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US Government Initiatives Promote SSL

Photonics Spectra
Oct 2007
Anne L. Fischer

The US Department of Energy (DoE) hosted two workshops on solid-state lighting (SSL) to promote the use of high-performance products. The first workshop was held in Pasadena, Calif., in April, and a second took place in Boston in July; the second was co-hosted by the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships. The workshops brought together organizations, utilities, designers, manufacturers and others to share insights and ideas on the solid-state lighting market. The DoE also outlined how it guides solid-state lighting technologies from laboratory to market by helping with research, product development and commercialization stages.

Workshop agenda items included a discussion of emerging markets for general illumination, lessons learned from the introduction of compact fluorescents, support available from the DoE, the Energy Star program, and priorities for product launches and the roles played by government, industry, efficiency organizations, utilities and others.

Two DoE workshops are planned for 2008, with the first taking place in the Southeast from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1 and another in July on the West Coast. Details will be available on

One means of support from the DoE comes in the form of Small Business Innovation Research grants. The DoE recently announced the recipients of two Phase II grants that support the development of solid-state lighting technology. These grants fund selected Phase I projects by assisting companies or researchers in assessing the commercial potential of the new technology.

Recipients of the awards are Physical Optics Corp. of Torrance, Calif., for the development of highly efficient organic LEDs (OLEDs) for general illumination and Universal Display Corp. of Ewing, N.J., for the development of white OLEDS with two broad emitters.


A comparison of undercabinet fixture options is an example of the kind of research support that the DoE provides to help in the commercialization of energy-efficient lighting.

The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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