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.
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.
In the known lighting world, we’ve been stuck with familiar LED tradeoffs and cost realities and a paradigm that “we can’t have it all.” The L-Prize asks, “Why not?” PNNL’s Gabe Arnold explores the competition’s unique challenge and call to arms in the August issue of LD+A Magazine: The L-Prize invites innovators to have it all.
The deadline is approaching to submit feedback on the draft requirements and timeline for the future L-Prize phases—Prototype and Manufacturing and Installation—and to share any hurdles to your participation.
The deadline has been extended to submit feedback on the draft requirements and timeline for the future L-Prize phases—Prototype and Manufacturing and Installation—and to share any hurdles to your participation.
July 16 is the last day to submit feedback on the draft requirements and timeline for the future L-Prize phases—Prototype and Manufacturing and Installation—and to share any hurdles to your participation.
Check out the latest Get a Grip On Lighting podcast episode, “The End of the Beginning – the L-Prize,” where DOE’s Brian Walker and PNNL’s Kelly Gordon discuss the future of lighting and how the new L-Prize competition is right on time.