Lighten Up: Lemons & LEDs

October 3, 2021

What is Lighten Up?

This new initiative as part of Montgomery Energy Connection is an opportunity for residents to exchange their old incandescent and compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs for energy efficient LED light bulbs.

We will be setting up Lemonade Stands at Community, Recreation, and Senior Centers. Libraries, and Farmers’ Markets throughout the summer. While we won’t have actual lemons or lemonade, we do have a lemon treat and tons of LEDs!!!

The goal of these outreach events is to bring residents tips to help brighten their homes and lower their utility bills! As we say at the Lemonade Stand, “lemons are sour, saving money is sweet”

Join us! 

The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection and Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) will join together to celebrate October as Energy Action Month by offering the opportunity to exchange inefficient light bulbs for energy efficient ones. Bulb exchange events are scheduled at 19 County libraries. Energy Action Month is an opportunity to for residents to take proactive steps to lower their energy usage and their utility bills. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, lighting consumes 10 percent of the total electricity used in homes.

The light bulb exchange program offers an opportunity for residents to lower their utility costs by switching to more energy efficient LED (light emitting diodes bulbs). Replacing just five of the most frequently used light fixtures with energy efficient bulbs can save more than $65 a year in energy costs. Residents can bring their old incandescent and used CFL light bulbs to the following MCPL branches in exchange for new LEDs.

There is a limit of three bulbs per family at each event.

Most of our events take place outside, weather permitting. If we move inside, we will have signs directing you to the location and will be following all County guidelines for COVID.


  • Aspen Hill, 4407 Aspen Hill Rd, Rockville, MD 20853 – Saturday, Nov. 6, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Swap Your Bulbs 

These events will also be an opportunity for residents to learn more about the difference between incandescent, compact fluorescent, and LED bulbs and to SWAP out their old bulbs for new, energy efficient ones.

Did you know that we no longer refer to light bulbs in terms of watts? Because LEDs are so energy efficient, we are really concerned about lumens, or the brightness of the bulb.  In fact, all light bulbs now have a Lighting Facts label on them that helps consumers decide which bulbs would be best for them. The label includes a bulb’s brightness, energy cost, life, light appearance, and wattage. In addition, the principal display panel on the front of packaging focuses on lumens, a measure of brightness, rather than on watts, a measure of the amount of energy used, and includes the estimated yearly energy cost for each bulb. Bulbs themselves also feature lumens, and in the case of CFLs, a mercury disclosure. The label is an industry tool to help buyers evaluate product performance against manufacturer claims.

If you would like us to come to your location please email us at 

Past Events 

  • March 7, 2020 (Saturday) from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm at Damascus Community Center, 25520 Oak Drive, Damascus
  • March 9, 2020 (Monday) from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm at Jane Lawton Community Center, 4301 Willow Lane, Chevy Chase 
  • March 10, 2020 (Tuesday) from 9:30 am – 1:00 pm at Gwendolyn Coffield Community Recreation Center, 2450 Lyttonsville Road, Silver Spring
  • March 11, 2020 (Wednesday) from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm at Longwood Community Recreation Center, 19300 Georgia Ave, Brookeville
  • March 12, 2020 (Thursday) from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm at Plum Gar Recreation Center, 19561 Scenery Drive, Germantown
  • June 27, 2021 (Sunday) from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm at Takoma Park Farmers’ Market, 6931 Laurel Ave, Takoma Park
  • July 1, 2021 (Thursday) from 3:00 – 6:30 pm at Potomac Village Farmers’ Market, 9908 S Glen Road, Potomac
  • July 6, 2021 (Tuesday) from 12:00 – 2:00 pm at Little Falls Library, 5501 Massachusetts Ave, Bethesda
  • July 8, 2021 (Thursday) from 12:00 – 2:00 pm at Damascus Library, 9701 Main Street, Damascus
  • July 13, 2021 (Tuesday) from 4:00 – 6:00 pm at Long Branch Library, 8800 Garland Avenue, Silver Spring
  • July 14, 2021 (Wednesday) from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm at Quince Orchard Library, 15831 Quince Orchard Road
  • July 20, 2021 (Tuesday) from 12:00 – 2:00 pm at Connie Morella Library, 7400 Arlington Road, Bethesda
  • July 21, 2021 (Wednesday) from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm at Gaithersburg Library, 18330 Montgomery Village Ave
  • July 22, 2021 (Thursday) from 4:00 – 6:00 pm outside Silver Spring Library, 900 Wayne Ave, Silver Spring
  • July 24, 2021 (Saturday) from 9:00 – 1:30 pm at Pike Central Farm Market, 910 Road Avenue, North Bethesda
  • July 26, 2021 (Monday) from 1:00 – 3:00 pm at Long Branch Pool, 8700 Piney Branch Road, Silver Spring
  • July 27, 2021 (Tuesday) from 12:00 – 2:00 pm at Noyes Library, 10237 Carroll Place, Kensington
  • July 28, 2021 (Wednesday) from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm at Olney Library, 3500 Olney-Laytonsville Road, Olney
  • August 1, 2021 (Sunday) from 9:00 – 1:30 pm at Bethesda Central Farm Market, 7600 Arlington Road, Bethesda
  • August 2, 2021 (Monday) from 1:00 – 3:00 pm at Bethesda Pool, 6300 Hillandale Rd, Bethesda
  • August 3, 2021 (Tuesday) from 12:00 – 2:00 pm at Davis Library, 6400 Democracy Blvd, Bethesda
  • August 4, 2021 (Wednesday) from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm at Aspen Hill Library, 4407 Aspen Hill Rd, Rockville
  • August 5, 2021 (Thursday) from 12:00 – 2:00 pm at Rockville Memorial Library, 21 Maryland Avenue, Rockville
  • August 9, 2021 (Monday) from 1:00 -3:00 pm Sergeant Hector I. Ayala Outdoor Pool, 12621 Dalewood Drive, Silver Spring
  • August 10, 2021 (Tuesday) from 12:00 – 2:00 pm at Twinbrook Library, 202 Meadow Hall Drive, Rockville
  • August 11, 2021 (Wednesday) from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm at White Oak Library, 11701 New Hampshire Avenue. Silver Spring
  • August 12, 2021 (Thursday) from 12:00 – 2:00 pm at Marilyn Praisner Library, 14910 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville
  • August 13, 2021 (Friday) from 12:00 – 2:00 pm at Martin Luther King, Jr Swim Center, 1201 Jackson Road, Silver Spring
  • August 16, 2021 (Monday) from 1:00 – 3:00 pm at Upper County Outdoor Pool, 8211 Emory Grove Road, Gaithersburg
  • August 17, 2021 (Tuesday) from 12:00 – 2:00 pm at Kensington Park Library, 4201 Knowles Avenue Kensington, MD
  • August 20, 2021 (Friday) from 12:00 – 2:00 pm Sarah E. Auer Western County Outdoor Pool, 20151 Fisher Avenue, Poolesville
  • August 23, 2021 (Monday) from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Olney Indoor Swim Center, 16605 Georgia Avenue, Olney
  • August 26, 2021(Thursday) from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Kennedy Shriver Aquatic Center, 5900 Executive Boulevard, Bethesda 
  • September 4, 2021 (Saturday) from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm Schweinhaut Senior Center, 1000 Forest Glen Rd, Silver Spring
  • September 8, 2021 (Wednesday ) from 11:00 – 1:00 pm White Oak Community Recreation Center, 1700 April Ln, Silver Spring
  • September 10, 2021 (Friday) from 11:00 – 1:00 pm Damascus Senior Center, 9701 Main St #2, Damascus
  • September 26, 2021 (Sunday) from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm Olney’s Farmers Market, 2801 Olney Sandy Spring Rd, Olney
  • September 29, 2021 (Wednesday) from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm Wheaton Senior Center, 11701 Georgia Avenue, Wheaton


  • Monday, September 20th from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm Holiday Park Senior Center, 3950 Ferrara Drive, Wheaton
  • Tuesday, September 21st from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm Jane E. Lawton Community Recreation Center, 4301 Willow Lane, Chevy Chase
  • Wednesday, September 22nd from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm Mid-County DHHS Building, 1301 Piccard Dr., Rockville, MD 20850
  • Thursday, September 23rd from 2:00 – 4:00 pm Gaithersburg Library, 18330 Montgomery Village Ave, Gaithersburg
  • Friday, September 24th from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm Mid-County DHHS Building, 1301 Piccard Dr., Rockville, MD 20850



  • Saturday, Oct. 9, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. – Chevy Chase, 8005 Connecticut Ave., Chevy Chase
  • Tuesday, Oct. 12, 1-3 p.m. – Connie Morella, 7400 Arlington Road, Bethesda
  • Wednesday, Oct. 13, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. – Damascus, 9701 Main Street, Damascus
  • Thursday, Oct. 14, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Davis Library, 6400 Democracy Blvd, Bethesda
  • Friday, Oct. 15, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. – Gaithersburg, 18330 Montgomery Village Ave., Gaithersburg
  • Saturday, Oct. 16, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. – Kensington Park, 4201 Knowles Ave., Kensington
  • Monday, Oct. 18, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Little Falls, 5501 Massachusetts Ave., Bethesda
  • Tuesday, Oct. 19, 1-3 p.m. – Long Branch, 8800 Garland Ave., Silver Spring
  • Wednesday, Oct. 20, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. – Marilyn J. Praisner, 14910 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville
  • Thursday, Oct. 21, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. – Noyes Library for Young Children, 10237 Carroll Place, Kensington
  • Friday, Oct. 22, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. – Olney, 3500 Olney-Laytonsville Rd., Olney
  • Saturday, Oct. 23, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Potomac, 10101 Glenolden Drive, Potomac
  • Monday, Oct. 25, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. – Quince Orchard, 15831 Quince Orchard Road, Gaithersburg
  • Tuesday, Oct. 26, 1-3 p.m. – Rockville Memorial, 21 Maryland Ave., Rockville
  • Wednesday, Oct. 27, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. – Silver Spring, 900 Wayne Ave., Silver Spring
  • Thursday, Oct. 28, 1-3 p.m. – Twinbrook, 202 Meadow Hall Drive, Rockville
  • Friday, Oct. 29, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. – Wheaton, 11701 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring
  • Saturday, Oct. 30, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. – White Oak, 11701 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring

29 comments on "Lighten Up: Lemons & LEDs"

  1. Joel Teitelbaum says:

    Gwendolyn Coffield Center On Lyttonsville Road in Silver Spring. When will this Energy reduction Lightbulb exchange session take place?

    1. Larissa Johnson says:

      All of the dates and locations are listed above, March 10, 2020 (Tuesday) from 9:30 am – 1:00 pm at Gwendolyn Coffield Community Recreation Center, 2450 Lyttonsville Road, Silver Spring

  2. Joel Teitelbaum says:

    Gwendolyn Coffield Center On Lyttonsville Road in Silver Spring. When will next Energy reduction Lightbulb exchange session take place?

  3. Bill K says:

    What kinds of bulbs are they offering for the swap? Indoor lamp-types, or is there a choice?

    1. Larissa Johnson says:

      Thank you for your interest in participating, we only have indoor style, A19 style bulbs. The term A19 is used to describe the overall shape and dimensions of a light bulb. It has been used since the era of incandescent light bulbs, and now CFL and LED light bulbs continue to use the same term. An A19 bulb, therefore, has a diameter of 19 divided by 8 inches, or approximately 2.4 inches.

      Hope that helps 🙂

  4. Dave G says:

    For the Lemons & LED events, can we bring other household hazardous waste, or only CFLs? I have bags of old batteries, old small electronics, etc., and Shady Grove is far away…

  5. Jimmy Liu says:


    On August 5th at 12:30 I was waiting outside the Rockville library for the LED exchange stand to come, but it never came. Please share the reasons for why the LED exchange did not occur at noon on August 5th at the Rockville library.

    1. Larissa Johnson says:

      We are so sorry to hear that. We were there!!! Unfortunately, we were inside the atrium of the library. Each of our set up locations differs at the library based on the accessibility of the library, handicap ramps, sidewalks, walkways and weather. Our staff is at these events ready before the start time but our location is not always visible from the front door. We are so sorry you missed this opportunity but hope you are able to make it to another event.

  6. Christine Feinthel says:

    Home depot accepts round old fluorescent, but not tube. Can I bring tubes to Holiday Park this saturday , the 18th??

    1. Larissa Johnson says:


      Unfortunately some of the stores do not accept the tubes because they don’t fit in their recycle bins. The Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Stations accepts CFLs, tubes, and ballasts from your home at no additional charge at our Household Hazardous Waste dropoff. See where here:

      If you are unable to visit the Transfer Station, please let us know by emailing so we can try to make accommodations for you.

  7. Jim Caskey says:

    Lighten Up chart seems ambiguous in presenting “60 Watts” – is that equivalent “brightness” associated with each Incandescent bulb being replaced or annual energy used for the replacement LED?

    1. Larissa Johnson says:

      Sorry for the confusion – the image was supposed to link to this: – hope that helps.

  8. Richard B. says:

    Are you planning any future events on a Saturday in Germantown. The locations list are far from my home and office. Due to the type of job have I cannot take off work during the week.

    1. Larissa Johnson says:

      Unfortunately, the only event we have scheduled in Gaithersburg is Friday, Oct. 15, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. – I will send you an email to see if we can work something else out.

  9. Daniel Clohossey says:

    there is an event in Town of Chevy Chase on Oct 2 – a Town resident has asked – if I bring a 3-way bulb will I get a 3-way buib in return.

    1. Larissa Johnson says:

      Thank you for that question Dan – unfortunately, we only provide 60W equivalent LED bulbs at these events.

  10. Kitty Chan says:

    Today, a bunch of Senior from Leisure World went to the Olney library at about 12:30 to exchange bulbs. They were told by the Gentleman at the booth that they had run out of LED bulbs to give in exchange, but that someone was on their way to bring more. At 1:00, when the program as scheduled to end, the Gentleman told the crowd that someone is on their way and should be there in the next 5-10mins. The gentleman then took everyone bulbs and said the person coming will be giving them the bulbs. And then he LEFT. The crowd waited and then slowly left. The Seniors, wanting to be patient, so they continued to wait till 2:30… Until I told them to go home. Very disappointed in how this was handled and hope someone will be in touch with me to see that they are taken care of.

    1. Larissa Johnson says:


      I am so sorry about this – we bring 300 bulbs to each event and today was quite busy at Olney. I sent you a personal email as well. While we try to accommodate for everything and everyone, sometimes our events are quite popular. Again, we are so sorry please email if you ever have any issues and we will respond as quickly as we can.

      1. Nanda Alapati says:

        Re; Olney event on Oct 22. What troubles me the most is that the Gentleman told us repeatedly that someone was coming with more bulbs. At one point, he appeared to telephone someone and soon after said that his boss was “just down the road” and had light bulbs. I retrospect, it strikes me that he (or his “boss”) knew that no-one coming, If so, they should have been honest about this and said that no more light bulbs would be coming (rather than having us wait until past 2:00 PM.

        I strongly recommend that you/Montgomery County follow up with the Gentleman (or his employer/contractor) and make it clear that making such representations is unacceptable.

        1. Larissa Johnson says:

          Nanda, I am so sorry this happened, this was not a typical event. If you want to email – we will be sure to get the bulbs out to you as soon as possible.

  11. Chrysantheme says:

    At Chevy chase library, the county person went on a break, lunch?? at noon. The event time was for 11 am to 1pm. surely, they could have gone on a lunch break before or after. For a restroom break, a library clerk should have been enlisted. Also no more bulbs for two of us We were there 15 minutes.

    1. Larissa Johnson says:

      I am so sorry to hear about this – if you have any other issues or concerns, please email for us to take care of this – again, we apologize and hope you are able to attend another event if possible.

  12. Keith Sargent says:

    I wanted to let you know how happy I was that the woman at the Twinbrook library today stayed until 3:00, I was a little late but she was just starting to pack up so I was still able to make an exchange.

    I noticed that the How Much Do Bulbs Cost table has two rows with an error. Energy Cost and Total Cost show that LED bulbs are more expensive than incandescents. At least the last row for Total Cost is correct.

    1. Larissa Johnson says:


      We are glad that you were able to swap out your bulbs. As for the cost – LEDs do cost more in the initial cost but if you look at the chart in its entirety, you will find that the information is correct.

  13. Keith Sargent says:

    Oh, I see! Those rows are energy cost and total cost “per lifetime.” Since incandescent bulb lifetimes are so short, the energy cost appear to be lower, But you have to multiply that number by 20.8 bulbs to get the true cost, because it takes almost 21 incandescent bulb lifetimes to equal the lifetime of one LED bulb.

    1. Larissa Johnson says:

      Exactly – LEDs are must more energy efficient and cost less throughout the entire lifespan of the bulb itself 😊

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