It’s been a while since I’ve talked about the L Prize – the prize awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for developing the first LED lamp that meets specific DOE efficiency criteria. The first prize was awarded in 2011 to Philips for developing a replacement for a 60 W incandescent (A19) bulb that used less than 10 watts and had a usable lifetime of >25,000 hours (see my blog from two years ago).
But the contest isn’t over. The DOE also has an L Prize for PAR38 lamps which are primarily used in track and recessed lighting fixtures. The amount for this prize is a bit less than the first prize (only $5 million compared to the previous $10 million), but still a little more than pocket change. The cash will be given to the first entrant to successfully meet the DOE requirements.
To make things more compelling for lighting engineers, the DOE announced at the end of July that they have updated or eliminated certain requirements, making them a little less stringent.
- A broader beam angle will be allowed
- The production requirement (>250,000 units) has been dropped
- The requirement that chips be U.S. produced has been dropped*
*However, lamps themselves must still be assembled in the U.S.
To download the complete contest requirements and learn about the submission guidelines, visit the PAR38 page on the lightingprize.org website.