LEDs for general illumination: energy codes, lumens per watt, and other lighting criteria

The lighting community needs to be able to evaluate LED lighting products in the same way as any other competing technologies. Jeff Schwartz of ICF Consulting describes some of the relevant criteria.

As researchers continue to improve the efficacy of white LEDs, lamp and fixture manufacturers will ask the design community to specify LED sources for general illumination on interior-lighting projects. Efficacy, based on lumens per watt (lm/W), is a valuable tool for determining what lighting source a designer will specify in a particular application, but it is only part of the story.

Jim Brodrick, Manager of the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Lighting Research and Development program, is responding to the Solid State Lighting (SSL) industry's request for assistance in helping speed the commercialization of new SSL products for general illumination. He says "We have planned a number of commercialization-assistance activities to make certain that the DOE's substantial investment in new SSL technology results in widespread use of these technologies and in large benefits to the US economy." Those activities include ENERGY STAR specifications, technology demonstrations, assistance for development of voluntary codes and standards, development and distribution of technical information and tools, technology procurements, design competitions, and support of training programs.

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