L-Prize Competition Shaping the Future of Solid-State Lighting

The United States Department of Energy is rewarding $15 million in cash prizes for lighting manufacturers who can create a solid-state lighting alternative for 60-watt incandescent lamps and PAR38 lamps. Thirty-one companies across the country have partnered with the DOE to assist in testing, selecting, and promoting the winning lamps. To ensure efficiency and complete consumer satisfaction, entries will go through multiple tests and evaluations to meet contest requirements.  The DOE is looking to eliminate harmful and costly lighting products, such as incandescent and compact-fluorescent (CFL),and encourage consumers to invest in LED lamps. The L-Prize contest gives an incentive for manufacturers to create and promote sustainable and energy-saving solid-state lighting.

The L-Prize includes the 60-watt incandescent lamp and PAR38 lamps because they are the most commonly used and most inefficient because they  waste most of their electricity consumption on heat. The solid-state lighting products designed through this competition will feature a significant reduction in watts while producing light similar to, or better than, the inefficient lights we use today.

According to the L-Prize requirements, the 60-watt incandescent replacement lamp must consume less than 10 watts. It also must produce more than 900 lumens. This is a benchmark of 90 lumens per watt. In comparison current incandescent lights only produce 5-10 lumens per watt. The PAR38 halogen replacement lamp must be less than 11 watts, but produce more than 1,350 lumens and more than 123 lumens per watt. Both lamps must also have a lifetime of over 25,000 hours. If every existing light was replaced with one of the winning lamps, consumers would save over 80% in lighting energy costs, says L-Prize.

Philips Electronics has submitted the first entry in the L-Prize and is being tested in accordance to the contest rules. The lamp has already been named “the best invention of 2009” by Time, according to a Philips’ press release. We look forward to seeing who the next entry is and who will set the bar higher in the race to create the United States’ next most efficient solid-state lighting product.

Thanks in part to the L Prize and many forward-thinking manufacturers all over the world the LED Light has become the future of lighting. Customers are excited by the many benefits of LED lighting such as electricity savings, long-life and a minimized carbon-footprint.