Solid-state education for the LED Nation!

June 17, 2009
Asking the right questions is a crucial aspect of the buying process, for buyers and suppliers alike, writes Brian Owen.
Comment on this article on the World of LEDs blog.

The May/June issue of LEDs Magazine featured an article entitled “Asking the right questions helps to educate customers and suppliers alike.”

In a continuing effort to advance SSL market transformation, we thought it beneficial to request and receive comments from our readers that may serve to further benefit and enhance the procurement process and protocol. The comments may also be integrated in future articles, and the SSL Procurement Guide (see below).

Comments on the procurement process

The “asking the right questions” article contained a quote from Shirley Coyle, President and General Manager of BetaLED / Ruud Lighting Canada. Following up on her quoted comments, Coyle added, "We still are not getting the message out that people need to look at the product based on their specific application – i.e. [they need to] do the lighting layout with the product under review for their particular application (the space geometry, the average annual ambient temp there, the hours of operation).

“I’m concerned that we’re getting people to collect a whole laundry list of data – and what are they going to do with it? Do they know what’s good or bad? Knowing the j-temp (junction temperature or Tj) based on worst-case ambient temperature is not as useful as knowing the life rating (L70) based on their specific application.

“Having that independently-tested IES file is only useful if they ensure it works for their application by doing the lighting layout! Considerations are certainly different for reviewing LED replacement lamps — maybe that’s the difficulty — the review of LED lamp products versus luminaires requires a somewhat different process."

Coyle offered a list of the minimum information needed for a fair evaluation of any LED luminaire:

  1. Photometrics (from an independent test lab and per IESNA LM-79)
  2. Evaluation and lighting layout based on your specific application
  3. Life: what is the L70 (lumen depreciation supported by IESNA LM-80 data from the LED device manufacturer)
  4. Appropriate maintenance factors / light loss factors for the competing systems
  5. Economic analysis (cost/value)
  6. Installations / proven experience
  7. Warranty
Readers are invited to comment on this list, and the more extensive list contained in the “asking the right questions” article — see the World of LEDs blog.

SSL Procurement Guide

This fall, greenTbiz of Toronto, Canada will release the first edition of the SSL Procurement Guide for buyers and specifiers in both the governmental and private sectors. Long anticipated and needed, this publication will provide practical knowledge—along with easy to read information that’s also easy to use—that will assist those charged with evaluating and purchasing SSL for both indoor and outdoor applications.

Also, readers will learn how to deal with manufacturers, their representation and product solicitations, and how to avoid inferior products and resultant disappointment or even disaster.

Table of Contents To provide an advance look at the publication, and a sample of the valuable information it will contain, see the draft Table of Contents (right) and the Useful Resources and Links (URLs) below.

Those interested in sponsorship of the guide are advised to contact greenTbiz now as partnerships are limited and to qualify a manufacturer partner sponsor must be an ENERGY STAR for SSL as well as a Lighting Facts Partner who has taken the Quality Advocates pledge.

To discuss sponsorship and to also reserve your free copy in advance, you can send an email to Chantal Brundage, Program Manager with greenTbiz.

Useful Resources & Links (URLs)

(Courtesy of greenTbiz and LED City Toronto)

US Department of Energy (DOE) Solid-State Lighting Program
GATEWAY Demonstrations
SSL Quality Advocates
Lighting Facts
DOE/IALD/IESNA Lighting Designer Roundtable on SSL (PDF file)
CFLs in America: Lessons learned on the way to market (PDF file)
Energy Savings Estimates of LEDs in Niche Lighting Applications (PDF file)



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Canadian Standards Association (CSA) - Certified Product Listings

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) – Online Certifications Directory

LED City

100,000 Hours And Other LED Fairytales (LED Transformations)

LED Lighting Systems in Sustainable Building Design (betaLED / Ruud)

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Total Cost of Ownership Calculator Tool (Lumenique)