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  • Future Lighting Competition

Photonics Spectra
Jul 2008
Anne L. Fischer

The US Department of Energy recently announced the Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize competition, which challenges industry to develop high-performance solid-state lighting products to replace 60-W incandescent lamps and PAR 38 halogen lamps.

The L Prize competition is the result of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 and is the first government-sponsored technology competition intended to replace the common lightbulb with solid-state lighting products. The competition also calls for the development of a lamp that delivers more than 150 lm/W.


The technical specifications of products entered must comply with requirements outlined in the 2007 energy legislation, with additional details specified for quality, performance and mass production. Interested manufacturers must provide a letter of intent to submit and a complete entry package that includes technical information, product samples and a commercial manufacturing plan.

During the first phase of evaluation, samples of proposed products will undergo performance testing by independent laboratories through the DoE Caliper program. In the second phase, the technical review committee will assess specifications, test results and manufacturing capabilities. The final steps are product testing — including stress testing under extreme conditions — and field tests conducted by four California utilities that are working cooperatively with the DoE.

The competition will be ongoing until a winner is declared in each category — or until 24 months have elapsed from the time the first award was made. Prizes include cash, government procurement opportunities, utility incentives and a variety of promotions of the award-winning products.

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