Energy Department Invests in Next Generation Efficient Lighting

June 19, 2013

The Energy Department on June 4 announced five manufacturing research and development projects to support energy-efficient lighting products. The projects will focus on reducing manufacturing costs, while continuing to improve the quality and performance of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). The Energy Department’s $10 million investment is matched dollar for dollar by private sector funding.

According to a new report by the Energy Department, LED lamps and fixtures installed in the United States have increased tenfold over the last two years—from 4.5 million units in 2010 to 49 million units in 2012. These installations, which include common indoor and outdoor applications such as recessed lighting and streetlights, are expected to save about $675 million in annual energy costs. During the same period, the cost of an LED replacement bulb has fallen by about 54%. Switching entirely to LED lights over the next two decades could save the United States $250 billion in energy costs and reduce electricity consumption for lighting by nearly 50%. By 2030, LED lighting is projected to represent about 75% of all lighting sales, saving enough energy to power approximately 26 million U.S. households.

Projects selected include: Cree Inc. (Durham, North Carolina) will develop a modular design for LED lights that can link together multiple units to fit larger areas; Eaton Corporation (Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin) will develop an innovative manufacturing process that streamlines the LED fixture design and removes unnecessary materials and parts; LEDWorks, (Rochester, New York) will develop and demonstrate new spray-printing equipment that reduces overall manufacturing costs and could help support cost-competitive mass production; Philips Lumileds (San Jose, California) will develop an alternative to the standard flip-chip device that grows an LED face-down on the sapphire substrate; and PPG Industries, Inc. (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) will develop a cost-effective manufacturing process to help commercialize an integrated substrate that includes the glass foundation as well as the other necessary layers. See the Energy Department Press Release.