First Entry for DOE's L Prize Under Evaluation
March 8, 2012 - 4:04pm

Philips Electronics made history last year by submitting the first entry — an LED replacement bulb (shown here) for common 60W incandescent lamps — in the L Prize competition.

It is now nearing completion of the first stage of the evaluation process: short-term photometric testing. The next phase of the evaluation, long-term testing, will entail at least 6,000 hours of testing of 200 samples and field assessments with L Prize partners.

Created by Congress under the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, the L Prize competition was launched two years ago at Lightfair by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

The goal: To spur lighting manufacturers to develop high-quality, high-efficiency, solid-state lighting products to replace the common light bulb, therefore driving the adoption of LED technology in the market. Up to three prizes will be awarded in each of the two key lamp replacement categories, 60W incandescent and PAR 30 halogen. Submitted products are subject to rigorous performance and quality requirements, including: exceptional efficacy, long life, form factor that fits within the exterior envelope defined by ANSI for the lamps being replaced, and suitability for mass manufacturing.

To date, only one product has been entered in the competition for the 60W replacement category; no products have yet been entered for the PAR 38 category. Philips' LED bulb was named one of the “50 Best Inventions of 2009” by Time.

The race is on,” says DOE Solid-State Lighting Program Manager Jim Brodrick. “Philips is the first to submit a formal L Prize entry, demonstrating their leadership and corporate commitment to energy conservation in lighting. Philips’ entry into the competition is a clear signal that massive energy savings from solid-state lighting are within our grasp. The field is wide open, and we hope to see more entries from both large and small manufacturers.”

“Philips is confident that the product submitted meets or exceeds all of the criteria for the L Prize,” says Rudy Provoost, CEO of Philips Lighting. "By being the first to enter this very tough competition, Philips has demonstrated its commitment once again to playing a leading global role in lighting innovation and energy conservation."

Provoost adds: “We applaud the work of the U.S. government to accelerate development of high-quality and reliable LED products that meet real-world user demands, which is critical as this technology gains mainstream acceptance. By holding manufacturers to very high standards, as an entire industry we can reduce energy use on a large scale without sacrificing the quality of light we expect.”

The Philips submission will now undergo comprehensive evaluation, including performance testing conducted by independent laboratories, field assessments conducted with utilities and other partners, long-term lumen maintenance testing and stress testing under extreme conditions. Consumer pricing and retail availability have yet to be determined.

Required metrics for the 60W incandescent LED replacement, as laid out by DOE, include:

Efficacy of more than 90 lumens per watt, which exceeds the efficiency of all incandescent and most compact fluorescent sources today, which range from 10 to 60 lumens per watt

Energy consumption of less than 10W as compared to a 60W incandescent

Output of more than 900 lumens, equivalent to a 60W incandescent light bulb
Lifetime of more than 25,000 hours, which is 25 times greater than a typical incandescent bulb

Color Rendering Index (CRI) greater than 90, a high measure of lighting quality

Color Temperature between 2700K and 3000K, which is “warm” white light comparable to that of incandescent sources

Specifications for a third category – the 21st Century Lamp – will be announced next year. More entries are expected.

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