The U.S. Department of Energy announced the winners of the L-Prize prototype phase on Oct. 25. The prototype phase is the second stage of the three-stage DOE competition, following the concept stage and preceding the manufacturing and installation phase.
The competition, which accepted entries from June 2022 to June 2023, is led by the DOE’s Building Technologies Office and administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) with technical support provided by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Points were awarded to entrants based on logistic, performance, and accessibility criteria, and awards were given in two categories: Luminaires and Connected Systems. The six winners shared a prize pool of $2 million, with the amount each was awarded listed with the winning entrants below.
Generation Flex: Light Without Compromise, Signify Innovation, Bridgewater, New Jersey
A modular, 3D-printed luminaire that achieves bidirectional connectivity and data communications through DALI D4i integration.
Low-Carbon Biodegradable Luminaire, Lightly, Boothwyn, Pa.
A linear luminaire that relies upon U.S.-sourced biodegradable alternatives to plastic and metal. Ben Rapkin, director of growth at Lightly, tells Architectural SSL of his company's win, “We are honored to be recognized for Lightly’s sustainable product designs, but there is a long way to go before we achieve our mission. Material sustainability is still an afterthought for many in the lighting community, and we will use these winnings to change the status quo.” (Read more about Lightly's innovative product line.)
Helios HPR-LP160, Grid Interactive Efficient Building Alliance (GiEBA), San Diego, Calif.
A 2X4-foot troffer that integrates wireless Google Thread networking technology and is designed to enable end-of-life disassembly and recycling.
Connected systems winners
Interact Next-Gen: Light the Way to Building Goals, Signify Innovation, Bridgewater, New Jersey
A system that interfaces with additional building systems and offers a user-friendly interface, role-based functions, a multifunction sensor, and energy harvesting switches.
Autani Insights 4REAL, with Sensing by Leviton, Autani and Leviton, Columbia, Maryland
A system based on open standard protocols that features tiered options to serve customers with various levels of lighting controls experience.
Bluetooth Mesh Wireless Lighting Control System, McWong International, Sacramento, Calif.
A system that allows for the use of off-the-shelf components and features a configuration commissioning report to help users manage control narratives.
The third and final phase of the competition is scheduled to open on Dec. 15, 2023, and close on April 26, 2024. It is open to participants in previous phases of the competition as well as to new participants.
This article has been updated since first publication.