DOE announces revisions in Energy Star requirements for SSL

Dec. 23, 2008
Version 1.1 provides performance criteria for LED luminaires in several new applications, while some of the criteria for Category A apps listed in Version 1 have been postponed for more comment.
DOE has announced the revisions in its Energy Star requirements for solid state lighting in an e-mailed letter from Richard H. Karney, Energy Star program manager.

In the letter, Karney listed the Version 1.1 revisions to take effect February 1, 2009. The letter noted that the revisions do not change the performance requirements for the Category A applications included in Version 1.0. However, some of these Category A applications have been postponed for more comment.

These revised requirements include the following:

  1. References to industry standards have been updated to reflect current status.
  2. Category A has been divided into Residential Applications and Non-residential Applications.
  3. New Category A applications have been added. These include the following additions:
    1. Residential: Ceiling-mounted luminaires with diffusers, cove lighting, surface-mounted luminaires with directional heads, and outdoor pole/arm-mounted decorative luminaires. In addition, the recessed downlight category was expanded to include surface and pendant mounted downlights.
    2. Non-residential: Wall wash luminaires, and bollards. The same addition of surface and pendant-mounted downlights was added to recessed downlights for non-residential application.
  4. Explanatory text boxes throughout the version 1.0 document were updated or deleted.
  5. The Lumen Maintenance Qualification (p. 16 of the 1.1 document) was updated to explain the required 6,000 hour lumen maintenance minimum thresholds, based on the new LM-80-08 test procedure.
  6. The section on Qualification Procedures (p. 18) has been updated to provide links to the Energy Star Manufacturer’s Guide for Qualifying SSL Luminaires, and to the Instructions for Partnering with Energy Star.
  7. The Definitions section (p. 20) has been updated to be consistent with ANSI/IES RP-16-05, Addendum a, “Nomenclature and Definitions for Illuminating Engineering”.

Category A applications that need more time
Several applications included in the August 15, 2008 draft Category A additions document do not appear in Version 1.1. Stakeholder comments and DOE analysis indicate additional time is needed to finalize criteria for these applications to: 1) ensure energy savings of Energy Star qualified SSL luminaires relative to conventional lighting technologies; and 2) to address the wide range of luminaire types and design considerations for these applications.

These applications are the following:

  • Outdoor pole/arm-mounted area and roadway luminaires
  • Outdoor wall-mounted area luminaires (“wall packs”)
  • Circular or square parking garage luminaires
  • Cove lighting – asymmetric distribution
DOE plans to issue revised draft criteria for these applications early in 2009, providing for a second stakeholder review and comment period before finalizing these criteria.

Overall approach
Requirements for the original applications included in Category A (Energy Star for SSL Luminaires, version 1.0, effective Sept 30, 2008) were established such that qualified SSL-dedicated luminaires would be at least as energy efficient as similar luminaires using compact fluorescent lamps, in terms of luminaire efficacy.

Since the time these criteria were published on Sept 12, 2007, LED light output, efficacy, and other performance attributes have improved significantly, and new applications and products have appeared on the market. To keep pace with changing technology, and consistent with Energy Star program objectives, minimum luminaire efficacy requirements for the Category A additions are higher than requirements for the original Category A applications. In general, DOE has applied the principles outlined below in setting these criteria:

  1. Qualified SSL luminaires will offer significant energy savings over dominant incumbent lighting technology.
  2. Minimum light output requirements are established to help ensure end-user satisfaction with early SSL products, while allowing for optimal luminaire design to meet application lighting needs most efficiently both in terms of wattage and system cost.
  3. Zonal lumen density requirements are established to help ensure energy savings from appropriate design to exploit the directional nature of LEDs and to ensure end-user satisfaction with qualified luminaires.

Stakeholder comments
Karney’s letter also responded to stakeholder comments, which were invited through September 15, 2008. A total of 173 comments were received from 159 individuals, nine manufacturers or manufacturers' associations, and four government or utility program sponsors. All comment letters received are posted online at