How can I reuse or recycle old flourescent light tubes?

lighting tubes made into a light shadeWe’ve kinda already covered this before – in with spent energy saving bulbs and old lightbulbs in general – but I just spotted this very cool reuse of old strip lights so thought it was worth mentioning more specifically again.

Castor Canadensis, a design studio in Canada, has thought to turn a whole bunch of old tubes into a new light fitting – with an energy efficient bulb inside to provide the actual illumination. (On a similar theme, Ikea used to do “bucket” light shades that you could fill with whatever you liked and old lightbulbs looked cool in there.) I imagine that if you were handy, you could make a flat version for a wall light too – but I don’t know how you’d go about lighting that evenly – any suggestions? A spread of white LEDs maybe?

Anyway, as I said, this is a bit of a retread so there is plenty of recycling/disposal advice for these tubes on the energy-saving bulbs post – but basically, BE CAREFUL! They’re a hazardous material and shouldn’t be thrown into an open van, shattering and sending crap and glass all over the road (as some scrap collectors did on our street a couple of months ago…). Dispose of them properly at your local household waste site.

(Photo courtesy of Castor Canadensis)

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3 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle old flourescent light tubes?”

  1. Lucia says:

    I usually collect them and wait to use them to pack fragile objects I want to gift to somebody or to send by snail-mail. Somebody makes flowers with soft paper: you can use this for very soft flowers or animals made by folding and sewing them just like a kind of origami. A useful way of using them is to put one of them inside a pot in the cupboard and then put inside it a smaller one: they will not collide and it is good for not making noise and also not to scratch them if they are in teflon.
    This is it, by now.

  2. Lucia says:

    On you can see the “Apple wreath” I made using a round flourescent light. This was right for this post! ;-)

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