Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, announced Wednesday that two Goleta-based companies will receive more than $2 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to research and accelerate the development and deployment of high-efficiency solid-state lighting technologies such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The grants will leverage an additional $4 million in private-sector funding.
Solid-state lighting has the potential to be 10 times more energy efficient than conventional incandescent lighting and can last up to 25 times as long. The grants to Cree Inc. and Soraa Inc. will help speed up the commercialization of cost-effective, high-powered lighting technologies, giving consumers across the country access to more efficient ways to light their homes and businesses and reduce their energy costs.
“These smart investments that we are making today will soon pay off with more energy-efficient lighting that will cut our energy use and ultimately our reliance on dirty energy sources,” Capps said. “These funds will also position our country and American companies like Cree and Soraa as global leaders in the creation of this energy-efficient technology, and helping create new jobs due to the cutting-edge research done right here in our community.”
Soraa was awarded $678,257 to develop high-efficiency LEDs that can be operated at high current for greater light output. These improved LEDs would then enable the development of cost-effective LED packages with an estimated efficacy of 150 lumens per watt.
“Soraa is excited to continue partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy in developing the next generation of lighting products based on an innovative LED platform,” said Thomas Katona, director of marketing at Soraa. “Lighting consumes 20 percent of all electrical energy generated. This award will help in developing products that overcome the key challenges currently preventing solid-state lighting from gaining mass adoption.”
Cree was awarded $1.6 million to investigate design trade-offs in Cree’s high brightness LED package design and fabrication. The research funded by this grant will enable high-output, warm-white LED packages with an efficacy of 128 lumens per watt.
Earlier this week, President Barack Obama visited Cree headquarters in Durham, N.C.
— Ashley Schapitl is press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.