Have you ever wondered what's the difference between LEDs and other lightbulbs? Do they really save energy? How much do they cost these days? Look no further--we've got all your answers here.

Incandescent bulbs work by emitting light when the filament inside is heated. These are your typical, "old school" type of lightbulbs and have been used for over 100 years! These are by far the least energy efficient bulbs. They last 700 - 1,000 hours, and are typically warm toned.


Compact Fluorescent Bulbs
(CFLs) are newer, a bit more energy efficient, and are the "curly" ones. These consume less energy than their incandescent counterparts and last about 10 times longer, providing much more bang for your buck. However, they contain trace amounts of mercury and should not be thrown into the trash where they might break and leak mercury.

Look out for City of Bowie CFL takebacks and lightbulb exchanges or bring them to your local Home Depot or Lowes to dispose of them safely.

CFL lightbulb

LEDs are 90% more energy efficient than their incandescent counterparts and last the longest of all lightbulbs (up to 25,000 hours), making them the best choice for long-term money saving, and for the environment. Learn even more about the benefits of LEDs here.


Over the years, we have held many lightbulb exchanges in the City. For instance, we previously hosted a "Lawmen & Lightbulbs" event at the Bowie Town Center Starbucks to give residents a chance to meet some of our officers and receive a free LED bulb in exchange for turning in a CFL bulb. Learn more about our upcoming lightbulb exchanges and chances to receive a free Philips 3-way LED by going to our events calendar  or following us on social media @GreenBowie.