About the Lighting R&D Program
The DOE Lighting R&D Program fosters U.S. scientific capabilities, leverages private funds, provides internationally trusted information, and drives innovation to create energy-efficient products that support health, productivity, and well-being. Traditional lighting technologies have little leeway for improvements in efficiency, but solid-state lighting (SSL) technology, particularly light-emitting diode (LED)-based technology, still has significant room for growth in achieving its full potential.
According to DOE projections, LED lighting is expected to comprise 84% of all lighting installations by 2035, enabling 62 quads of cumulative energy savings—and an additional 16 quads if DOE targets for efficiency, controls, and connected lighting are met. The total cumulative energy savings of 78 quads would be equivalent to $890 billion in avoided energy costs and 5.9 billion tonnes of avoided carbon dioxide emissions.
For nearly two decades, the Lighting R&D program has acted as a catalyst, bringing together researchers, industry, universities, standards organizations, utilities, energy efficiency programs, building owners, lighting designers, and specifiers to drive SSL technology advances. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT 2005) and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007) issued directives to the Secretary of Energy to carry out a Next Generation Lighting Initiative to support SSL research, development, demonstration, and commercial application activities. In order to effectively fulfill the directives in EPACT 2005 and EISA 2007, DOE developed a comprehensive national strategy to build collaborative efforts with lighting industry and research partners to guide SSL technology innovation. Learn more about Lighting R&D Program partnerships.
Program priorities are guided by the Lighting R&D Opportunities document, updated annually in collaboration with the U.S. lighting research community.
Priority research areas include:
- Platform technology R&D, driving efficiency gains through improvements in materials and components.
- Integration and validation studies, evaluating advanced lighting solutions and design strategies in real settings.
- Lighting science and analysis, exploring the energy and non-energy impacts of next-generation lighting on health, comfort, safety, and learning.
Learn more about Lighting R&D Program research focus areas.
The 335 competitively selected R&D projects funded to date have resulted in 431 patents (applied for or awarded) and a huge industry footprint. A total of 346 products can be directly traced to DOE-funded SSL R&D, and millions of products on the market today have some DOE R&D inside.
Those products have contributed to an estimated 140 billion kWh in annual energy savings, equating to 98 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide avoided and over $14.7 billion in energy cost savings for American homes and businesses.
- SSL Patents Resulting from DOE-Funded Projects (Fact sheet, January 2021)
- SSL Commercial Product Development Resulting from DOE-Funded Projects (Fact sheet, January 2021)
- Adoption of LEDs in Common Lighting Applications (Report, August 2020)
- Success Stories
- Research Highlights