Energy Department Invests $7 Million in Solid-State Lighting

June 13, 2012

The Energy Department announced on June 7 that it will invest more than $7 million in three innovative solid-state lighting projects, to be carried out by companies in California, Michigan, and North Carolina. The projects aim to lower the cost of manufacturing high-efficiency solid-state lighting technologies such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). LEDs and OLEDs are generally ten times more energy-efficient than conventional incandescent lighting and can last up to 25 times as long. By 2030, these technologies have the potential to nearly cut in half the amount of electricity used for lighting in the United States, which could save up to $30 billion a year.

The three projects include one led by Cree, Inc. of Durham, North Carolina, to develop an optimized, cost-competitive LED fixture design that uses fewer raw materials and can be readily integrated into buildings. In addition, KLA-Tencor Corp. of Milpitas, California, will develop a measurement tool to help reduce variation in LED production quality, potentially helping to improve LED performance, color quality, and brightness while reducing manufacturing costs. And k-Space Associates, Inc. of Dexter, Michigan, will build on its optical monitoring technology to enable high-precision measurements of the thickness and composition of OLED layers during mass production, paving the way for future large-scale production of OLEDs. See the DOE press release, a detailed description of the selected projects, and the Energy Department's Solid-State Lighting website.