Energy Star Luminaires spec takes effect

Effective April 1, the Energy Star Luminaires V1.1 specification requires that any luminaire bearing the Energy Star mark must be third-party certified to the new performance levels.

As of April 1, the Energy Star Luminaires specification has officially taken effect. Any luminaire products must be third-party certified to meet the Luminaires V1.1 performance levels in order to bear the Energy Star certification mark.

The Luminaires V1.1 spec combines the scope of two previously separate specifications, the Solid State Lighting Luminaires v1.1 spec and the Residential Light Fixtures V4.2 spec. Luminaires that were previously certified under these other specifications must be recertified under the Luminaires spec.

Matching test to luminaire

As Alex Baker, Energy Star lighting program manager, outlined in a recent presentation at LEDucation in March, whether a luminaire is directional or non-directional determines how it is going to be tested. For instance, directional luminaires are typically functional luminaires such as down lights, accent lights and under-cabinet lights. Such products are tested using luminaire photometry according to the IES LM-79, including fixture optical losses (i.e., luminaire lm/W).

Non-directional or decorative luminaires such as wall sconces, chandeliers and bath vanities are photometrically tested according to the newly published IES LM-82, determining such metrics as the source efficacy in lm/W. LM-82, the IES-approved method for “Characterization of LED Light Engines and LED Lamps for Electrical and Photometric Properties as a Function of Temperature,” is designed to assist luminaire manufacturers in selecting LED light engines and integrated LED lamps for their products, particularly decorative luminaires like chandeliers which cannot be easily measured with LM-79. Baker stated that to date, Energy Star has qualified over 1000 luminaires.

Readers of LEDs Magazine will recall that the EPA postponed the effective date for the Luminaires specification from October 1, 2011 to April 1, 2012 in order to allow Energy Star manufacturing partners and EPA-recognized certification bodies and laboratories the necessary time to appropriately apply the technical requirements contained in the new specification, while in the interim maintaining a sufficient selection of Energy Star qualified fixtures for consumers. The new spec can be downloaded at www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=new_specs.luminaires.

Energy Star streamlines testing

The new specification is essentially designed to streamline the testing process for luminaires. For instance, the sample size required for photometric testing of directional luminaires has been reduced from three units to one. A minimum of one sample instead of three is likewise required for the in-situ temperature test for lumen maintenance of solid-state lighting (SSL) products. The spec also reduces sample-size requirements for LM-80 lumen maintenance testing to be consistent with the recommendation made by the TM-21 working group. TM-21 allows the long-term lumen maintenance projection of LED sources using LM-80 data.

Other changes to the Luminaires specification include an expansion of the allowable mounting variations for outdoor luminaires. The spec has added a directional fixture type for ventilation fans with a down light. Finally, minor adjustments have been made to the methods of measurement and reference documents regarding testing requirements for off-state power consumption and solid-state electromagnetic and radio interference to avoid unnecessary test burden.

Next steps

According to Baker, the EPA is currently working on Draft 2 of the Energy Star Lamps V1.0 specification, which is expected to be finalized this year and will go into effect in 2013. Like the Luminaires specification, the Lamps spec combines two other specifications, the Integral LED Lamps (V1.4) and Compact Fluorescent Lamps (V4.3) specifications.

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