American-Made Challenges


Lighting Prize (L-Prize)

The L-Prize will advance the state-of-the-art in LED lighting.
Product Life Cycle and Sustainability: Requirements and Opportunities Webinar
$12.2 Million Total Prize Pool

Challenge Overview

The Lighting Prize (L-Prize) is designed to advance the U.S. clean energy economy for next-generation LED lighting, encouraging innovators to engage in advanced lighting system development that leads to transformative designs, products, and impact. The L-Prize will reward innovations that move rapidly to improve lighting performance, resulting in energy, emissions, and cost savings for American businesses and consumers. The competition will award a total of $12.2 million in cash prizes across three distinct phases: Concept, Prototype, and Manufacturing and Installation. 

Advanced interoperable lighting systems have the potential to better manage lighting energy use, integrate with other building systems, streamline maintenance and operations, and even respond to electric grid signals, increasing the value and resiliency of buildings. The L-Prize seeks to unlock that additional potential to combine high-luminaire efficacy with exceptional lighting quality, data-driven control and functionality, and sustainable design and construction for the future of illumination in commercial and institutional buildings. In addition to these technical innovations, the L-Prize also prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion in how luminaires or lighting systems can benefit communities that have been historically disadvantaged.

The L-Prize targets commercial sector lighting, which accounts for about 36% of national lighting energy use, and encourages lighting innovators to design lighting systems with breakthrough energy efficiency, quality, functionality, and sustainability. A full realization of SSL technology potential envisions LED lighting products manufactured with significant domestic materials, while demonstrating exceptional energy efficiency, data connectivity, control capabilities, visual quality, and design for recycling and remanufacturing.

DOE’s Building Technologies Office invites lighting innovators to participate in this new competition to bring tomorrow’s lighting into today.

Winning systems must innovate and demonstrate exceptional achievement across all areas.



Prize Structure

The L-Prize will award a total of $12.2 million in cash prizes across three distinct phases:

  1. The Concept Phase invites innovative concept proposals from potential competitors. This phase is completed.
  2. The Prototype Phase seeks physical prototype systems, emphasizing technological innovation and challenging entrants to think outside standard forms, materials, and price points of commercially available products.
  3. The Manufacturing and Installation Phase will reward production and installation of real products meeting the L-Prize technical requirements.

Participation in initial phases is not required to be eligible for subsequent phases. In addition, teaming opportunities will connect potential entrants with manufacturing partners, materials or component suppliers, end-user installation host sites, utilities, energy service companies, installation contractors, and others interested in teaming with or supporting L-Prize teams in the Manufacturing and Installation Phase of the competition.



Challenge Guidelines

Please review the official rules for the complete application process and instructions for competing.

If you want to receive updates on the prize, please subscribe by clicking the Follow button at the top of the webpage. Questions can be sent directly to  or posted in the Forum tab, so that others who have the same questions will be able to see the answers. 



Challenge Updates

LEDs Magazine Article: L-Prize Pathways to Win

Nov. 16, 2022, 12:37 p.m. PST by Wendy Graves

Aesthetics. Form factor. DEI. Sustainability. The L-Prize offers many pathways to enter and many ways to earn points for groundbreaking lighting innovations. In a new LEDs Magazine article, PNNL engineer and L-Prize team member Gabe Arnold explains L-Prize Prototype Phase points opportunities that invite entrants to address some of the most pressing challenges for the lighting industry.

Read This: DEI and Sustainability Converge in DOE’s L-Prize Competition

Oct. 6, 2022, 11:50 a.m. PDT by Wendy Graves

Check out “Points for Justice” in the October issue of LD+A magazine, where PNNL’s Kate Hickcox details how and why the L-Prize offers bonus points for innovations in DEI and sustainability. 

L-Prize Prototype Phase Office Hours

Sept. 22, 2022, 10:21 a.m. PDT by Wendy Graves

The L-Prize team is offering office hours to potential Prototype Phase entrants. These office hours provide an opportunity for potential competitors to ask questions about the competition rules and requirements and share feedback with DOE. The office hours will be hosted by DOE’s technical lead for the L-Prize, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and must be booked in advance. Each session will be limited to 30 minutes and will be attended by only one potential entrant (competitor or team) at a time. 

For more information about scheduling an office hours session, see

ICYMI: September 15 Webinar Video Now Available

Sept. 21, 2022, 10:40 a.m. PDT by Wendy Graves

On September 15, the DALI Alliance, the Zhaga Consortium, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory held a webinar to discuss the technical requirements of the L-Prize Prototype Phase and explain the opportunities for entrants when using standards-based connectivity technologies. The webinar video and presentation slides are now available at

Listen Now: Get a Grip on Lighting Podcast Features L-Prize

Sept. 9, 2022, 11:56 a.m. PDT by Wendy Graves

Check out the August 25 episode of the Get a Grip On Lighting podcast to hear PNNL’s Kelly Gordon and Gabe Arnold talk about the current L-Prize Prototype Phase and the many pathways for innovators to participate, earn points, and be recognized for their next-gen lighting solutions.