U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Building Technologies Office – About the Program
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT 2005) and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007) issued directives to the Secretary of Energy to carry out a Next Generation Lighting Initiative to support SSL R&D. The legislation directs DOE to support research, development, demonstration, and commercial application activities related to advanced SSL technologies.
In order to effectively fulfill the directives in EPACT 2005 and EISA 2007, DOE developed a comprehensive national strategy that encompasses Basic Energy Sciences, Core Technology Research, Product Development, Manufacturing R&D, Testing and Product Development, Market Development, and SSL Partnerships.
Basic Energy Sciences
Projects conducted under the auspices of the DOE Office of Science Basic Energy Sciences program focus on answering basic scientific questions that underlie DOE mission needs. These projects target principles of physics, chemistry, and the materials sciences, including knowledge of electronic and optical processes that enable development of new synthesis techniques and novel materials. Learn more.
Research and Development
SSL R&D efforts spur advances in efficacy and performance that might not otherwise happen without DOE funding. Projects conducted under the DOE SSL program are competitively awarded and cost-shared, with industry and university partners providing an average of nearly 40 percent as cost-share. DOE SSL program requirements also ensure that the intellectual property and patents that ensue from DOE-funded R&D remain in the U.S. Learn more.
- Core technology projects focus on applied research for technology development, with particular emphasis on meeting efficacy, performance, and cost targets.
- Product development projects use knowledge gained from basic or applied research to develop or improve commercially viable materials, devices, or systems.
- Manufacturing R&D focuses on achieving significant cost reductions through improvements in manufacturing equipment, processes, or monitoring techniques.
Testing and Product Development
Testing and product development activities support the growing need for unbiased, reliable performance data and knowledge about early user experiences. To ensure that DOE R&D investments pay off in terms of commercial success and ensuing energy savings, DOE has also implemented testing and product development strategies to support the growing market for high-performance SSL products. Learn more.
Analysis of data gained from CALiPER testing, the LED Lighting Facts products database, and GATEWAY experiences not only helps end users make informed decisions, it also contributes to our knowledge base about critical performance issues such as lumen depreciation, dimming, and flicker—which impacts future R&D directions, product refinements, and standards development efforts. Competitions such as Next Generation Luminaires and L Prize help to drive technology innovation and product development, putting a spotlight on the "best of the best."
Market development activities are coordinated closely with a wide range of market sectors. In its leadership role, DOE convenes workshops, roundtables, and working groups to solicit input from lighting industry experts, drawing on its strong relationships with the research community, national laboratories, manufacturers, energy efficiency organizations and utilities, retailers and distributors, and designers and specifiers. These market sector partners also help spread the word to their stakeholders, sharing DOE resources and updates on SSL technology issues and trends. Learn more.
DOE strategically partners with private industry and industry associations to accelerate the development and market introduction of SSL. DOE's partnership with the Next Generation Lighting Industry Alliance (NGLIA) enhances the manufacturing and commercialization focus of the DOE portfolio by utilizing the expertise of this organization of SSL manufacturers. DOE and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) partner on the development of strong lighting industry standards, including needed standards for SSL. DOE also supports the International Energy Agency's (IEA) efforts to harmonize SSL test procedures, testing capabilities, and performance requirements across countries. DOE and the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) collaborate to promote lighting design principles and technologies that improve lighting quality and energy efficiency. And DOE's Municipal Solid-State Street Lighting Consortium shares technical information and experiences related to LED street lighting projects, and develops tools to guide informed purchases. These partnerships—and many others—provide valuable input and support for DOE SSL program efforts. Learn more.