Lighting coalition asks EPA to lower Energy Star efficacy specs for high CRI lamps

Soraa is spearheading an effort, involving a number of major players in the solid-state lighting (SSL) industry, asking the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to lower the efficacy requirements in the evolving Energy Star Lamps version 1.0 specification -- only impacting products with a CRI of 90 or better. The group believes that more users will adopt LED-based retrofit lamps if Energy Star-recognized options are available with a higher CRI, and therefore the net energy savings throughout the potential US customer base will increase even though the lamps in question use marginally more energy.

Soraa's proposed efficacy changes

According to Soraa, the loosely organized coalition of petitioners include the California Lighting Technology Center at the University of California at Davis; Shuji Nakamura the inventor of blue and phosphor-converted white LEDs; Steven DenBaars co-director of the SSL Center at the University of California Santa Barbara; well-known and outspoken lighting designer Chip Israel of Lighting Design Alliance; the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD); and Northeast Utilities Companies (NSTAR).

The crux of the problem comes down to the fact that reaching high CRI values such as 90 invariably decreases efficacy. "Fundamental physics research shows that there is a ~2% penalty in luminous efficacy per point of CRI. So, going from a CRI of 80, where most LEDs operate, to a CRI of 90, there is a ~20% penalty in lm/W," said Shuji Nakamura, professor of materials and co-director for the SSL at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The EPA lamps draft makes no allowance for CRI and color requirements in its Energy Star efficacy requirements for omnidirectional, directional, or decorative lamps. The draft requires a minimum CRI of 80 and specifies efficacy for different lamp power levels. The petitioning companies are asking for 5-10-point drops in efficacy requirements for lamps with a CRI of 90 as depicted in the nearby tables.

The EPA itself has pointed out in the lamps draft that poor color quality is a barrier to broader adoption. Focused on increasing SSL adoption, Chip Israel said, "Designers should have the flexibility to select the appropriate source for their applications and end users should have their right to purchase high color rendering or full spectrum lamps for their spaces."

The fear among the coalition is that designers and customers will simply stay with less efficient light sources, rather than transition to SSL products if the Energy Star label isn’t available with high-CRI products. The group is arguing that a transition using slightly less-efficient lamps will do far more to decrease energy usage across the US.

"The slow market adoption of CFLs over the last 20 years demonstrates that simply because a product produces enough light, saves energy and is cost-effective, broad market adoption of that technology is not ensured," said Carlos Alonso-Niemeyer, energy efficiency program manager of NSTAR. "To persuade consumers to purchase LEDs instead of incandescent lamps, LED lamps must be seen as high-quality products worth the initial higher price differential. Therefore, LED lamps must closely replicate the color rendering and color appearance of the incandescent and halogen lamps that they replace."

Soraa is a manufacturer of gallium-nitride-on-gallium-nitride (GaN-on-GaN) LEDs, and MR16 retrofit lamps that use the LEDs.

Did You Like this Article? Get All the LEDS Magazine News Delivered to Your Inbox.

Subscribe to the magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now
RELATED NEWS & ARTICLES
SIL STRIKING POINT: Connected lighting panel will debate protocols

SIL STRIKING POINT: Connected lighting panel will debate protocols

Strategies in Light (SIL) conference co-chair and Strategies Unlimited research director PHILIP SMALLWOOD drives home that wireless standard protocols are reaching a critical decision point in this rundown of the connected...

Competing wireless standards will wed at CES, SSL may benefit

Competing wireless standards will wed at CES, SSL may benefit

Networking technology has become increasingly important in LED-based lighting, but the SSL sector is hampered by the lack of interoperable standards and the Consumer Electronics Show should see progress on that conundrum.

Zhaga Consortium publishes LED driver Book 13, posts compatible products data

Zhaga Consortium publishes LED driver Book 13, posts compatible products data

Book 13 specification defines standardized LED driver form factors intended for usage with separate LED modules, and the Zhaga Consortium has a revamped product database that includes all products compliant with the librar...

Risk group determination characterizes photobiological safety in LED lighting

Risk group determination characterizes photobiological safety in LED lighting (MAGAZINE)

Expanding on a prior series of articles focused on the photobiological safety of LED-based lighting, Leslie Lyons further details risk group classifications and methodologies that come into play with extended sources such ...

ANSI continues advancements on SSL chromaticity standard

ANSI continues advancements on SSL chromaticity standard (MAGAZINE)

Jianzhong Jiao describes the work of a new ad hoc group within ANSI that is contemplating how to accommodate the perceptions and preferences of humans in terms of the chromaticity of white light relative to the black-body ...

Understand the lighting flicker frustration

Understand the lighting flicker frustration (MAGAZINE)

Lighting control manufacturers are committed to reducing flicker, improving LED performance, and providing commercial customers with comfortable, efficient lighting and control solutions, but Ethan Biery explains that the ...

California Energy Commission proposes new regulations for LED lamps

California Energy Commission proposes new regulations for LED lamps

MR16 lamp requirements will get more strenuous although the new regulations will enable tradeoffs in efficacy relative to CRI in both small directional LED lamps and omnidirectional products including A-lamps.

Chart the course of energy-efficient SSL through lighting regulations

Chart the course of energy-efficient SSL through lighting regulations (MAGAZINE)

Government and industry bodies are continuously publishing new regulatory codes and industry standards that are guiding the development of SSL products and the art of lighting design and specification, writes Ethan Biery.

CCT options indoors and out remain controversial while science advances

CCT options indoors and out remain controversial while science advances (MAGAZINE)

We have two articles related to correlated color temperature (CCT) topics in our October issue that are sure to hit hot buttons with many in the LED and solid-state lighting (SSL) sectors.

First do no harm

First do no harm (MAGAZINE)

Registered designer and wellness consultant Deborah Burnett examines the body of knowledge related to electric light and human wellbeing and urges a cautionary approach to SSL in lighting design touted to deliver health be...

Light pollution depends on the light source CCT

Light pollution depends on the light source CCT (MAGAZINE)

Ian Ashdown explains that artificial sky glow due to roadway and area lighting depends on the correlated color temperature (CCT) of the light sources. Choosing the best CCT involves tradeoffs between light pollution, visua...

Zhaga publishes Book 11 for 35-mm spotlight LED modules

Zhaga publishes Book 11 for 35-mm spotlight LED modules

The new Zhaga book is the first to only define an LED module and also the first to reference the driver interface that has been defined by the Module-Driver Interface – Special Interest Group (MD-SIG).

DOE publishes Caliper report focused on tunable-white LED luminaires

DOE publishes Caliper report focused on tunable-white LED luminaires

Initial testing of tunable SSL products was undertaken to understand the unique requirements of characterizing such products and uncovered substantial variations in performance of eight LED luminaires.

IES explores luminuous flux maintenance projection method developments using LM-80 data

IES explores projection method developments using LM-80 data

The IES is considering feedback from the LED industry on projection methods for testing and defining additional long-term behavior changes in LEDs that are not addressed in the current version of TM-21. Jianzhong Jiao desc...

IES publishes lighting specification for sports fields and venues

IES publishes lighting specification for sports fields and venues

IES RP-6-15 covers recommended lighting practices for recreational to professional sports fields and venues with specific guidelines for individual sports.

DesignLights Consortium launches a controls specification targeted at SSL

DesignLights Consortium launches a controls specification targeted at SSL

First draft of a controls specification is out for review and will be the basis of a qualified products list that will likely be adopted broadly by utilities and other market-transformation initiatives.

Spectrometer adds dimension to goniometric characterization of SSL lamps and luminaires

Spectrometer adds dimension to goniometric characterization of SSL lamps and luminaires (MAGAZINE)

While photodetectors have long been used alongside goniometers to characterize light sources, Pasi Manninen and Mikolaj Przbyla explain that a goniospectrometer system enables collection of a more robust set of p...

Market programs and regulations hold back HCL in the US

Market programs and regulations hold back HCL in the US (MAGAZINE)

Stan Walerczyk, principal of Lighting Wizards, describes the challenges of implementing human-centric lighting in the US but also sees opportunity to positively impact our wellbeing.

CIE should endorse TM-30-15 color rendition metrics post haste

CIE should endorse TM-30-15 color metrics post haste (MAGAZINE)

The Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) has published a Technical Memorandum (TM-30-15) defining a new pair of metrics intended to characterize the color rendition of light sources.

DOE reports additional concerns about LED MR16 lamps performance

DOE reports additional concerns about LED MR16 lamp performance

A new Caliper report focused on LED-based MR16 retrofit lamps reveals that the lamps don’t match the dimming response of legacy halogen products and incandescent dimmers present a particularly problematic scenario.

TOPIC INDEX

CURRENT ISSUE



CONNECT WITH US

                

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

SUBMISSIONS

Have a press release or other announcement you'd like to share?

Submit Announcement

Miss a webcast? Watch it in the archives

Copyright © 2007-2015. PennWell Corporation, Tulsa, OK. All Rights Reserved.