Federal Budget Increase for Solid State Lighting Program

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff February 21, 2006

The National Electrical Manufacturers Assn., among others, is lending strong support to a provision in the Bush administration’s proposed FY 2007 budget that would spur the development of state-of-the-art lighting technology. The budget includes an $8 million increase for solid state lighting research and development.

“The fact that the administration would provide an increase in funding for this program, while recommending cuts in others,” said NEMA President Evan Gaddis, “speaks volumes about the importance of high-quality, high-efficiency lighting to our nation. Improved lighting systems in our nation’s buildings and homes represent one of the greatest opportunities we have to save energy and ultimately reduce our dependence on foreign oil supplies.”

The solid state research and development program, operated in partnership between the Dept. of Energy and the NEMA-operated Next Generation Lighting Industry Alliance (NGLIA), provides funding for competitively selected proposals—in both basic technology and product development—of new, advanced lighting using light emitting diodes and organic light emitting diodes.

Solid state lighting is already seen in niche applications. The challenge is to improve product performance and overcome various technical barriers so that it can move into general lighting thereby displacing today’s inefficient light sources. The energy thus saved is estimated at six to seven percent of total national energy usage. According to a NEMA spokesperson, 22% of U.S. electrical power is consumed by lighting.

This budget increase from last year’s requested $11 million to $19.3 million for 2007 will promote the acceleration of technical work needed to realize the potential of solid state lighting. NEMA and the NGLIA will be working with Congress as it considers the administration’s request for this important program.

For more information on the NGLIA and the importance of solid state lighting, please visit www.nglia.org .