California LED lamp quality specification: How does it impact the designer/specifier?

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has quietly developed a new specification entitled "Voluntary California quality LED lamp specification" that places more stringent requirements on solid-state lighting (SSL) retrofit lamps than does the EPA Energy Star lamps specification. For example, the spec requires a CRI of 90, and limits CCT to either 2700K or 3000K. And while compliance with the document is voluntary, the CEC will ensure that utilities only provide incentives or rebates for qualified lamp purchases, thereby potentially leading lighting designers and specifiers to choose more expensive products. What do you in the specifier community think about the CEC plans?

We have a longer article on our LEDs Magazine website on the new CEC specification. The plans is not to supplant Energy Star, but to add more stringent requirements in certain areas including color accuracy, product life, and lamp packaging/labeling in addition to the aforementioned CRI and CCT areas.

Like Energy Star, compliance with the CEC specification is voluntary as implied in the title. But is it really? If utility companies only incent qualified products, specifiers may end up choosing more expensive products than the one required by the application at hand.

What we'd like to hear is your opinion on the matter. Is a 90 CRI requirement simply too stringent to apply to all lamps? Do you worry about how the new specification might impact LED lamp prices – even outside of California? What about CCT? Do you serve applications where a higher-CCT cooler lamp is preferable?

I'm sure you might have other questions as well. Please respond with your thoughts. You can email Or you can add a comment here adjacent to this article.




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