Technology Application R&D

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Technology application R&D projects monitor SSL technology advances and provide laboratory and field evaluations of emerging products. Impartial, trusted analysis from DOE identifies and characterizes technology problems early on, alerting manufacturers to needed improvements, and helping to put detailed information into the hands of buyers, which when used in discussions with manufacturers can lead to further technology improvements.

In contrast to a single project focus, technology application R&D projects address broad issues related to technology performance, with a view that impacts the entire industry. This approach creates highly effective feedback loops, inducing manufacturers to make technology improvements with their own funding, more quickly than would otherwise occur. It also feeds back into DOE planning for R&D priorities and annual updates to the SSL R&D Plan, allowing DOE to make better informed decisions on R&D investments.

Lab and Field Evaluations

Laboratory testing and field evaluations provide unbiased data and analysis on specific products types, scenarios, and installations.

  • CALiPER testing investigates specific product types and scenarios in a laboratory or mockup setting, offering comparative analysis of LED and benchmark technologies.
  • GATEWAY evaluations enable hands-on experience and detailed evaluation of LED products installed in real-world applications. The results often reveal important issues related to installation, interface, and control

Emerging SSL program areas of focus include:

Data and Analysis

Data collection and analysis supplement lab and field evaluations by providing a broad view of product and market trends. 

  • LED Lighting Facts® promotes accuracy in reporting LED product performance by requiring manufacturers to commit to testing products and reporting performance results according to industry standards. Registered products are listed in a searchable online database along with verified product information.
  • DOE market studies and technical reports provide objective market analysis and technical information.

Metrics and Test Methods

Through original research and collaboration with standards and technical organizations, the DOE SSL program supports new metrics and test methods that help drive technology development. Primary focus areas include:

DOE is also involved in a number of standards development activities related to Connected Lighting Systems.

Technology Competitions

  • The Next Generation Lighting Systems competition encourages innovation and education on leading-edge LED lighting solutions.
  • The L Prize® competition was created to spur lighting manufacturers to develop high-quality, high-efficiency solid-state lighting products to replace the common light bulb

Related Support

The SSL program coordinates closely with related programs within DOE’s Building Technologies Office.

  • The Municipal Solid-State Street Lighting Consortium has built a repository of valuable field experience, data, and resources to significantly accelerate the learning curve for buying and implementing high-quality, energy-efficient LED streetlights.
  • ​The Better Buildings Alliance promotes energy efficiency in U.S. commercial buildings through collaboration with building owners and managers, and has developed specifications to provide guidance and minimum performance requirements for key applications.