Two new companies will soon submit their entries for the L Prize , a competition launched by Congress in 2008 to spur lighting manufacturers to create high quality and highly efficient solid-state lighting.
According to the Department of Energy  (DOE), Lighting Science Group  announced its intent to submit in the 60W replacement category in March, and GE  did the same in June, with a new bulb that uses Cree  TrueWhite technology. Prior to this, the only entry in the category was from Philips , which entered in late 2009.
The Philips entry is currently undergoing rigorous testing. Short-term photometric testing was completed last year, and the bulb then moved into the long-term lumen maintenance testing phase, which wrapped up earlier this year. For this, 200 samples were tested for at least 6,000 hours in a high-temperature test bed (pictured) at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory .
In addition, 1,300 samples of the bulb were sent out last summer for field testing in a wide range of applications, and the bulb also underwent stress testing to evaluate its performance in extreme conditions such as high and low temperatures, humidity and vibration. Members of the Technical Review Committee are now considering all of the test results before presenting their findings to the DOE.
The L Prize competition requires a 60W replacement lamp to produce more than 900 lumens on less than 10 watts of energy, while also having a CRI of 90, a color temperature between 2700K and 3000K and a life of more than 25,000 hours.
According to a DOE spokesperson, the L Prize’s other category, the PAR 38 replacement lamp, is temporarily closed while the DOE revises the entry requirements to reflect lessons learned from the first entry. Requirements for the 21st Century Lamp, the third and final category in the L Prize competition, have not been announced yet. For more information, visit the L Prize website .