It is time to turn the porch lights on because the Porch Light Program is underway.

In partnership with the Grand Haven Board of Light and Power (GHBLP), the City of Grand Haven will provide 2,500 free light emitting diode (LED) light bulbs to Grand Haven residents this fall. By installing these bulbs in their homes, residents can increase their home’s energy efficiency and make their block a more inviting place.

“When residents turn on their porch lights, our neighborhoods feel safer and more active,” says Jennifer Howland, Director of Community Development. “They show to the community that we are proud to live on our street and we are home and paying attention.”

Individuals who would like to receive a bulb can sign an installation agreement form in the City Manager’s Office in City Hall, 519 Washington Avenue. All GHBLP customers who live in Grand Haven are eligible to participate in the program. Those who are visiting City Hall must wear a mask, adhere to social distancing guidelines, and undergo a health screening.

Outside of City Hall, City staff members will distribute the LED light bulbs door-to-door in neighborhoods across Grand Haven and at tables in public spaces.

The Porch Light Program encourages Grand Haven residents to make cost-saving home modifications and leave their porch lights on during the evening.

LED light bulbs act as semiconductors called diodes that create an electric current in one direction without the use of wire filaments. The diode light used in LED light bulbs works more efficiently than the filament light used in incandescent light bulbs.

LED light bulbs use 25%-80% less energy and last 3-25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Over time, the use of LED light bulbs can save the user close to $75 each year.

Since LED light bulbs are energy efficient, it does not cost residents too much to keep their lights on for a few extra hours at night. The extra light can add visibility to a sparsely lit street and create a feeling of security for those who are walking home in the dark.

Beyond creating a welcoming atmosphere, porch lights can deter criminal activity. Potential criminals are less likely to engage in criminal behavior in areas where they can be seen.

As the Porch Light Program continues, the City of Grand Haven will provide updates on the program’s progress and how residents can connect during upcoming community events.

For more information, contact Nathan Slauer at (616) 304-5113 or nslauer@grandhaven.org.