions of how well different bulbs do what they’re supposed to do: light up a room.
    The government, manufacturers and efficiency advocates, in pushing the adoption of compact fluorescents, are “forgetting the lamp has to serve a purpose for the area it’s lighting,” Mr. Brandston said in a recent series of chats with Green Inc. “It has to work within a system which includes the luminaire — the fixture — and it has to work within the room. The room is part of that system. And when you ignore the fixture, the room and the purpose, you’re going to come up with something that is not going to serve well.”
    “The system efficiency is really what counts,” Mr. Brandston added, “not lumens per watt, not how much light per watt is produced, but how much of that produced light is actually put to purposeful use.”
    Excerpts from an interview with Mr. Brandston follow.


    Q
    You’re not happy with the direction the government is going with respect to setting efficiency mandates for lighting products. Why not?

    A
    I think the government’s use of lumens-per-watt as a metric is a mistake. It doesn’t follow lighting practice. It’s one tiny part of what lighting design is all about. And by using that one metric, you are limiting the choices of all lighting designers and not following good lighting practice.

    Q
    But is lumens-per-watt an accurate measure of efficiency?

    A
    It’s not even an accurate measure of efficiency because in order to make their case they are to some extent misrepresenting the value of these lamps that they’re suggesting, which are compact fluorescents to replace incandescents. That is the biggest issue.
    The quality of light from the compact fluorescent is about the worst of the major light sources manufactured today. And, aside from that, they don’t say anything about the problems of disposing of these lamps, nor do they talk about the additional power that it costs to manufacture these lamps. When you look at how they work, the entire process they are suggesting is filled with errors. And it’s misleading.

    Q
    What’s a more accurate way to measure efficiency, in your opinion?

    A
    The only way to really look at efficiency in a lighting system is to do a system analysis. It is the installed working operation of the system, not the lumens-per-watt of the lamp. You have to do a total holistic system evaluation to tell the true cost and the true energy savings.

    Q
    This doesn’t sound like something everyday people can figure out. Are you saying we need to hire lighting designers to find the best solution for lighting our homes?

    A
    You don’t need to hire a professional. Your basic subjective judgment is all you need. What really would be nice is if the federal government would not mislead the public and seduce them into doing things which are really inappropriate.
    But the average person’s subjective judgment that they utilize when they buy their clothes,
    when they buy their furniture, when they buy whatever, is more than adequate.

    Q
    Are you saying that if people like incandescents, it’s the smarter choice in terms of efficiency?

    A
    I’m saying that in all probability, in a residential application, I think they would be more efficient. Using my home system as an example, I have literally dozens of incandescent lights in here. The quality of light in this house is superb, as one would expect from a lighting designer like me, but the interesting thing is, since I put a 1,250 square foot addition on here 12 years ago, I’ve been tracking the life of the lamps. And in that 12 years I’ve replaced 3 lamps. This is under normal residential use, and a fully occupied dwelling.
    The calculations used by the government and others promulgating or promoting use of compact fluorescents is strictly mathematical conjecture and nothing to do with reality.

    Q
    How do dimmers and other devices factor into all this?

    A
    That is a big factor. My house does have dimmers on almost all of the lights. And that is part of the reason why we’ve replaced so few lamps.
    If someone really wanted to do a green household, they could use dimmers, they could use occupancy sensors to turn off the lights in case they forgot to. Control of the light is really the most energy efficient way to gain benefit. If you dim an incandescent lamp from 120 volts to 110 volts you will increase its life by approximately three times. If you dim it a little more, you
    increase it even more. And then they will surpass the lifespan of a compact fluorescent lamp.

    Q
    You take particular issue with the way government is pushing efficiency, but it is fueling the development of new technologies such as LEDs. Isn’t this positive?

    A
    The biggest boost in new light sources came during the energy crisis when all kinds of progress was made and that has been continuing nonstop because this is an important issue.
    But hoping that lighting is going to make a major contribution borders on ridiculous. The real areas that should be looked at that would make big gains are in all commercial office buildings if they raised the temperature in the summer that they would cool to and lowered the temperature that they would heat to, and gave everybody a sweater or allowed them to come lightly dressed in the summer, we would save more energy in a few months than all the lighting watts per square foot baloney that’s going on now.

    Q
    Don’t you think it’s worthwhile to attack the problem from all angles?

    A
    I think we should be attacking this from all angles, but not change the light bulb. … Control the amount of time you have the lights on, and you will do well. People leave the lights on all the time. We’ve got to get new habits. We’d be better off promoting occupancy sensors and dimming controls and recommending all dimmers be set to only provide 95 percent of the power to the light sources. Then we would be making real headway.
     
  10. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,028
    Likes Received:
    1,252
    Location:
    North Wales PA
    rant

    Yea, this whole CFL thing is crazy! Here is the hazmat procedures a homeowner is recommended to take if they break one:

    http://www.velmadinkley.com/energy/CFL.pdf

    In my own unscientific study, EVERY person I have talked to (outside of this board) was not aware that just sweeping it up and throwing it in the trash was bad news. The EPA goes on to say in other parts of the site that CFL mercury leakage was OK as this leakage only represented a fraction of the mercury that was emitted by coal plants that would have been required to provide the extra power to light a conventional bulb. WHAT ???!!! Wonder if my pets would agree as they licked up the residue.

    Besides the sickening color, IMHO we are having something shoved down our throats. It also appears that they neglected to factor in the ~50% of power plants that do not burn coal. (You guys out there in Vegas must be omitting mercury from that hydro-electric dam somehow.)

    /rant (as there are probably 40 threads with some type of CFL rant on this board.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2009
  11. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

    Messages:
    4,365
    Likes Received:
    501
    Occupation:
    Prop-tart
    Location:
    Chicago
    I've ranted about CFL's before. I'll sum up: They are best used in long-run-time hard-to-reach broad wash and area illumination type applications where the benefits of several CFL's running full time is of great value and color temperature and spectrum is not as important.

    The lamp in your closet you turn on and off several times a day? Keep it incandescent.

    Power plants burn coal, yes, but what about all those PARTS of a CFL- petroleum based plastics, silicon, resistors, capacitors, all the solder, probably not lead free, intensive manufacturing.....not to mention the safe disposal factors.


    The CFL bullsh*t is really starting to grind me, and I'm pretty far left...and while LED's show great potential, they're no magic bullet either.

    oops

    /rant
     
  12. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,008
    Likes Received:
    762
    Location:
    DFW, Tx.
    I'm not agreeing nor disagreeing with anyone here, but I do find it funny how people react to the trace mercury in CFL's. Especially when no one is scared of standard fluorescent tubes, which can contain the same amounts of mercury if not more in some cases.

    Coal burning plants emit mercury into the atmosphere. The smaller load we put on the plants, the less mercury that will be released. Sure, that mercury may very well go into the landfill because of the laymen that throw them into the trash, but if everyone recycled them like they're supposed to we could side-step that potential problem.

    To put it in perspective, it would take 100 CFL's to match the amount of mercury found in that 1 old fashioned thermometer that your mom used to stick in your mouth when you were sick!

    I do wish there was an alternative to using mercury in household lamps, but everyone should learn all the facts before screaming AHHH MERCURY!!! (I'm not aiming this at anyone here, mostly just the homeowners I read about online that think you have to call HAZMAT to come seal off your house and dispose of your broken light bulb).
     
  13. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,028
    Likes Received:
    1,252
    Location:
    North Wales PA

    Your mom used to put the thermometer in your mouth? ;) Lucky!

    Anyway, coming from the perspective of someone who used to play with liquid mercury as a kid (explains a lot), regular fluorescents were generally in installed fixtures. CFLs are being used in table lamps, drop lights, and other portable locations. To make matters worse, there is this spiral design. I know more than one person who has been dumb enough to pop one screwing it in and ignoring the warning about always using the base. It is the shear volume of the number going into use that worries me. At my local Home Depot they were running a special; 10 for $9.99 (?) How they are marketing them for less than a buck is beyond me unless China is getting some kind of "Carbon Credit" for making a gazillion of them. I don't like them and yet there are 20 in my house along with an equal number of regular bulbs. By the way, gone are the days of 4 for a buck incandescent. At $0.80 each, the old frosted 60w is now being priced at near the price of the CFL. (Figure that one out!) So what happens now? 300 million people in the states are going to be using billions of them! They are going to be misused, mishandled and improperly disposed of on a scale that florescent tubes never were. Remember, most office building crews follow the correct protocol on disposal.

    The crazy part is, the small volume of mercury being used is part of the problem! It is not liquid mercury that is dangerous... Spit plenty of that out when I had fillings put in. It is the compounds that form when mercury is left exposed to air. Some of these are unbelievably toxic! Break a thermometer and you can collect the mercury pretty well. I used to drain it out of old switches before I threw them out. Comes out in a nice bead. With CFLs you will never find the trace amount. It will be left to dissolve into the environment and form it's secondary compounds. Now, multiply that out times the billions of them that will be improperly disposed of and you start to see the problem.

    JD puts his tinfoil hat away... for the moment.
     
  14. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,008
    Likes Received:
    762
    Location:
    DFW, Tx.
    New plan: Only buy the ones encased in an A-lamp type envelope! Yes, I've broken one by twisting it. Unbeknown to me that it had GU type contacts.
     
  15. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

    Messages:
    6,173
    Likes Received:
    447
    Location:
    Illinois
    Halogen / Quartz lamps do not have mercury in them. Bromine as part of a normal incandescent lamp dangerous, first I'm to hear of this and still really trace elements. Bromine as opposed to Iodine or in combination with it as a noble gas in making the halogen effect of redepositing the tungsten of the filamet back on the filament as a halogen cycle for longer lamp life and higher output.

    Sorry to hear this reply part centering about CFL's and fluorescent. Interesting posts about HPL lamps being considered hazzardess waste on the other hand as posted similar to that of fluorescents. Totally in my thoughts seperate concepts in debate. A HPL lamp with what balance of bromine verses iodine but incandescent being considered hazzardes waste verses that of a CFL or fluorescent. While the responses are agreed on in only my wife in reading lamp and kitchen counters having fluorescents are all the fluorescents in the house and years between changes also, this plus lamp per design use... stiff off topic.

    More concerned about the breaking of that HPL lamp and it in popping causing injury. Shouldn't have in not being negative pressure or only slightly in popping. More so in my case for the 'wifie's department where they have the incandescent/halogen recycling 55gal. drum and she insists her people take out their frustrations with work in doing away with such lamps in it. I'm against that practice in such things as you cite by way of potential injury. Think I'll redouble my efforts in setting the lamps into the drum rather than breaking them in it given the initial post.

    That said, cost almost as much if not just as much to recycle a 55gal drum full of incandescent lamps including PAR 64 lamps as metal hallide lamps - about $1K each and last time I did this I had like 5 of them to do so on. Fluorescent tube drums were cheaper to recycle.

    Local laws might be crazy and stupid at times in what seems to some law writer sensible but stupid in reality, this or a mis-interpitation of what the law says especially if relying on those recycling it for you to figure out what it says for you. I recycle lamps as part of policy be it hazzardess or just plain because it's glass, it is able for recycling. A xenone lamp I recycle with the mult-vapor lamps out of safety. This not because they have dangerous chemicals in them but because they could explode and I wear safety protection when opening that container. Halogen or incandescent lamps on the other hand while I recycle them by way of volume, are perfectly safe to throw out without any need of recycling. Your local law might say something different and you should read into and question that because there is nothing that is unsafe about them. Mercury was mentioned which is not the case within them.

    No mercury in a incandescent or halogen lamp, nor overall need to seperate them from landfill unless recycling concess by way of aluminum or other materials heat sink or glass involved with the lamp.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice