On Earth Day, April 22, the city launches a new campaign to promote residential energy efficiency – the Evanston Porch Light Campaign.

The campaign encourages residents to “light the way” by changing their porch light from a regular incandescent light to an energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulb.

As part of the effort, the city will distribute 2,500 free Energy Star-qualified CFLs to residents that sign the Energy Star Pledge.

The lights are part of an 18,000 bulb donation to the city by the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus for signing the Greenest Region Compact two years ago.

Residents can fill out the Energy Star Pledge online and get their free CFL at the Morton Civic Center, Room 4600, 2100 Ridge Ave. Please either e-mail your pledge confirmation or bring in the printed confirmation when you come to get your free CFL.

“Simple actions add up” is one of the core messages of the Evanston Porch Light Campaign, which calls upon residents to display their pledge to reduce energy by switching a light visible to their neighbors – their porch light. “Block by block, we hope to see neighborhoods switching their porch lights to CFLs,” says Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, who has a CFL in her outdoor light fixture.

The Evanston Porch Light Campaign is one of more than 200 strategies outlined in the Evanston Climate Action Plan (ECAP), which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions community wide.

CFLs use about 75% less energy than traditional standard light bulbs, last up to 10 times longer, and each one could save you up to $70 in energy costs over its lifetime.

CFL bulbs contain a very small amount of mercury, so they should not be put in the garbage. Many locations around Evanston that accept bulbs for recycling for free, including select City of Evanston facilities.

Join the Conversation


  1. CFLs are garbage – switch to LEDs
    Why would anyone push CFLs for outdoor lighting in Chicago? CFLs take time to warm up and are’t dimmable, making them a terrible choice for motion sensing lights. Below 0, they may not even work at all! And they need to be disposed of properly (yeah right, how many will end up in landfills?)

    LEDs use 60% less power than CFLs, last 5x longer, and don’t contain mercury.


  2. CFLs are great for burglars.
    CFLs give off little light and in the winter weather below 35 will give half the brightness. I am one who thinks lighting up your property surroundings is the best security for your home, but for now i will keep with a regular light bulb for outside, and use the LEDs and CFLs inside.

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