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DOE Looks at U.S.-Based Manufacturing of Solid-State Lighting

The U.S. Department of Energy released a white paper about the growth and outlook for U.S. based manufacturing of solid-state lighting. "Prospects for U.S.-Based Manufacturing in the SSL Industry" was based insights gathered from DOE-sponsored roundtables and workshops in which lighting industry executives talked about what would lead a company to place its manufacturing and engineering facilities in the United States.

“The U.S. has quietly but surely been growing a solid-state lighting manufacturing base,” said a DOE release on the report. “Some of this growth is due to "on-shoring," but a fair amount of SSL manufacturing has originated here. That's not surprising, considering that the U.S. has been at the epicenter of SSL innovation, with U.S.-based researchers and product developers playing instrumental roles in toppling cost and performance barriers, and in positioning SSL for rapid market growth.

“But early technology leadership doesn't necessarily translate into sustained manufacturing and employment strength. The future of SSL remains to be written, and decisions being made today will influence the shape of the industry for decades to come.”

The report concentrates on six factors that emerged from the discussions: access to markets; access to supply chains; access to innovation; intellectual property protection; labor costs, productivity and quality; and government incentives. The report mixes optimism with a survey of the challenges facing U.S. SSL manufacturing, from a “thinning supply chain” to diminishing technical and research support from university and government laboratories.

Read the full report: "Prospects for U.S.-Based Manufacturing in the SSL Industry" (PDF)

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