Let There Be Light: Bulb exchanges are taking place throughout the County

April 18, 2017

This spring, the County’s Residential Energy Program has partnered with local congregations for the Let There Be Light, Bulb Exchange. This is a collaborative effort between Pepco, Potomac Edison, DEP, and congregations to celebrate the change in season and reduce energy use in the home.


Why is the program called Let there be Light, Bulb Exchange?

As the days get longer, we may not be using as much lighting in our homes. But the lighting we do use is important for saving energy and money.

Spring is the opportunity for people to recycle their older inefficient incandescent and CFL light bulbs for fancy, new LEDs.  As part of the Let there Be Light Bulb Exchange,  DEP staff will visit congregations across Montgomery County to bring lighting and to enlighten members about the benefits of switching their lightbulbs.


Why make the switch?

Even though the days are getting longer and we have access to more daylight, we still rely on lights in our homes for many reasons – to brighten a room, to read, and to light our meals when we’re dining.

We want to make sure we are using the most energy efficient option as possible – LEDs.

LEDs, or light emitting diodes, are the latest technology for lighting your home and they produce light in a more energy efficient way than ever before. ENERGY STAR certified LEDs also provide tons of benefits to residents:

  • LEDs lower energy costs: LEDs lasts longer than other light bulbs. Annually, each incandescent bulb cost about $4.80 to operate, whereas LEDs are about $1. Over its lifetime, the savings could be between $80 and $540, depending on the type of bulb it replaces.
  • LEDs reduce maintenance costs: Since they last so long, you’ll spend less time replacing lighting in your house. This means less time spent on ladders, in stores buying lighting and less waste.
  • LEDs create less heat: LEDs produce significantly less heat as they light your home.  You won’t burn your hand touching one, and you may see a reduction in how much your home needs to be cooled in the summer.
  • LEDs have no toxic elements: CFLs contain mercury and should be treated like a hazardous waste when it’s time to dispose of them, while LEDs can be thrown in the trash.
  • LEDs are more environmentally friendly overall: Hundreds to thousands of kilowatt-hours of energy will be saved every year by making the switch, which means less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The Let There Be Light, Bulb Exchange

DEP is trying to make it as easy for possible for people to make the switch to LEDs. If you are interested in a quick, no-cost way to save energy in your home, we would suggest contacting your utility to schedule a Quick Home Energy Checkup.

The Let There Be Light, Bulb Exchange program has already switched over 150 incandescent and CFLs for LEDs which is saving residents energy and money every day!


Participants at River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation getting ready to exchange their bulbs.

12 comments on "Let There Be Light: Bulb exchanges are taking place throughout the County"

  1. Kevin says:

    Isn’t it ironic that the government told us all years ago to stop using Incandescent lights and to use the CFLs as they were what was best for us to use per the government officials though they knew back then that they are more harmful for the environment. Stop telling people what to do and present them with the ability to do better on there own as it has always been obvious to me that the people “In Charge” do not know what they are doing as they all have there own agendas that never involve the people. If they did then we would not have Republicans and Demarcates, there would only be citizens bettering there community by doing there Civic duty by doing what is best for the community overall.

    1. larissaj says:

      Thank you for the comment. Our hope by doing events like “Let there be Light” bulb exchange is to give residents information, tools, and resources to make educated decisions.

      As you may know, technology changes pretty quickly and lighting is no different. Our job is to share the most updated information with residents. A few years ago, CFLs were a more energy efficient option than incandescent bulbs. Now, LEDs are more energy efficient than both types.

      Ultimately it is your choice if you want to change your light bulb or not. We would be remiss if we did not provide outreach and education about the cost benefits of switching to LED lighting.

      Events, such as, “Let there be Light” bulb exchange enable residents the opportunity to ask questions, find out if LEDs are right for them, and if they are, to swap their less efficient bulbs for more energy efficient bulbs at no cost.

      We hope we are able to do more events like this in the community and we hope you are able to join us.

  2. H Koplow says:

    How about skipping the propaganda and giving us a schedule of WHERE and WHEN the bulb exchanges will take place?

    1. larissaj says:

      Thank you for your interest in attending an event. DEP is scheduling these events with individual congregations, if your congregation is interested in scheduling one, please email energy@montgomerycountymd.gov.

  3. James Conklin says:

    I understand that the LED bulbs that you provide are all 9W, 60W-equivalent. Can you provide information on their color temperature and color rendering index as well, please? Thanks!

    1. larissaj says:

      Great question James, here is some information:

      ENERGY STAR certified bulbs are available in a wide variety of shades of white light, ranging from yellowish, to white, to bluish white light, which allows you to customize the mood of your space. Many ENERGY STAR certified bulbs come in “warm” colors to match the yellowish light of incandescent bulbs, but you can also choose “cooler” colors with whiter or bluer light.

      Light color is measured on a temperature scale referred to as Kelvin (K).

      Lower Kelvin numbers mean the light appears more yellow; higher Kelvin numbers mean the light is whiter or bluer.

      Most ENERGY STAR certified bulbs are made to match the color of incandescent bulbs at 2200-3000K.

      For a whiter light, look for bulbs marked 3500-4100K.
      For bluer white light, look for bulbs marked 5000-6500K.

      For more information on what that looks like: https://www.energystar.gov/sites/default/files/assets/images/Choosing%20the%20Right%20Color_051716.jpg

      1. James Conklin says:

        What I intended to ask was: What is the color temperature and color rendering index of the LED bulbs that you are providing in the exchange? Thanks.

        1. larissaj says:


          The LEDs we distribute are 9.5 W, Soft white light (2700 K), 800 lumens with an estimated yealy energy cost of $1.14 per year based on 3 hrs/day, life expectancy is 22.8 years.

          Hope that helps!

  4. Conall Smith says:

    Replacing house lighting with LED bulbs can help you go green and save energy costs.

  5. Stephanie Woods says:

    Are you sending people out lighting companies? Door to door with light bulbs? We had someone come to our door with a Alliance Lighting wanting to come in and put in bulbs for the program with PEPCO ?

    1. larissaj says:

      Greetings Stephanie,

      DEP does not go door to door, you will find us at community events though if you want to chat. As for the door to door services, there are contractors who work with/for the utilities who may come door to door to ask you if you want a Quick Home Energy Checkup, https://mygreenmontgomery.org/2017/qhec/

      If you are wondering if the company at your door works for Pepco, we suggest you check out the PSC website to answer any questions: http://www.psc.state.md.us/electricchoice/contact/

      Hope that helps!

  6. Dimpy says:

    Please let me know, when light bulb exchange program happens in Montgomery County

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