Partner companies in the EnLight research project are aiming to reduce energy consumption of interior LED lighting by 40%.

Germany’s annual power consumption is approximately 500 terawatt-hours (TWh) or 500 trillion watt-hours, with lighting accounting for almost 12% of that figure. Even today, as much as 11.5 TWh or 20% of the electricity needed for lighting could be saved in Germany alone if incandescent lamps were consistently replaced by more energy-efficient LED technologies. The potential saving is equivalent to the annual output of a large-scale power plant.

EnLight aims to exploit the full potential of LED-based lighting for saving further power through groundbreaking innovations in the LED lighting modules that include the LED and the driver electronics. The research is aimed at areas including changes to the socket standards. For example, at present the E27 base – the standard base of incandescent lamps across Europe – is not designed to be operated with light management systems, as is necessary for improved energy efficiency.

Another goal pursued by EnLight is to develop programmable controls and innovative sensors for intelligent LED lighting solutions. In addition, the aim is for intelligent wireline and wireless networking of LED lighting systems and for enabling their energy-optimised operation to save as much as 40% of the electricity. The project will also explore entirely new light functions: LED light sources will be able to automatically adapt their brightness to the ambient light.

The German partners’ work is integrated into the European ENIAC Joint Undertaking project “EnLight”, headed by Philips. The European joint research project brings together 30 partners from six countries whose collaboration will further strengthen Europe’s leading global position in the lighting system sector.

The partners from industry and research are shouldering about €5 million or approximately 45% of the project costs, with additional funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (€4.1 million) and the European Union (€2 million).