How to Compete in the L-Prize


The L-Prize will advance the state-of-the-art in LED lighting, encouraging innovators and researchers to engage in advanced lighting system development leading to ground-breaking designs, products, and impact. The prize will award a total of up to $12.2 million in cash prizes across three distinct phases.


A Prize Competition Structured for Success


The L-Prize consists of three distinct phases that will award a total of up to $12.2 million. Participation in initial phases is not required to be eligible for subsequent phases.


Contest Winners Prizes
Phase 1: Concept Up to 10 $20,000 per winner
Phase 2: Prototype Up to 3 $2 million pool
Phase 3: Manufacturing and Installation Up to 2 $10 million pool

Phase 1: Concept


In this phase, competitors imagine and design concept systems that meet energy efficiency, lighting quality, connectivity, and product life cycle requirements exceeding currently available products. Competitors will think beyond current constraints on lighting innovation, such as cost, form factor, materials, and controls. In the Concept Phase, competitors will submit documentation of their concept systems, which will reference the preliminary L-Prize technical requirements listed in the official rules document. Entries will be scored across multiple categories, including feasibility, technical performance, and innovation and inclusion.


A cash award of $20,000 each will be awarded to up to 10 of the highest-scoring complete concept entries meeting the technical requirements and received within the eligibility period.

Phase 2: Prototype


In this phase, competitors create prototype systems that meet energy efficiency, lighting quality, connectivity, and product life cycle requirements exceeding currently available products. At the end of the Prototype Phase, competitors will submit 10 complete prototypes, allowing hands-on evaluation of all technical requirements.


Up to three winners will split a $2 million prize pool, based on number of points awarded by the Expert Reviewer Panel.


Simultaneous with the opening of the Prototype Phase, a Teaming Request for Information (RFI) will be issued. The RFI purpose is to seek parties interested in possible teaming arrangements for production and installation of systems capable of meeting the L-Prize technical requirements. This may include utilities, energy service companies, installation contractors, manufacturing partners, and any other parties interested in supporting the manufacture, deployment, and/or installation of lighting systems meeting the L-Prize requirements. The teaming partner RFI will be kept open through the duration of the L-Prize. The teaming partner list will be posted publicly on the HeroX Resources tab and regularly updated.

Phase 3: Manufacturing and Installation


In this phase, competitors earn points based on the quantity of products produced and installed, weighted by U.S. content, in addition to the technical requirements and points listed in the official rules. Optional points are added for systems installed under a business model or contract that includes ongoing system optimization, upgrade, and/or recycling at end of life (see official rules). The goal of the Manufacturing and Installation Phase is to have competitors realize the economic and energy savings benefits from the technology development fostered by the first two phases of the L-Prize.


Up to two winners will split a $10 million prize pool, based on number of points awarded by the Expert Reviewer Panel.

Anyone Can Compete


The U.S. Department of Energy Building Technologies Office invites participation from any entrepreneurial individuals or teams legally residing or based in the United States. Competitors can be individuals of one or multiple organizations, students, university faculty members, small business owners, researchers, or anyone with the desire and drive to transform an idea into an impactful solution.