|California LED lamp quality specification: How does it impact the designer/specifier?|
|28 Feb 2013|
|The California Energy Commission has developed an LED lamp quality specification with more stringent requirements than Energy Star. By limiting incentives to qualifying lamps, the new requirements may impact lighting designer choices.|
The California Energy Commission (CEC) has quietly developed a new specification entitled "Voluntary California quality LED lamp specification" that places more stringent requirements on solid-state lighting (SSL) retrofit lamps than does the EPA Energy Star lamps specification. For example, the spec requires a CRI of 90, and limits CCT to either 2700K or 3000K. And while compliance with the document is voluntary, the CEC will ensure that utilities only provide incentives or rebates for qualified lamp purchases, thereby potentially leading lighting designers and specifiers to choose more expensive products. What do you in the specifier community think about the CEC plans?
We have a longer article on our LEDs Magazine website on the new CEC specification. The plans is not to supplant Energy Star, but to add more stringent requirements in certain areas including color accuracy, product life, and lamp packaging/labeling in addition to the aforementioned CRI and CCT areas.
Like Energy Star, compliance with the CEC specification is voluntary as implied in the title. But is it really? If utility companies only incent qualified products, specifiers may end up choosing more expensive products than the one required by the application at hand.
What we'd like to hear is your opinion on the matter. Is a 90 CRI requirement simply too stringent to apply to all lamps? Do you worry about how the new specification might impact LED lamp prices – even outside of California? What about CCT? Do you serve applications where a higher-CCT cooler lamp is preferable?
I'm sure you might have other questions as well. Please respond with your thoughts. You can email email@example.com. Or you can add a comment here adjacent to this article.
|About the Author |
|Maury Wright is the Editor of Illumination in Focus.|
|Name: geraldr Posted: Thu, 28 Feb 2013 20:02|
|I believe all lighting devices, regardless of technology should be held to the same performance standards - no more and no less. We have 3300K LED lamps in the kitchen and we really like the spectrum much better than any other lamp types - what's wrong with that? In fact, that's what QH lamps when they're new try to be. The requirements smack of weird religion - who the heck gets to decide that yellowish light is the ideal? Why would this ideal exclude what photo professionals consider ideal?
|Name: jonathan Posted: Thu, 28 Feb 2013 22:02|
|This is short sighted and foolish. While I can appreciate why a higher CRI could possibly be a goal to strive for, the limitation of the CCT to 2800 and 3000 is just nuts. With these criteria, this rules out using the noon-day sunlight!!
Furthermore, anyone that believes CRI as currently defined is a really good metric to accurately describe the useful 'quality' of a light source is simply lacking a solid technical understanding of where and how this metric was developed. According to the classic definition of how the CRI of a source is calculated, an incandescent lamp at 2800K CCT and the noonday sun at ~ 5600K both have a CRI of 100.
Many tasks can benefit from a full spectrum light source at much higher CCTs than 3000K. Why are we trying to legislate what should be an individuals personal subjective choice.
For example, as the human eye ages, and the collagen fibers in the lens of the eye become progressively more glycosylated in the non-reversible process that ultimately will lead to cataracts forming if one lives that long, the optical transmission of the lens cuts out more and more of the shorter wavelengths, thus leading older folks to prefer a higher CCT.
In summary, this is simply not a good idea. Guidelines for rebate eligibility should be focused more on accurate, verifiable performance specifications, higher efficacy, higher PF, lower THD, tighter binning, lower DUV, compatibility with dimming control systems, and longer warranteed lifetimes. Ultimately, an individual's reference for a given CCT and CRI are largely subjective. Let the market chose which CCT and CRI they prefer.|
|Name: shelled Posted: Thu, 28 Feb 2013 22:02|
|If you'll simply go to the CEC website page for the proceeding,
you can watch the "scientific" presentation that informed the panel.
Or go to the Comments - 70% distinctly in opposition, and ignored - http://www.energy.ca.gov/appliances/led_lamp_spec/documents/2012-10-11_workshop/comments/ |
|Name: cedup Posted: Fri, 01 Mar 2013 16:03|
|Might be a smart way of keeping out the garbage lamps, the cheap stuff people buy and it never works as advertised. Legit stuff from Philips, GE, Osram Cree and other LEGIT makers might have lobbied for this, good idea, keep the junk off the shelves, that don't meet specs. The U.S. is turning into a junk closet with all the Chinese crap, from swag makers in lights. |
|Name: john s. Posted: Fri, 01 Mar 2013 16:03|
|Only in California would a commission be created to dictate what they think is best for the marketplace. This would inflate the cost of LED's and make them unattractive as an energy savings alternative. Utilities are trying to reduce grid consumption and this would make it more difficult for them to realize their goal. First of all, most situations do not require a 90+ CRI rating. If high CRI is important for the situation, then you explain in the design process why that is required and why they will pay a premium for that high CRI (i.e. retail, display, etc). To limit the kelvin rating is ridiculous. A California commission wants to dictate what color looks good to the end user. They are limiting design capabilities as well for certain environments. Not all environments, end users, etc. want a warm color temperature. Another pointless commission created by California bureaucrats. |
|Name: davew Posted: Sun, 03 Mar 2013 17:03|
|Like most government regs this is highly absurd. Unles "they" can show tested health and safety reasons to do this, they are creating yet another non-sensical hoop for designers.