Energy Department to Fund Efficient Lighting Projects

WASHINGTON — The Energy Department announced May 4 that nine research and development (R&D) projects will receive funding to support solid-state lighting (SSL) core technology research, product development and U.S. manufacturing.

The projects will help accelerate the development of high-quality light-emitting diode (LED) and organic light-emitting diode (OLED) products that can significantly reduce overall U.S. energy consumption and save consumers money.

Solid-state lighting technologies, based on LEDs and OLEDs, are about 10 times more energy-efficient, last 25 times longer and significantly reduce the amount of lamp toxins in landfills compared to conventional incandescents. Department-funded R&D will help accelerate technology breakthroughs to unlock new levels of performance and energy savings. For example, DOE targets look to increase the efficiency of today’s LEDs by an additional 66 percent. As solid-state electronic technology, LED lighting also offers new potential for advanced lighting control, including color tuning and intelligent, adaptive lighting.

In total, the nine competitively selected projects will receive more than $8.2 million, and — with private sector cost sharing — reach a total investment of more than $11.5 million.

"Advances in solid-state lighting technology are critically important for moving the nation closer to a clean energy future, while keeping money in the pocketbooks of American families at the same time," said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz in a statement. "These department-funded projects will help tap the full energy-saving potential of solid-state lighting, and create jobs in related industries across the United States."

Several of the projects selected include:

• Acuity Brands Lighting (Berkeley, Calif.): To develop an organic light-emitting diode that increases efficiency and light output.
• Cree Inc. (Durham, N.C.): To create a cost-effective, high-efficacy demonstration bulb that renders (shows) colors accurately.
• Philips Research North America, LLC (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.): To develop an innovative LED office lighting system that features controls to maximize energy efficiency and occupant health and well-being.
• RTI International (Research Triangle Park, N.C.): To develop novel designs for classroom integrated dynamic lighting systems.

This is the tenth round of the department’s investments in solid-state lighting core technology research and product development, and the sixth round of its investments in U.S. solid-state lighting manufacturing R&D. These efforts are meant to accelerate the adoption of SSL technology through improvements that reduce costs and enhance product quality and performance. The department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy accelerates development and facilitates deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality and economic vitality.