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Operation Lamp Exchange Comes to Kmart Sept. 15

It may take an entire community and one power company to change a light bulb problem.

If your lighting sucks--too much energy, that is--swap it in for a new one that doesn’t at the sixth annual Operation Lamp Exchange September 15 from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Kmart in Long Beach.

Southern California Edison is inviting its local customers ages 18 and up to participate in the event by bringing an ID showing they are Long Beach residents, and up to 10 operational incandescent or halogen fixtures per household.

In return, they will have a choice of several varieties of  ENERGY-STAR-qualified lamps, while supplies last. All models utilize Compact Flourescent Light bulbs (CFLs) that draw 75 percent less power and last six times longer than conventional incandescent bulbs, according to SCE.

Since they're 75 percent cooler, CFLs are a safer alternative to hot-burning bulbs while also contributing to cooler homes and lower energy costs. By cutting down on unnecessary heat loss, even just one energy-efficient light bulb can save a consumer $40 over the course of its life, according to SCE.

Not only does it save customers money, switching to CFLs is an easy way for individuals to lessen the collective carbon footprint.

If every U.S. household replaced just one regular incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb, it would prevent 90 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, the equivalent of taking 7.5 million cars off the road, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“This is a great way for people to save money and help our city become more green and sustainable," said Mayor Bob Foster in a statement. "I encourage all Long Beach residents to take advantage of this free event to trade out their old lamps for more efficient light fixtures."

Floor, desk and table lamps as well as tall torchieres in working order will all be accepted, but fixtures that require flourescent bulbs will not be eligible due to the fact that they are already considered to be energy efficient.

Warranties will accompany new lamps and those that are defective will be fixed or replaced by the same model on site, according to the operation’s web site. Residents may also recycle old bulbs at the event.

Organizers recommend showing up early; more than 6,000 lamps were exchanged at a previous SCE event in Long Beach. Since the program first shined a light on the inefficiency of standard lighting six years ago, more than 230,000 lamps have been swapped for a savings in excess of 15 million killowatt-hours.

To put that number in perspective, it’s enough energy to power more than 1,400 households by wind turbine for one year. according to citizensenergy.com.

Kmart is located at 2900 Bellflower Blvd. in Long Beach, 90815. For more information about Operation Lamp Exchange, click here.   

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