26 January 2010


Energy Focus wins $1.6m in awards to develop LED lighting for DARPA and NASA

Energy-efficient lighting technology firm Energy Focus Inc of Solon, OH, USA says that its R&D team recently received three LED lighting awards totaling $1.6m. 

Two awards — ‘Explosion-Proof Solid State Lighting for Extreme Environments’ and ‘A Spectrally Dynamic Berth Light for Active Circadian Cycle Management’ are phase 2 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants from the US Defense Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The third award — ‘Innovative Solid State Lighting Replacements for Industrial and Test Facility Locations’ — is a phase 1 Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program grant received from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The two additional awards from DARPA continue a long-standing relationship, but the STTR award is the firm's first grant from NASA.

The first DARPA award, for the development of explosion-proof lights for shipboard use, also covers advanced driver development. These lights will be able to qualify for Class 1 Division 1 explosion-proof standards for civilian use, opening up a significant new market, says chief technology officer Roger Buelow.

The second DARPA award is for development of circadian rhythm enhanced lights for the Navy. These lights adjust their spectrum throughout the day to improve sleep patterns and productivity. For the military, this is especially important for warfighters whose duties include 24-hour operational readiness.

The third award, from NASA, is to replace existing test stand and parking lot fixtures with high-performance LED lighting, including high-performance explosion-proof lights.

“While significant, this new funding is only a fraction of the government-sponsored R&D we've already received for work in 2010,” says CEO Joseph Kaveski. “We’re especially pleased to begin the development of a new generation of lighting products that enhance health and wellness as well as provide energy efficiency,” he adds. “We expect the results of these projects to lead to both increased product sales as well as increased specification opportunities for our lighting retrofit business.”

See related items:

VHESC awards Energy Focus extra $100,000 to develop spectrum-splitting solar module

DARPA awards Energy Focus $3.1m to develop spectrum-splitting solar module

Search: Energy Focus LEDs