Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Building An Even Better Lightbulb

Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), though far more energy efficient than their incandescent, have their critics. The lighting quality tends to be less intense and cool. They also contain trace amounts of mercury, posing health-related breakage and disposal concerns.

The L Prize is the first government-sponsored technology competition designed to spur lighting manufacturers to develop high-quality, high-efficiency solid-state lighting products to replace the common light bulb. Among the requirements is that the bulb must last more than 25,000 hours -— about 25 times longer than a standard light bulb.

The competition will substantially accelerate America's shift from inefficient, dated lighting products to innovative, high-performance products. Just as Thomas Edison transformed illumination over a century ago, the L Prize will drive innovation and market adoption.

The Department of Energy has announced that Philips Electronics has submitted the first entry in the L Prize competition. "The race is on," said DOE Solid-State Lighting Program Manager Jim Brodrick. "Philips is the first to submit a formal L Prize entry, demonstrating their leadership and corporate commitment to energy conservation in lighting. Philips' entry into the competition is a clear signal that massive energy savings from solid-state lighting are within our grasp. The field is wide-open, and we hope to see more entries from both large and small manufacturers."

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