The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that Philips Lighting North America has won the first award under the Department's Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize (L Prize) competition. DOE's L Prize challenged the lighting industry to strive to develop super high-performance, energy-saving replacements for conventional light bulbs that will save American consumers and businesses money.
Buildings in the United States consume roughly 70 percent of the electricity generated across the US and represent one of the greatest opportunities for reducing energy consumption through the use of energy-efficient technologies. Innovations in residential and commercial lighting products such as those encouraged by the L Prize expand the lighting choices available to consumers and support the Department's efforts to reduce our nation's energy use, create manufacturing jobs for US workers, and save money for American families and business owners.
The winner of this year’s L Prize was announced by Dr. Arun Majumdar, DOE Senior Advisor to the Secretary and Director of Advance Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), at a Capitol Hill event on 3 August hosted by Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-New Mexico) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).
DOE named Philips Lighting North America as the first winner in the 60-watt replacement bulb category, one of the most widely used lighting types. Philips developed a highly efficient light emitting diode (LED) product to meet the rigorous requirements of the L Prize competition — ensuring that performance, quality, lifetime, cost, and availability meet expectations for widespread adoption and mass manufacturing.
The winning Philips product excelled through rigorous short-term and long-term performance testing carried out by independent laboratories and field assessments conducted with utilities and other partners. The product also performed exceedingly well through a series of stress tests, in which the product was subjected to extreme conditions such as high and low temperatures, humidity, vibration, high and low voltage, and various electrical waveform distortions. The L Prize-winning, 60-watt equivalent LED bulb from Philips could arrive in stores as soon as early 2012.
Launched in 2008, DOE's first L Prize category targets the 60-watt bulb because it is one of the most widely used types of light bulbs by consumers, representing roughly half of the domestic incandescent light bulb market. Every year it is estimated that more than 425 million 60-watt incandescent light bulbs are sold in the United States alone.
The L Prize challenge sets the goal for the winning product's energy performance extremely high. The energy-saving replacement for 60-watt conventional bulbs must use less than 10 watts of power, providing an energy savings of 83 percent.
If every 60-watt incandescent bulb in the US was replaced with the 10-watt L Prize winner, the nation would save about 35 terawatt-hours of electricity or $3.9 billion in one year and avoid 20 million metric tons of carbon emissions. That's enough electricity to power the lights of nearly 18 million US households, or nearly triple the annual electricity consumption in Washington, D.C.
As the first L Prize entrant in the 60-watt category to successfully meet the full competition requirements, Philips will receive a $10 million cash prize as well as L Prize partner promotions and incentives. To date, 31 utilities and energy efficiency program partners stand ready to promote and develop markets for the winning product.