The Lighting Prize (L-Prize) is designed to advance the U.S. clean energy economy for next-generation LED lighting, encouraging innovators and researchers 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, carbon, and cost savings for American businesses and consumers.
The first Lighting Prize was awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in 2011, recognizing a high-efficiency LED replacement for the traditional 60-watt A19 incandescent bulb. Today, commercially available LED lights are competitive with all other lighting technologies, but the full technical and application potential of solid-state lighting (SSL) still far exceeds today’s products. 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, a successor to the first Lighting Prize, seeks to unlock the additional potential to combine high-luminaire efficacy with exceptional lighting quality, data-driven control and functionality, innovative design, construction, and grid flexibility for the future of illumination in commercial and institutional buildings. In addition to these technical innovations, the L-Prize also invites innovation for diversity, equity, and inclusion in how systems are designed, produced, deployed, or installed.
The L-Prize targets commercial sector lighting, which accounts for 37% 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, seamless lighting control, excellent 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.
The L-Prize consists of three distinct phases that will award a total of up to $12.2 million. Participation in initial phases is not required to be eligible for subsequent phases.
The Concept Phase invites innovative concept proposals from potential competitors.
The Prototype Phase seeks prototype products, emphasizing technological innovation and presenting the opportunity and the challenge to think outside standard forms, materials, and price points of commercially available luminaires.
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 researchers and innovators with manufacturing partners, contractors, utilities, energy service companies, and others interested in production and installation of lighting systems meeting the L-Prize requirements.
Please review the official rulesfor the complete application process and instructions for competing.
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The deadline for L-Prize Prototype Phase entry submissions – for both the luminaire track and connected systems track – has been extended until June 1, 2023. Teams who submitted Intent to Submit forms and have been confirmed as eligible for the Prototype Phase will have until June 1, 2023 to submit their luminaire or connected system entries.
Two L-Prize deadlines are approaching on January 13:
Intents to submit for the L-Prize Prototype Phase are due. 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. Register on the L-Prize HeroX platform, click on “Solve this Challenge,” accept the competitor agreement, then click on “Begin Entry” and complete the Intent to Submit form, providing a brief description of your intended luminaire or connected system.
The public comment period to provide inputs on the Manufacturing and Installation Phase requirements is closing. The final phase of the L-Prize will reward production and installation of real products meeting the L-Prize technical requirements. Complete the Comment Form and share your input.
The final phase of the L-Prize will reward production and installation of real products meeting the L-Prize technical requirements. DOE will evaluate entries on technical performance and innovation in addition to U.S. manufacturing content, deployment strategy, and innovative installation models. Up to four competitors will share an award of $10 million. The public comment period to provide inputs on the Manufacturing and Installation Phase requirements closes on January 13. Complete the Comment Form on the L-Prize website and share your input.
Intents to submit are due January 13, 2023, for the L-Prize Prototype Phase. The Prototype Phase has two tracks, one for luminaires and the other for connected systems, and up to six winners will split a prize pool of $2 million. There’s still time to enter!
Make sure you’re registered on the L-Prize HeroX platform. Click on “Solve this Challenge” and accept the competitor agreement in order to access the full capabilities of the website. Then click on “Begin Entry” and complete the Intent to Submit form, providing a brief description of your intended luminaire or connected system. The complete submission package is due Monday, May 1, 2023. Check out the L-Prize Official Rules for more details.
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.