Energy Department awards $4.2 million to 3 California lighting companies
Three California companies will receive $4.2 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to fund the development of high-efficiency lighting. Soraa Inc. and Cree Inc., both in Goleta, along with Philips Lumileds Lighting Co. in San Jose, were awarded the money to accelerate the deployment of technologies such as light-emitting diodes, or LEDs.
LEDs can be 10 times more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs and up to 25 times longer-lasting.
"These investments in cutting-edge lighting technologies will support American innovation, create new manufacturing jobs for U.S. workers and help ensure that the United States leads the world in this rapidly evolving industry," U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a statement released Tuesday. "These next-generation lighting technologies have the potential to transform the way we light our homes and businesses and generate enormous energy and cost savings for families and businesses across the country."
The DOE investment announcement comes in advance of the federally mandated phase-out of incandescent light bulbs. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 bans 100-watt incandescents beginning in 2012 and 60- and 40-watt incandescents in 2014. Under a provision of the act, California began phasing out 100-watt incandescents earlier this year. The state will scrap the 75-watt bulb next year, the 60-watt bulb in 2013 and the 40-watt bulb in 2014. Each replacement must use about a third less energy and must last at least 1,000 hours.
According to the DOE statement, Soraa, which is receiving $678,000, will develop LEDs that generate more light with greater efficiency. Cree, which will be given $1.6 million, will research high-output, warm-white LEDs. Philips, receiving almost $2 million, will investigate high-voltage, low-current LED designs.
-- Susan Carpenter
Photo: LED lightbulb. Credit: Osram Sylvania