The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced Thursday that the Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize (L Prize) competition has received its first entrant, a product from Philips Electronics. Philips has developed, manufactured and will bring to market an LED replacement for the common 60-Watt incandescent light bulb.
DOE launched the L Prize initiative to spur development of high-quality, high-efficiency LED replacements for the common light bulb. Every year it is estimated that more than 425 million 60-Watt incandescent light bulbs are sold in the United States alone, representing approximately 50% of the domestic incandescent light bulb market. According to DOE, an LED replacement for this could save 34 terawatt-hours of electricity in one year, enough to power the lights of 17.4 million U.S. households. It would also avoid 5.6 million metric tons of carbon emissions annually.
Established through the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the L Prize offers substantial rewards for the first manufacturer to meet its very demanding requirements – ensuring that performance, quality, lifetime, cost and availability meet expectations for widespread adoption and mass manufacturing. In addition to the significant cash prize, the first manufacturer to fully meet the competition’s requirements will also be in consideration for federal purchasing agreements, utility programs and other incentives.
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 60-Watt incandescent LED replacement, as laid out by DOE, include: