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Lighting Prize

The Lighting Prize (L-Prize) is designed to advance the U.S. clean energy economy for next-generation LED lighting, encouraging innovators to engage in advanced lighting system development that leads to transformative designs, products, and impact. The L-Prize will reward innovations that move rapidly to improve lighting performance, resulting in energy, emissions, and cost savings for American businesses and consumers. The competition will award a total of $12.2 million in cash prizes across three distinct phases: Concept, Prototype, and Manufacturing and Installation.

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L-Prize

Advanced interoperable lighting systems have the potential to better manage lighting energy use, integrate with other building systems, streamline maintenance and operations, and even respond to electric grid signals, increasing the value and resiliency of buildings. The L-Prize seeks to unlock that additional potential to combine high-luminaire efficacy with exceptional lighting quality, data-driven control and functionality, and sustainable design and construction for the future of illumination in commercial and institutional buildings. In addition to these technical innovations, the L-Prize also prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion in how luminaires or lighting systems can benefit communities that have been historically disadvantaged.

A split image, one the left side a pair of researchers, one female and one male, are working with advanced  equipment in a laboratory.  On the right side, a photo of a geothermal spring at dusk, with steam rising and a flock of birds both flying and resting in the spring water.

The L-Prize targets commercial sector lighting, which accounts for about 36% of national lighting energy use, and encourages lighting innovators to design lighting systems with breakthrough energy efficiency, quality, functionality, and sustainability. A full realization of SSL technology potential envisions LED lighting products manufactured with significant domestic materials, while demonstrating exceptional energy efficiency, data connectivity, control capabilities, visual quality, and design for recycling and remanufacturing.

DOE’s Building Technologies Office invites lighting innovators to participate in this new competition to bring tomorrow’s lighting into today.

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Winning systems must innovate and demonstrate exceptional achievement across all areas.

Prize Structure

The L-Prize will award a total of $12.2 million in cash prizes across three distinct phases.

  1. The Concept Phase invited innovative concept proposals from potential competitors. This phase is completed.
  2. The Prototype Phase seeks physical prototype systems, emphasizing technological innovation and challenging entrants to think outside standard forms, materials, and price points of commercially available products.
  3. The Manufacturing and Installation Phase will reward production and installation of real products meeting the L-Prize technical requirements.

Participation in initial phases is not required to be eligible for subsequent phases. In addition, teaming opportunities will connect potential entrants with manufacturing partners, materials or component suppliers, end-user installation host sites, utilities, energy service companies, installation contractors, and others interested in teaming with or supporting L-Prize teams in the Manufacturing and Installation Phase of the competition.

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How to Enter

Complete a submission package online at our HeroX challenge page .

Read the L-Prize Rules to learn more.

Important Dates

  • Phase 1: Concept
    • Concept Phase opens: May 17, 2021
    • Concept Phase submission deadline: November 19, 2021 at 5 PM ET
    • Concept Phase winners announced: February 3, 2022
  • Phase 2: Prototype
    • Prototype Phase opens: June 30, 2022
    • Prototype Phase submission deadline: May 1, 2023 at 5 PM ET
    • Prototype Phase winners announced: July 2023
  • Phase 3: Manufacturing and Installation
    • Manufacturing and Installation Phase opens: September 2023 (anticipated)
    • Manufacturing and Installation Phase submission deadline: January 2025 (anticipated)
    • Manufacturing and Installation Phase winners announced: July 2025 (anticipated)

All dates are subject to change including contest openings, deadlines, and announcements. Sign up for updates on our HeroX challenge page.


Solutions that help shape the future

Are you a thinker, entrepreneur, facility, or potential partner? Anyone with an innovative idea can help promote transformation by participating in the American-Made Challenges.

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