Energy Department Announces Winner of Sustainable Manufacturing of Luminaires Prize

December 19, 2019

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Sketch of the Sustainable Manufacturing of Luminaires Prize-winning product.

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the winner of the Manufacturing Innovator Challenge for Sustainable Manufacturing of Luminaires. The DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has partnered with Freelancer.com to hold several crowdsourcing campaigns in order to find innovative solutions to today’s manufacturing challenges and attract broad industry participation. The Manufacturing Innovator Challenge consists of six individual challenges across multiple technologies to find ideas that will enhance manufacturing in the United States. 

The majority of solid-state lighting (SSL) luminaires still use aluminum and other energy-dense structural and thermal materials in their designs and manufacturing processes. Through the Sustainable Manufacturing of Luminaires Challenge, EERE sought new concepts in SSL luminaires designed to be manufactured with sustainable, recycled materials. The use of innovative materials in the luminaire design could reduce both parts and manufacturing cost of the luminaire.

Congratulations to the selected winner: 

Bamboo Pendant

Submitted by Brad Koerner, Koerner Design

Graphic / drawing of the Sustainable Manufacturing of Luminaires Prize-winning product.

The winning entry embodies DOE priorities to increase material and energy efficiency while improving building occupant comfort and quality of life. The design incorporates bio-derived and biodegradable, low-toxicity, sustainable materials and is applicable to net-zero-energy buildings. The forward-thinking design anticipates centralized DC power for buildings, allowing for simplified and efficient driver electronics. This entry also incorporates simple construction, fast disassembly, and reduced toxicity, which can help realize reduced lifecycle costs and liabilities. The design avoids adhesives and screws in large parts of the housing to aid end-of-life processing, while the flax-based printed circuit board and DC-power capabilities show innovation at many aspects of the electric power and manufacturing value chains.