tion of the nation. Other issues were standardization and acceptance of the common bulb and socket, the testing of materials, and the construction of an electrical infrastructure. He said that we can expect quicker adoption today partly because LED innovation is moving rapidly, as exemplified by the NASDAQ sign and the proliferating traffic and exit lights.
In response to the question about funding requirements, Dr. Haitz summarized a study he had conducted some 18 months earlier. He estimated that a government-industry partnership would want to spend about a billion dollars over the next 10 years to accelerate solid-state lighting to a significant degree; in other words, each sector would spend about $50 million a year. He said that the industry is approaching the fourth generation of solid-state systems, and that developing each generation had exceeded estimates of cost and complexity by a factor of at least three. The gallium nitride system in particular is “incredibly complicated” and would require considerable hard work. He added that an efficacy of 50 lumens per watt (l/w) is within reach, but that level is inadequate to have a competitive impact on fluorescent lamps. In order to have that impact and to save energy, he said that well over 100 l/w would be needed. “And that’s not going to be done in a slow, evolutionary process. You have to try to develop the breakthroughs.”
Dr. Romig was asked how much technology developed for defensive purposes is transferred to the civilian sector. He replied that much of the research done at the base technology level is transferred. An example of this is Sandia’s materials studies of compound semiconductors and high-temperature superconductors. The principal drivers of these studies were the optoelectronics and high-frequency RF applications. The fact that these phenomena now have applications in the realm of lighting is partly a result of learning how to create useful devices based on those materials. He also explained that moving a technology into the marketplace benefits the national lab where it was born. “This is the way I think it’s supposed to work,” he said, “where basic work with defense applications works its way into the marketplace, gets exercised, developed, and matured, and then fed back into our defense systems.”