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Zoinks! No Entrants Yet in Contest for 60-Watt LED Bulb May 7, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in LED Lights, List Article.
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what is the light bulb of the future

what is the light bulb of the future

Gadzooks! The Government just posted is look for a few good light bulbs.. and the still haven’t found the one with the right stuff. This article from the New York Times details the government’s search for a LED light than can replace your everyday 60 watt incandescent. They have been running this contest for a while but nobody is entering! Are LED manufacturers just too shy?

Dr. Z

www.zbulbs.com

 

No Entrants Yet in Contest for 60-Watt LED Bulb

By Eric A. Taub Last year, the Department of Energy announced the L Prize: a contest to be the first company to create an LED-powered lamp that could replace a standard 60-watt incandescent bulb. The winner would receive cash, recognition, and potentially lucrative government contracts. One year later, no one has stepped up to claim the award. It’s not for lack of trying, said James Brodrick, a Department of Energy official overseeing the government’s LED lighting initiative. But creating an LED lamp that can produce the equivalent of 60 watts of light while using a fraction of the power of a standard bulb is no easy task. Speaking at Lightfair, the lighting industry trade show, Mr. Brodrick told me that five companies have been discussing the contest with him, with at least two pulling out all the stops to win. He expects the first entries to come either this summer or fall. The cash prize — several million dollars based on what the government eventually allocates — is the least important part of the competition. The winner could also get large orders from the U.S. General Services Administration and the Defense Logistics Agency, which is looking for advanced lighting that can work under stressful environments, such as ships at sea. Mr. Brodrick estimates that there are 1.9 billion sockets in the U.S. that currently use 60-watt bulbs, so the potential market could be huge. But before any company can claim the prize, their product will have to undergo rigorous testing. That includes testing about 12 samples for light output, another 200 for expected life, and two to three dozen for their ability to operate under stressful conditions. The company also must be able to manufacture a minimum of 250,000 per year. The Department of Energy is trying to head off the debacle the country initially experienced with the introduction of compact fluorescents, when many consumers found that the first CFLs did not last long and gave off unpleasant light. “This is the Kentucky Derby of lighting,” Mr. Brodrick said, who added that he wouldn’t be surprised if a dark-horse winner emerged from the shadows at the last minute.

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