The DOE Solid-State Lighting Program is driving innovative lighting research and development (R&D) that will redefine lighting – and related energy savings – for the next century. Solid-state lighting (SSL), particularly light-emitting diode (LED) based SSL, is on course to become the dominant lighting technology across all lighting applications.

The luminous efficacy of SSL has surpassed previous lighting technologies and still has significant room to improve. Moreover, the LED technology platform offers the opportunity to:

  • Advance beyond legacy form factors, which embody limitations of previous lighting technologies
  • Move past the legacy functionality of providing basic illumination, to explore new functionality with potential to improve building occupant well-being and productivity
  • Enable energy savings beyond improved source efficiency to encompass more precise delivery of more suitable light at the appropriate time

Learn more about LED basics, organic LED (OLED) basics, and next-generation lighting R&D challenges.


DOE SSL Program priorities are guided by the Solid-State Lighting R&D Opportunities document, updated annually in collaboration with the U.S. lighting research community. Input is collected through ongoing stakeholder engagement and annual workshops that bring together America's top scientists and lighting experts to focus on lighting R&D advances. These exchanges inform not only DOE-sponsored R&D, but also research agendas in academia and industry.

2022 Solid-State Lighting R&D Opportunities


All DOE SSL funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) and project selections align with the priorities and targets detailed in the Solid-State Lighting R&D Opportunities document. DOE lighting R&D projects are competitively selected and cost-shared projects that explore complex science challenges that stand in the way of further improvements in efficacy and performance. Solicitations for R&D funding are issued annually. R&D partners and projects are selected based on factors such as energy savings potential, likelihood of success, and alignment with the Solid-State Lighting R&D Opportunities document.


DOE uses technology competitions to incentivize a disruptive leap in the technological capabilities of SSL.


Advanced lighting science and technology research focuses on next-generation efficiency potential of SSL to deliver the right amount, spectrum, and distribution of light to the right place at the right time. This research, conducted primarily by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, focuses on applications where existing lighting energy usage is high or where rapid growth in lighting energy usage is expected.


The DOE legacy research areas listed below have made a significant impact on driving SSL technology advances in the last decade. Many current DOE advanced lighting research activities build on the foundation and findings of these earlier efforts.