Final Phase of DOE’s L-Prize Lighting Competition Has Begun

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has launched the third and final phase of its Lighting Prize (L-Prize®) competition, a DOE American-Made Challenge designed to spur groundbreaking innovation, local manufacturing, and the benefits of an inclusive, clean-energy economy for next-generation lighting in commercial buildings.

Phase 3, called Manufacturing & Installation (M&I), will unfold over 16 months and reward production and installation of products that meet L-Prize technical requirements in real-world buildings. Up to four competitors earning the most points based on technical and design innovation, U.S. content, production, and installation will share an award of $10 million.

“This final phase of the L-Prize is primed to showcase next-generation lighting solutions that combine high efficacy with exceptional lighting quality, data-driven control, and sustainable design and construction in real buildings,” said Mandy Mahoney, Director/DOE Building Technologies Office. “What makes this prize different from many others is that it will showcase both the products’ innovative features, and also their potential to scale. And it rewards competitors for thinking creatively about how to make them in America.”

The L-Prize advances the state-of-the-art in LED lighting, encouraging innovators to develop advanced luminaires and lighting systems that lead to transformative designs, products, and impacts. In addition to its technical innovation goals, the L-Prize prioritizes equity, affordability, and resilience-related innovations that will support the broad deployment of winning solutions to all communities, particularly those with limited resources.

“I’m excited about the approach to equity in this phase of the L-Prize. It meets the commitment DOE has made to the Justice40 Initiative, so that 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain federal climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, and other investments flow to disadvantaged communities where they’re needed most,” Mahoney added.

The M&I Phase will recognize teams that are able to translate innovations inspired by the L-Prize to market availability and installation. The M&I Phase has two separate tracks: the Luminaire Track and the Connected Systems Track. Competitors may submit to the Luminaire Track, the Connected Systems Track, or separately to both tracks. DOE will evaluate each track’s submissions independently. All entries must meet the minimum technical requirements and be fully commercially available and physically installed in real-world applications. Entries must demonstrate benefits ranging from energy efficiency and lighting quality to connectivity and sustainability. The M&I Phase also includes evaluation criteria unique to this phase, including U.S. manufacturing content, installation, and deployment strategy.

How to Participate in the L-Prize’s M&I Phase

Visit the L-Prize website to view the complete competition requirements and timeline. Forms to express interest in the competition are due October 1, 2024.

Register for the informational webinar on May 8, 2-3 p.m. Eastern.

The L-Prize is an initiative of DOE’s Building Technologies Office within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, with technical leadership from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and prize administration provided by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

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