DOE updates energy-saving specifications for troffers, parking-lot luminaires

Feb. 17, 2012
The US DOE has released new specifications that target energy savings of up to 75% for LED and fluorescent troffers as well as LED parking-lot luminaires.
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has introduced new voluntary energy-saving specifications for LED and fluorescent lighting troffers used in indoor commercial buildings. Specifications have also been updated for LED parking-lot luminaires and various types of parking-structure lights.

The performance criteria for the specifications were developed by the DOE’s Commercial Building Energy Alliances (CBEAs), a group of US companies representing various sectors that have identified energy-efficient and cost-saving practices. Public or private building owners can adopt these specifications to achieve significant energy savings and reduce carbon emissions.

High-efficiency troffer lighting specification

The CBEA High Efficiency Troffer Specification was originally developed in 2011 for 2x2-ft troffers. The new Version 3.0 specification includes 2x2-ft, 1x4-ft and 2x4-ft products and provides minimum performance levels for LED and fluorescent troffers used in commercial buildings.

The DOE estimates that 50% of all commercial fluorescent lighting fixtures are recessed troffers in 2x4-ft, 2x2-ft, 1x4-ft configurations that operate for more than 10 hours a day on average and consume more than 87 TWh of electricity annually. The new specification delivers energy savings of 15% to 45% compared with conventional systems.

The specification includes an optional section on lighting controls, which can boost savings up to 75% by employing technologies such as motion sensors and timers.

High-efficiency parking lot lighting

The DOE has also released updated specifications for high-efficiency parking lot and parking structure lighting. The original specification for LED parking lot lights was introduced in 2009. The new Version 1.3 contains additions related to IES TM-15 and TM-21 and surge protection. This LED lighting specification typically reduces energy use by 50% compared with conventional parking-lot lighting. Early adopters of the new specifications have included Walmart, Lowe’s, and Cleveland Clinic.

WalMart was the first company to use the parking lot specification in a DOE Gateway demonstration project which showed energy savings using LEDs of 44% relative to 400W pulsed metal hydride lamps. WalMart is now using LED luminaires to upgrade more than 250 existing lots. The company has reported energy savings of 58% compared with ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2010, a widely used commercial building code.

Lowe’s has tested lighting systems that meet the specification at several sites and plans to expand their use. MGM Resorts International and the US General Services Administration are also considering upgrading their lighting to meet the new specification.

The parking-structure lighting specification includes specifications for high-efficiency fluorescent, induction, and LED lighting in parking structures. Like the parking-lot specification, the parking-structure specification also contains updates related to IES TM-21 and anticipated RP-20 requirements.