How to Clean Up a Broken LED Bulb

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Things You'll Need

  • Leather gloves

  • Hand broom

  • Dustpan

  • 2 small trash bags

  • Duct tape

  • Vacuum cleaner with hose attachment

LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs use less energy than incandescent light bulbs. Most LED bulbs are small. LED bulbs--especially regarding cleanup of broken bulbs--should not be confused with compact florescent (CFL) bulbs. Cleaning up broken LED bulbs is different (and simpler) than cleaning up CFL bulbs. That's because, unlike CFL bulbs, LED bulbs contain no mercury or other hazardous chemicals and do not have to be treated as hazardous waste. LED bulbs often are housed in plastic, rather than glass, so the shards might not be as sharp.


Step 1

Put on leather gloves to protect your hands from glass or plastic shards. Prepare your trash bags by placing one inside another--double-bagging can prevent shards from poking through. If the bulb was very small, use plastic sandwich bags.

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Step 2

Sweep up larger shards of the bulb using a hand broom and a dustpan. Dump the bulb shards and metal components into the trash bags.

Step 3

Tear off a strip of duct tape about six inches long. Press the adhesive side lightly to the surface where the bulb broke. This will pick up small pieces of glass that the broom left behind.

Step 4

Use a hose attachment on a vacuum cleaner to suck up the rest of the bulb particles, if necessary. If the bulb was very small, as many LED bulbs are, this might not be necessary (unless fragments are in carpeting).


If the bulb was broken on a carpeted area, forgo the broom and dustpan, and go straight to vacuuming. Since these bulbs are non-toxic, no special treatment is necessary. Wear gloves, though, to avoid getting bulb particles stuck in your skin.


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