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CRADLE to CRADLE Recycling Policy for LED Tube lights

Posted on Friday 19th October 2012
On October 18th, 2012, the U.S LED Manufacturer, Independence LED (, announces the most advanced & eco-friendly program to date to manage the lifecycle of linear illumination. Since the 1950’s fluorescent tubes have dominated commercial ceilings and caused disposal challenges given the toxic mercury vapor. Now, LED tube lights not only offer 50% reduction in energy consumption and longer life, but they also offer toxic free disposal.

Today, Independence LED posted on their website their Policy with a statement, “Commitment to Environmental Sustainability is Good for the Planet, and it is also Good for Business.” Here is their Five Star Commitment:

#1: They have met RoHS Compliance for their LED Tube lights

The Directive on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment 2002/95/EC (commonly referred to as the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive or RoHS) was adopted in February 2003 by the European Union. The RoHS directive took effect on 1 July 2006, and is required to be enforced and become law in each member state. This directive restricts the use of six hazardous materials in the manufacture of various types of electronic and electrical equipment. It is closely linked with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (THEYEE) 2002/96/EC which sets collection, recycling and recovery targets for electrical goods and is part of a legislative initiative to solve the problem of huge amounts of toxic e-waste.

#2: They have the External Driver Advantage

The vast majority of LED Tube lights rely on an internal or “dependent” driver which is the power supply that is located either inside the LED tube or at the end of the LED tube within the housing. This presents a significant problem in the disposal process, because the capacitors in the driver are costly to remove. With its external “independent” driver, Independence LED has a modular system so the driver is separate. This is key in recycling elements like the extruded polycarbonate lens since it just snaps off vs. the more labor intensive extraction process to separate the lens from an internal driver.

#3: They recycle the Aluminum for the Heat Sinks and the Printed Circuit Boards

The vast majority of the weight of the Independence LED Tubes is in the Aluminum heat sink and printed circuit board, which are both recycled for the next generation of LED Tube lights or any other products that incorporate aluminum. The vast majority of LED Tubes use plastics, thin fin aluminum and/or fiberglass printed circuit boards that are more costly to process given that the market value of aluminum is high relative to the cost of melting it down.

#4: They have a recycle Value that Exceeds the Disposal Cost

The offset cost of the proper disposal of elements in the External Driver is outweighed by the value of the Aluminum. The Independence LED Tubes are robust in their engineering and construction, which means that the weight is an advantage at the end of life, because it created an opportunity for “rebirth”.

#5: They focus on the closed loop of Product Rebirth

Their “Cradle to Cradle” approach is simply the antithesis of the Cradle to Grave approach of Fluorescent Tubes with the toxic mercury. LEDs not only last longer, but Independence LED has engineered a modular system that promotes environmental stewardship.

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LED Saving Solutions