A homeowner's hand holding two energy-saving bulbs, with the text "FREE" transposed repeatedly over the image.

The world is making strides towards being greener and more energy-efficient. The more the population grows, the more imperative conserving energy and saving the environment becomes. However, we still need light, and upgrading to more sustainable LED bulbs can be expensive.

This article provides the resources, guidance, and tips you need to locate free energy-saving bulbs in your area. These seven leads offer links and suggestions to claim complimentary LED lights.

How Can I Get Free Energy-Saving Bulbs (LED)?

You can reach out to utility companies, look for free energy efficiency kits, look into government programs, and seek out LED swap programs to possibly get some free energy-saving bulbs. Also, look out for rebate offers, and reach out to schools that sometimes host free LED events. 

Let’s now look at these avenues for free energy-saving bulbs in more detail. 

Reach Out to Your Utility Company

Contacting your utility company is the best way to start going after some free LED bulbs. Many electric companies offer free or reduced-cost LEDs because if their goal is to curb energy demand, there might not be an easier way to do it.

Given that swapping out old incandescent, CFL (now considered old tech), metal halide, halogen, or other types of lighting technology can save anywhere from 50 to 90%, lighting is the low hanging fruit to not only slow down the pace of energy demand, but also smooth out the demand curve on a daily basis.

In fact, when I used to own a commercial lighting distribution company, we worked very closely with utilities because the rebates and free lighting products were usually so good.

Duke Energy provides customers with free bulbs upon request and services residents of Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, and Florida.

Look for Free Energy Efficiency Kits

Many utility companies and state programs offer free energy efficiency kits. These tool sets include LED bulbs and other helpful assets for energy conservation. 

An energy-saving kit featuring energy-saving bulbs and the other offerings
Courtesy of PMN

Bay Area Regional Network (Bayren) offers California residents two options to receive a free energy-saving toolkit: Do-it-Yourself or Green House Call.

The first option requires you to fill out a form online. You’ll need a Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) bill handy to use your account information to set up a BayREN profile. 

Once registered, you’ll receive a “Home Evaluation” form to assess your current energy situation and needs. This evaluation also offers helpful energy-saving suggestions. Once you’ve submitted the evaluation, Bayren sends personalized recommendations and an email about the next steps toward attaining your complimentary energy-saving package.

If you don’t feel comfortable assessing your home’s current energy needs, you can opt for the second option, which is the Green House Call. This program sends local energy specialists to eligible houses. 

A quick online survey determines whether your home meets the necessary in-person assessment criteria. The determining factors are location, time of the year, and whether or not you’ve had an assessment in the past five years. 

Specialists visit eligible homes and install energy-saving bulbs and other accessories for the homeowner. They’ll also provide tips and rebates to maximize your new fixtures.

The energy-saving kits include the following:

  • Up to five LED bulbs
  • High-efficiency shower heads
  • Faucet aerators
  • Kitchen sink aerator
  • Several rebates

Other Programs Offering Free Energy Efficiency Kits

The BayREN model provides a good blueprint for how other similar programs function. 

While the contents of a kit may vary from location to location, these states all have programs offering some variation on the sets:

  • California – SoCal Gas offers customers a free energy-efficiency starter kit.
  • IdahoIdaho Power offers customers home energy audits. The process concludes with complimentary energy-saving products, including LED bulbs. 
  • Indiana – AES Indiana provides customers with a free energy savings kit, which includes LED bulbs, power strips, and a gift certificate.
  • Iowa and IllinoisMidAmerican Energy services Iowa and Illinois. After completing a HomeCheck Online energy assessment, customers earn a free energy efficiency kit containing energy-saving bulbs, a power strip, a low-flow showerhead, and a bathroom faucet aerator. 
  • LouisianaEnergySmart provides New Orleans residents with one free energy efficiency kit per household. The set includes three nine-watt LED energy-saving bulbs, one 15-watt LED bulb, one energy-efficient showerhead, one kitchen aerator, and one bathroom aerator.
All the components of an energy-saving kit from EnergySmart
Courtesy of EnergySmart
  • Kansas and MissouriEvergy provides customers with a complimentary home assessment. The evaluation ends with upgrades, including replacing up to 20 incandescent bulbs with LEDs, faucet aerators, efficient-flow shower heads, and power strips.
  • Missouri – Qualifying Ameren Missouri customers are eligible for an in-home assessment. The Community Savers program assesses your home’s energy needs and installs new, energy-saving products, including LED bulbs.
  • New Jersey and Pennsylvania – Jersey Central Power and Light customers can submit a form and receive a free energy efficiency kit, including energy-saving bulbs, LED night lights, a furnace filter whistle, and a power strip. Each account is eligible for one kit, arriving at your home in between four and six weeks. 
  • New MexicoPNM offers free Easy Savings Kits to income-based accounts. After completing a quiz designed to assess energy needs, customers select the products for their boxes, including LED light bulbs. 
  • New YorkCon Edison Energy’s income-based program provides free energy savings kits to customers. The boxes include LED bulbs. 
  • Ohio – DTE Energy encourages customers to receive a free home energy assessment. Technicians tour users’ homes and evaluate areas where they can save energy. The consultation concludes with the energy specialist installing new appliances, including energy-saving bulbs.
  • Vermont – Efficiency Vermont runs a program that offers customers a complimentary Energy Savings kit featuring LED bulbs.
  • Virginia – Appalachian Power offers Virginians two free energy efficiency kit options. Both contain energy-saving bulbs and ship for free.
An energy-saving kit featuring energy-saving bulbs and the other offerings
Courtesy of Appalachian Power
  • Washington D.C. – Pepco Energy provides free LED bulbs to customers when they arrange a Quick Home Energy Check-Up. Analysts come to users’ homes, evaluate their energy needs, and install new, energy-efficient appliances, including energy-saving bulbs. 
  • Wisconsin – Wisconsin’s Alliant Energy offers free energy-saving product packs to customers. Kits include LED bulbs, high-efficiency showerheads, bathroom faucet aerators, and power strips.

Look Into Government Programs

Seek out government rebates and programs. Since America is functionally phasing out incandescent lights, the government is easing the process by offering deals and incentives.

the DSIRE USA homepage screenshot showing a map of the USA shaded by color for the number of efficiency and renewable tax credits each state has

Customers must apply for these rebates and programs. For a complete list of lighting rebate programs, visit DSIRE (the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency). This website allows you to search for rebate programs and energy conservation kits by state.

Seek Out LED Swap Programs

Many states hold LED swap programs. Homeowners bring their incandescent bulbs and switch them out for complimentary energy-saving bulbs. 

Walking Mountains Sustainability in Colorado offers monthly LED swap programs at various locations. These events are free to the public and allow customers to trade two incandescent bulbs for two LEDs.

Many towns and cities host such programs. Reach out to your local government or utility company, or do a web search to see if your region holds swap events. 

Contact Local Schools Hosting Free LED Events

Some local elementary schools and universities host free LED events. However, these are not scheduled regularly and vary from location to location, so monitor your local calendars.

Molokai, Hawaii, held such an event in 2022. Kaunakaki, Maunaloa, and Kilohana elementary schools invited the public to stop in and pick up a free energy-saving kit. These sets include LED bulbs, faucet aerators, and other valuable tools. 

Washington University in St. Louis has also held similar events in the past.

Closeup on a homeowner's arms who's swapping an incandescent bulb for a LED light bulb in a hanging ceiling fixture

Check Out the Green Project Group Free Light Bulb Program

The Green Project Group partners with utility companies to provide free energy-saving bulbs to customers. 

The process is simple:

  1. Check if your utility company is included on the Green Project Group website
  2. Sign up for a profile if your electric provider partners with the group and your account is in good standing
  3. Request your energy-saving bulbs

Your utility company covers the cost of the energy-saving bulbs, including shipping. The program allows each customer up to 25 A19 LED bulbs. The lights generally arrive between two and four weeks after ordering.   

Look for Rebate Offers From Your Utility Company

Rebates require an initial investment. However, you’ll get your money back. Many states and programs provide rebates for LED bulbs. Check your utility company for any rebate offers. They are often offered as incentives to upgrade to energy-efficient lighting. 


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