Green lightbulbs dim

Low wattage compact fluorescent light bulbs and light emitting diode (LED) lighting may not be as green as once thought. Researchers in California have analyzed the metal content of CFL, LEDs and conventional incandescent lightbulbs and used a life cycle impact-based method to compare the potential environmental impact of each. Mercury vapor aside, it turns out that even though they last longer CFLs and LEDs could do more harm to the environment because of their use of a wide range of toxic metals, including lead and copper, which are not present in incandescent bulbs. The study points to the idea that designers and electrical engineers must work towards reducing the overall environmental footprint of lighting products.