The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Building Technologies Office (BTO), within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), has issued a Request for Information (RFI) (DE-FOA-0002160) to seek broad stakeholder input to inform the strategic direction of the DOE lighting research and development (R&D) portfolio. While there are still significant opportunities to improve the core solid-state lighting technology, the technology and industry have changed significantly since the original Congressional authorization. Accordingly, BTO is requesting information to better understand how lighting research goals can be refined to reflect evolving technology needs and inform related R&D activities.

BTO’s Lighting R&D Program aims to drive the development of advanced lighting solutions through innovative, early-stage R&D. This research supports BTO’s overall goal to improve the energy productivity of buildings without sacrificing occupant comfort or product performance. The program is guided by the Lighting R&D Opportunities (RDO) report (referred to hereafter as the “2018 RDO”), which is updated annually with input gathered from the U.S. lighting science R&D community, the annual DOE Lighting R&D Workshop, and ongoing engagement with lighting researchers.

The 2018 RDO outlines priority R&D challenges in three areas:

  • Light-emitting diode (LED) R&D to explore advanced LED devices and materials; new emitter device architectures; quantum dot optical down-converters; advanced LED lighting concepts; LED power and functional electronics; and additive fabrication technologies for lighting.
  • Organic LED (OLED) R&D to develop novel materials and structures for stable, efficient white OLED devices; advanced fabrication technologies; improved light extraction and utilization; and prototype lighting platforms.
  • Cross-cutting R&D to better understand and define human physiological impacts of light to improve efficiency; and to develop a general framework, mathematical model, and computer simulation approach to characterize lighting application efficiency.

The RFI is requesting stakeholders to:

  • Provide critical input on current Lighting R&D Program direction, activities, and opportunities.
  • Identify impactful lighting R&D opportunities within general illumination that are absent (or underrepresented) in the 2018 DOE Solid-State Lighting RDO document.
  • Identify impactful lighting R&D opportunities where immediate applications are beyond general illumination but have potential to help save energy in the built environment.

Stakeholder responses to the RFI will inform updates to future editions of the RDO, and ultimately, the strategic direction of the lighting portfolio moving forward. DOE will accept comments and feedback on this RFI until Thursday, December 19, 2019 at 5 p.m. ET, and questions should be submitted to Please note that this RFI is not a funding opportunity announcement; therefore, EERE is not accepting applications at this time. Read the full RFI.