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April 16, 2002

National Initiative proposed for Solid-State Lighting

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — How long will it take for the paradigm to shift and semiconductor light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to become the primary lighting source? Some estimates are 15 to 20 years to capture specialized markets and several decades to replace conventional lighting. This has led some observers to suggest a national initiative to accelerate development of solid-state lighting.

Interest in a national initiative was catalyzed by an April 2000 white paper co-authored by Hewlett-Packard and Sandia that outlined the benefits of converting general illumination to solid-state lighting.

In March 2001, the National Academy of Sciences held a workshop in Washington to assess the promise of solid-state lighting and a Next-Generation Lighting Initiative. At that workshop, Sandia Vice President Al Romig spoke on the benefits solid-state lighting technologies can provide to national security needs — such as high-power electronics, solar-blind detection, and chem/bio detection.

Before that, in October 2000, Sandia, DOE, and the Optoelectronic Industry Development Association (OIDA) sponsored a roadmapping workshop on solid-state lighting in Albuquerque and prepared the final roadmap report. The 80 attendees included researchers from several lighting and semiconductor companies, as well as from universities throughout the country. A follow-up roadmapping workshop, with the same sponsors and including the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), will be held in Albuquerque on May 30. More information can be obtained by contacting Sandia researcher Jeff Tsao at 505-844-7092 or jytsao@sandia.gov, or consulting the OIDA web site (http://www.oida.org).

Interest in a national initiative is spreading. The U.S. Department of Energy, through its National Energy Technology Laboratory, sponsors competitive research in solid-state lighting. The goal of the DOE’s competitive Lighting Research and Development (LR&D) Program is to aggressively research new and evolving lighting technologies, in close collaboration with partners, to develop new lighting technologies that are 50 percent more efficient than current lighting products. (Sandia currently participates in that program with industrial partner Lumileds Lighting, a joint venture between Agilent Technologies and Philips Lighting formed specifically to develop and market high brightness LED products.)

More recently, Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., has introduced legislation calling for the establishment in DOE of a “Next-Generation Lighting Initiative.” Last year he, together with Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, introduced a Next-Generation Lighting Initiative bill (S.1166) to the Senate. It was later rolled into Bingaman’s Energy Policy Act of 2002 (S.1766), which was debated recently on the Senate floor.

Under the proposed legislation, the energy secretary would set up a planning board that would have 180 days to formulate a strategy for developing and implementing the technology. The energy secretary would then seek to establish a consortium of companies, national laboratories, universities, and other entities to accelerate the development and introduction of solid-state lighting. The bill would authorize $30 million for fiscal year 2002 and $50 million per year for fiscal years 2003 through 2011.

Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin Company, for the United States Department of Energy under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major research and development responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.

Sandia Media Contact: Chris Burroughs, coburro@sandia.gov, (505) 844-0948

Sandia Technical Contact: Jerry Simmons, jsimmon@sandia.gov , (505) 844-8402

DOE Technical Contact: Jim Brodrick, James.Brodrick@ee.doe.gov , (202) 586-5253

Next-Generation Lighting Initiative Contact (OIDA): Arpad Bergh, bergh@oida.org (202) 785-4426

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