News Article

$20 Million LED Prizes Promise "Bright Tomorrow"

Multi-million dollar prizes for LED replacements of the 60 W bulb and a 150 lm/W fixture could be awarded if the US senate passes a bill currently under debate.

by Andy Extance
The US government is debating proposals to set lighting performance limits and introduce prizes for solid state lighting worth $20 million.

The Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007 estimates that more efficient lighting technology could reduce annual electricity costs in the US by $18 billion, equivalent to energy produced by 80 coal-fired power stations each year.

Eric Richman, a senior research engineer working at Pacific Northwest National Labs, and an expert in lighting technology, said of the Act, “The performance limits for lighting technologies are aimed at eliminating the least efficient versions in order to save US energy."

The Act specifies that three “Bright Tomorrow" prizes for solid state lighting should be established.

The three prizes are for a replacement for 60 W light bulbs, a halogen lamp replacement, and a 21st century lamp prize, for fixtures attaining efficiencies of 90, 123 and 150 lm/W respectively, amongst other performance conditions.

“The Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prizes that are set up specifically for LED products could spark advanced development and visibility for LED products and help propel that market," explains Richman.

The prize for replacing luminescent bulbs is the largest, at $10 million, the reward for the other two challenges standing at $5 million each.

“The potential prize amounts are large," emphasized Richman, “and would pique most any manufacturer s interest."

All carrot, no stick
Andrew Huang, an analyst at American Technology Research, cited this legislation when initiating his company's coverage of LED maker Cree recently, predicting its share price would double within a year.

According to reports, Huang expects Senate “to limit and eventually to eliminate the use of incandescent bulbs".

By contrast Richman says, “In spite of the current legislation, I do not believe we will see complete bans of incandescent lighting in the near future."

California and Ottawa have already introduced legislation apparently scheduling bans on the use of the 125-year old incandescent technology for 2012, with Australia saying it can be done by 2010.

Richman points out, however, “Most of the legislation offers some sort of exemption list."

“In this case, manufacturers could simply switch production and continue incandescent lamp production until different legislation emerges."

“The efficiency performance limits of the new Act will restrict production of certain lower efficiency lighting products," he explained, “but there is no real push to replace them with another technology such as LEDs."

According to reports in the US media the bill, in its current form, is likely to be vetoed by President Bush because it contains efforts to try and limit oil companies earning excessive profits.

Bill Wicker, a spokesman for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, also said that amendments are piling up like “like bunnies in the spring", making it highly unlikely that the Act will become law without modification.

Whatever form the final legislation takes, inclusion in the debate must represent an important milestone on solid-state lighting's journey into the mainstream.

Author
Andy Extance is a reporter at compoundsemiconductor.net.

CS International to return to Brussels – bigger and better than ever!


The leading global compound semiconductor conference and exhibition will once again bring together key players from across the value chain for two-days of strategic technical sessions, dynamic talks and unrivalled networking opportunities.


Join us face-to-face between 28th – 29th June 2022

  • View the agenda.
  • 3 for the price of 1. Register your place and gain complementary access to TWO FURTHER industry leading conferences: PIC International and SSI International.
  • Email info@csinternational.net  or call +44 (0)24 7671 8970 for more details.

*90% of exhibition space has gone - book your booth before it’s too late!

Register


×
Search the news archive

To close this popup you can press escape or click the close icon.
×
Logo
×
Register - Step 1

You may choose to subscribe to the Compound Semiconductor Magazine, the Compound Semiconductor Newsletter, or both. You may also request additional information if required, before submitting your application.


Please subscribe me to:

 

You chose the industry type of "Other"

Please enter the industry that you work in:
Please enter the industry that you work in:
 
Live Event