LSD 51-2009 defines functional and decorative applications of LEDs

Sept. 7, 2009
A white paper from NEMA and ALA clarifies the differences between functional and decorative LED-based luminaires, and discusses how to specific and evaluate these products.
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has published LSD 51-2009 “Solid-State Lighting—Definitions for Functional and Decorative Applications.” The white paper was prepared by the NEMA Next Generation Lighting Alliance (NGLIA), the NEMA Solid State Lighting Section, and the American Lighting Association (ALA).

The document may be downloaded at no charge by visiting the NEMA website.

This new white paper illustrates and clarifies the differences between functional and decorative solid-state lighting (SSL) luminaires, and provides guidelines for the specification of the major characteristics, performance criteria, and evaluation process needed for these products.

It is designed to provide useful information to the public, and may also assist the government and other groups in SSL specification development.

Functional luminaires are defined as “Luminaires physically, electrically, and optically designed to illuminate specific visual tasks or areas with a quantifiable amount of illumination.”

Decorative luminaires are defined as “Luminaires primarily designed for their lighted as well as their unlighted appearance and aesthetic contribution to the space. Such luminaires are typically intended for use where a decorative accent or an aesthetic appearance, not a specified amount of luminaire light output, is desired. The light output of decorative luminaires is typically not intended to independently illuminate a space or a task.”

“LSD 51 opens a discussion regarding the harmonization of technology, energy efficiency, and aesthetics with regard to solid-state lighting luminaires,” said Jianzhong Jiao, chair of the SSL Technical Committee.

“A goal of the document was to support the need for energy saving products without impeding future technological growth in the lighting industry. Furthermore, this document provides a basis of consistency and rationale for establishing new industry standards and government specifications relating to solid-state lighting applications.”

NEMA is the association of electrical and medical imaging equipment manufacturers and has approximately 450 member companies.