Time to stop ignoring light losses from residential fixtures

Feb. 18, 2009
Luminaire efficacy testing will help buyers and builders choose efficient residential lighting fixtures and accelerate the rate of energy savings achieved, writes James Brodrick.
The arrival of LED products in the general illumination market has provoked a great deal of discussion about how the lighting industry measures energy efficiency, particularly for residential fixtures. There is great debate about the merits of the old approach (measuring source efficacy) and the new approach (measuring luminaire efficacy). At issue is the notion that luminaire efficacy measurements provide a much truer picture of potential energy savings than do source efficacy measurements. See "Definitions" at right to learn more about the difference between these approaches.

The real question is: can we continue to ignore light loss within residential fixtures, as most residential lighting energy efficiency programs have to date? Answering that question requires a brief look back at the market introduction of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and a look forward at our nation’s energy and environmental future.


This article was published in the January/February 2009 issue of LEDs Magazine.

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