Prize fund provides $20 m incentive to develop efficient LED lamps

The new energy bill contains details of the Bright Tomorrow Lighting prizes totaling $20 million, to encourage US companies to develop efficient LED lamps to replace 60 W incandescents and PAR-38 halogens.

On December 19, 2007, President Bush signed into US law a new piece of energy legislation that contains some significant sections relating to lighting, not least a prize fund totaling $20 million for the development of new solid-state lighting lamps. However, it is important that this is a policy bill, rather than an appropriations bill; in other words this describes what the government would like to achieve if they can find the cash.

Among the stated purposes of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) are to move the United States toward greater energy independence and security, to increase the production of clean renewable fuels, to increase the efficiency of products, buildings, and vehicles, and to improve the energy performance of the Federal Government. Details of the bill can be found at energy.senate.gov.

The Bill contains a number of sections that define how the US government would like to deal with current lighting technologies, and in particular defines energy efficient standards for general service incandescent lamps. While these provisions have an impact on solid-state lighting, the Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prizes have attracted most attention. There are three prizes, one for the replacement of 60 W incandescent lamps, one to replace PAR-38 halogen lamps, and a third entitled the "Twenty-First Century Lamp" prize. The proposed awards are 10, 5 and 5 million dollars respectively, and the prizes are due to be established before the end of 2008.

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This article was published in the January/February 2008 issue of LEDs Magazine.

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