DOE proposes new SSL categories for Energy Star

Aug. 21, 2008
DOE is proposing to add new categories of products to the Energy Star SSL program, and is requesting comments from stakeholders. Replacement LED lamps are not included…yet.
DOE is proposing to add new categories of products to the Energy Star SSL program. Comments on the proposed changes are requested by September 15, 2008.

On September 12, 2007 DOE released the final Energy Star Criteria for SSL after extensive public review and comment. In the criteria DOE stated: "Due to the rapid pace of LED technology development, DOE anticipates regular revisions to these criteria. DOE anticipates that new applications will be added to the criteria as LED performance and efficacy improve. Revisions will be announced to all partners with time for input and review."

Consistent with the above statement, and after review of the state of the technology, CALiPER testing results, and requests from stakeholders to expand the range of products capable of bearing the Energy Star label, DOE is proposing to add new categories of products to the Energy Star SSL program.

DOE first declared its intention to expand the applications allowed under Category A on March 21, 2008. DOE presented its plans with lighting manufacturers and other stakeholders in a May 15, 2008 workshop in Washington, DC, that was attended by over 100 stakeholders. Pursuant to the plans presented at that workshop, DOE has developed draft criteria for these new product categories.

Richard Karney, the DOE's Energy Star Products Manager said that it is important to note these new proposed criteria only expand the number of defined product types covered by the criteria. These additional criteria are application-specific. The general requirements remain unchanged, as do the application-specific requirements for products that were included in the original criteria.

Given the new criteria do not change requirements for any products already covered by Version 1.0, and given DOE's belief that this expansion does not negatively impact the competition in the marketplace, DOE is considering a modest delay (60 days) between their finalization and their effective date. Depending on the comments received in response to this draft, and the amount of time required to resolve issues raised in those comments, we anticipate the effective date to be approximately December 15, 2008.

Please send your comments on the draft criteria and the proposed effective date to [email protected] by September 15, 2008. Comments received will be posted on the Energy Star website unless specifically requested otherwise by the stakeholder.

SSL replacement lamp products In the March 21, 2008 announcement and at the May 15, 2008 workshop, DOE also stated its intent to investigate SSL replacement lamp products for possible addition to the Energy Star criteria.

DOE's investigation of replacement lamp product categories found LED technology is still not appropriate for most replacement lamp types, primarily due to the challenges of thermal management in small format packages, such as MR-16 replacement type products.

Nonetheless, DOE is observing rapid improvements in the technology, and believes a range of new high-performance replacement-type SSL products will be coming to market within the next one to two years.

To prepare for that market development, and to take the extra time needed to consider a wide range of additional material and public comment, DOE plans to initiate a separate process to develop new criteria for replacement lamp type products. A separate schedule for the development of those criteria will soon be announced.