DOE Caliper Report verifies high-performing BR30 and R30 LED lamps

July 17, 2012
The latest Caliper report compares 13 LED-based BR30 and R30 lamps to incandescent and CFL products, noting that Energy Star criterion were met in most of the critical performance areas.
As part of the US Department of Energy (DOE) Solid-State Lighting Caliper program, the DOE has published its latest Caliper Report, Series 16, which involved the testing of LED-based BR30 and R30 lamps. These directional lamps were purchased in March 2012 and are typically used in residential applications.
The summary report, available for download at the DOE SSL website, indicates that the13 LED products tested could be effective replacements for the bulbs they were benchmarked against, one 65W incandescent BR30, one 15W CFL R30, and one 16W CFL BR30. In fact, most of the LED-based lamps met or exceeded Energy Star requirements for efficacy, light output, CRI, CCT, power factor and beam angle distribution. However, the report noted that cost still remains a critical barrier to LED replacement-lamp adoption.

The performance of the Series 16 products can be summarized as follows:

• The lumen output of many of the products was equivalent to 65W or 75W incandescent BR30/R30 lamps. All of the products emitted between 460 and 860 lm, which is within the typical range of conventional BR30 and R30 lamps.

• All of the Series 16 LED products exceeded 51 lm/W in efficacy, which is greater than the Energy Star criterion of 45 lm/W (Fig. 1). However, the two most efficacious products also had CCTs above 5000K.

• The Series 16 LED BR30/R30 lamps had luminous intensity distributions ranging from very narrow to very wide.

• Ten of the LED products had a nominal CCT of 2700K or 3000K, which matches typical incandescent and CFL BR30/R30 lamps.

• The power factor of the lamps was considerably better than previously tested LED BR30/R30 lamps, with 12 LED products exceeding the Energy Star minimum requirement of 0.70 at >5W.

In general, the results showed substantial improvement versus earlier Caliper testing of similar products. The report also indicates the need for a broader range of LED lamps within product families in terms of lumen output and distribution type. It also questions the adequacy of existing reflector lamp categories for LED products.

The DOE has selected particular products for testing with the intent of capturing the current state of the market, a cross section ranging from expected low- to high-performing products, with the group designed to reflect the average of the range. Other recent Caliper Reports have benchmarked the performance of LED floodlights (Series 15) and LED downlights (Series 14) against conventional products.

Detailed test results for Series 16 will be available soon through the searchable online Caliper system.