A Recap of the 2020 Lighting R&D Workshop

The 2020 Lighting R&D Workshop, co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Illuminating Engineering Society, drew lighting experts from around the world to San Diego. The annual event is a cornerstone of DOE’s Lighting R&D Program planning.

With expanded tracks, more than 70 speakers, and nearly 60 posters displaying innovative research, the 2020 workshop offered a broad mix of perspectives and reflected an emphasis on new frontiers in lighting. The diverse speakers and attendees included lighting scientists, manufacturers, engineers, contractors, architects, academics, distributors, standards developers, and DOE national lab researchers.

Attendees shared information, ideas, data, and perspectives on what kind of research is needed to unlock next-generation lighting performance and energy savings. The emphasis was on bridging the gap between the technology’s promise and today’s reality, and identifying the challenges that must be overcome in order to translate R&D into application.

The Materials Research and Product Innovation track, for example, featured a joint LED/OLED discussion on advances in light extraction, plus an intriguing roundup of product innovations and advanced manufacturing concepts. The Lighting Systems and Building Integration track examined the challenges of integrating advanced connected lighting systems into buildings, as well as the potential of such systems to provide grid services and to be incorporated into grid-interactive efficient buildings.

The exchange of ideas and discussion cultivated by this workshop are crucial to ongoing energy savings in solid-state lighting (SSL). The next generation of energy savings from SSL will come from improving lighting application efficiency (LAE), which characterizes the efficient delivery of light from the light source to the lighted task, and was a hot topic at the workshop. Improvements in LAE can deliver substantial energy savings by enabling the more-precise delivery of more-suitable light at the appropriate time. A new LAE framework needs to be developed in order to understand and quantify these benefits to drive further innovations for energy savings.

DOE will continue to work with stakeholders to achieve next-level energy savings as well as new frontiers in lighting. To learn more, view the presentations from the DOE Lighting R&D workshop and download the latest edition of the DOE Lighting R&D Opportunities document.