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Fluorescent Tubes

What Is In Fluorescent Tubes?

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What Is In Fluorescent Tubes?

What Are Fluorescent Tubes Made Of?

The main elements inside a fluorescent tube include inert gas (typically argon), a small amount of mercury vapour, and a phosphor coating on the inside of the tube.

The efficiency of fluorescent tubes comes from their ability to produce light without generating as much heat as incandescent bulbs. This product wastes a significant amount of energy through heat production.


How Do Fluorescent Tubes Work?

One of the critical components in a fluorescent light system is the ballast, which regulates the current to the lamp and provides the necessary voltage to start it. There are different types of ballasts, including magnetic and electronic versions, each with its own advantages in terms of efficiency and lamp life.​

When the light is switched on, an electrical current flows through the electrodes at each end of the tube, causing electrons to migrate through the argon gas and vaporise the mercury. 

The collisions between electrons and mercury atoms produce ultraviolet light (UV), which is then converted into visible light by the phosphor coating.

The phosphor coating can be formulated to emit different colours of light, allowing manufacturers to produce tubes with various shades, such as warm white, cool white, or even bright colours.


Why Fluorescent Lamps and Lights Are Classed As Hazardous Waste

Fluorescent tubes are known for their energy efficiency and long life, typically lasting between 20,000 to 30,000 hours. However, they contain mercury, a hazardous material that requires careful handling and proper disposal to avoid environmental contamination.

When they are burnt out or broken, they are classed as hazardous waste due to this mercury content. This makes it important to dispose of fluorescent lights using professional disposal teams.

At Collect and Recycle, we specialise in disposing of cardboard, WEEE and hazardous materials, making us the perfect choice for multiple waste streams. If you are a business generating large volumes of any of these waste types, please get in touch with us today. We can organise a collection for your business and ensure that your waste is recycled into new products.

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