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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.


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, all of the technical areas in the L-Prize carry with them an overarching commitment to driving equity, accessibility, and resilience in the design and deployment of luminaires and connected systems.

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The L-Prize targets commercial sector lighting, which accounts for about 56% of national lighting energy use and challenges lighting innovators to develop solid-state lighting (SSL) systems with breakthrough lighting energy efficiency, quality, functionality, and sustainability. SSL technology has the potential to bring widespread deployment of lighting products with exceptional energy efficiency, connectivity, control capabilities, and visual quality that are affordable and accessible to a wide range of businesses and consumers.

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 demonstrate exceptional achievement across six distinct categories. Through the challenging criteria within these categories, the competition can directly influence the equity, accessibility, and resilience benefits of advanced lighting systems.

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 invited physical prototype systems that emphasized technological innovation and challenged entrants to think outside standard forms, materials, and price points of commercially available products. This phase is completed.
  3. The Manufacturing and Installation Phase will reward production and installation of real products meeting the L-Prize technical requirements.

For the final phase, Manufacturing and Installation, participation in the first two phases is not required to be eligible.

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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 opened: 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 opened: June 30, 2022
    • Prototype Phase intent to submit deadline: January 13, 2023
    • Prototype Phase submission deadline: June 1, 2023 at 5 PM ET
    • Prototype Phase winners announced: October 25, 2023
  • Phase 3: Manufacturing and Installation
    • Manufacturing and Installation Phase opened: April 3, 2024
    • Manufacturing and Installation Phase expression of interest deadline: October 1, 2024
    • Manufacturing and Installation Phase intent to submit deadline: April 1, 2025
    • Manufacturing and Installation Phase submission deadline: August 5, 2025
    • Manufacturing and Installation Phase winners announced: February 2026 (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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