NEMA publishes two solid-state lighting standards

Two new solid-state lighting standards have been released by NEMA, covering LED drivers and dimming of incandescent-replacement LED lamps. The organization has also released an educational guide to energy-efficient lighting.

The US National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has published two new solid-state lighting (SSL) standards, both directed toward designers, manufacturers and users of SSL products. They are:

SSL 1 has been produced by NEMA’s Solid State Lighting section and covers electronic drivers for SSL and LED-based products. Electronic drivers use semiconductors to control and supply dc power for LED starting and operation. Topics covered include ratings, performance, and marking. SSL 1 also provides specifications guidance for electromagnetic immunity, audible noise, and efficiency calculations.

SSL 1 Working Group Leader Tom Stimac of GE Lighting Solutions said: “SSL 1 is the first in a series of NEMA SSL standards aimed at setting the foundation for quality and performance of LED systems, specifically LED drivers. LED drivers are used in every system today and the ability to verify key performance and quality aspects will be pivotal in achieving high efficiency and quality LED lighting systems.”

SSL 6 has been produced by NEMA’s Lighting Controls and Solid State Lighting sections and focuses on integrated LED lamps intended for retrofit into systems that previously used incandescent screw-base lamps. The standard addresses dimming of these products and the interaction between the dimmer (control) and the bulb (lamp), and introduces requirements to help ensure good dimming performance and prevent damage to either component.

SSL 6 Working Group Leader Robert Nachtrieb of Lutron Electronics said: “SSL 6 is the first NEMA standard to tackle head-on the importance of dimming energy-efficient LED lamps that will replace incandescent bulbs. Building on the solid industry consensus we forged for SSL 6, NEMA will continue to develop standards for other applications of LED dimming.”

Robert Hick of Leviton, member of both sections and chair of the Solid State Lighting section, said: “NEMA’s development of these standards illustrates the lighting industry’s dedication to the streamlined design and manufacture of energy-efficient SSL technology. Standardization of evolving technology is essential to ensuring harmonization across brands, exceptional performance, and customer satisfaction. With future additions to this series, NEMA will continue to identify and eliminate gaps in guidance without discouraging innovation within the industry.”

A hardcopy or electronic copy of either SSL 1 or SSL 6 can be purchased for $50.

Other related NEMA standards and white papers include:

SSL 3-2010: High-Power White LED Binning for General Illumination

LSD 44-2009: Solid State Lighting – The Need for a New Generation of Sockets and Interconnects

LSD 45-2009: Recommendations for Solid State Lighting Sub-Assembly Interfaces for Luminaires

LSD 49-2010: Solid State Lighting for Incandescent Replacement – Best Practices for Dimming

LSD 51-2009: Solid State Lighting – Definitions for Functional and Decorative Applications

NEMA publishes educational guide to energy-efficient lighting

In related news, NEMA has unveiled “The 5 Ls of Lighting: The Consumer’s Guide to Choosing Energy-Efficient Lighting.” This educational guide to the transition to more energy-efficient lighting can be downloaded at

The 5 Ls of Lighting provides a brief overview of the fundamental information about the new lighting energy efficiency standards that roll out nationwide starting January 2012 and that began in California in January of this year. The five Ls in the title stand for location, lumens, light bulbs, label, and law.

“It is essential that consumers are provided with the correct information about the transition to more energy-efficient lighting,” said NEMA President and CEO Evan Gaddis. “There have been media reports about the lighting transition that have been inaccurate, and have caused confusion. We want to set the record straight, and The 5 Ls of Lighting does just that.”

This guide empowers consumers with the knowledge they need to take advantage of new light bulb technologies. It explains the implementation dates of the law and highlights the variety of light bulb options available. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 is neither a ban on incandescent light bulbs nor a compact florescent lamp (CFL) mandate.

“This is a simple and clear tool to help consumers understand the lighting transition. The 5 Ls of Lighting is the master key for consumers to access the innovation that is provided in a variety of new technologies,” said NEMA Vice President of Government Relations Kyle Pitsor. “With expanded lighting options, consumers can use this tool to read package labels and differentiate among light bulb technologies to select the best option for their needs.”

Media, utilities, retailers, and government are encouraged to use the framework of The 5 Ls of Lighting to educate the American public about the transition to more energy-efficient lighting.

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