Earlier this month, the U.S. Environmental Agency (EPA) distributed the latest draft of their ENERGY STAR® Lamps Version 1 program specifications. The new specification, in development since mid- 2011, is intended to replace the existing CFL and LED ENERGY STAR program specifications.
Draft 4 includes a number of changes from the previous draft:
- Updated definitions for flicker, lumen maintenance, omnidirectional, directional, and decorative lamps
- New definitions for flicker index, percent flicker, and periodic frequency
- Updated testing requirements for dimmable lamps
- Adjusted acceptable flicker index range
Most requirements for LED lamps remain the same in the new draft, including dimmer performance, Power Factor (0.7 or greater for lamps > 5 W), and luminous efficacy (shown in Table 1). While there was a stakeholder request to lower efficacy for lamps with a CRI* ≥ 90, this was rejected by the EPA since test data revealed that lamps are currently available on the market that meet both high CRI and high luminous efficacy.
Table 1. Minimum Luminous Efficacy for all Lamps (Source: ENERGY STAR)
|15≤ W <25||50|
If a lamp is marketed as dimmable with phase cut dimming operation (i.e. using a standard triac dimmer currently found in most homes), then its compatibility must be tested with ten dimmers from at least two different manufacturers. At least one of those dimmers has to be marketed as compatible with CFL or LED lamps.
Flicker continues to be a topic of discussion in the program’s development. The EPA has adjusted the acceptable flicker index range and introduced a frequency-dependent equation to address concerns about PWM circuits in the driver stage (see Table 2 below).
Table 2. Minimum Flicker Requirements for all LED Lamps (Source: ENERGY STAR)
|Lamp Type||ENERGY STAR Requirements|
|All lamps marked
|Lamp shall have a periodic waveform periodic frequency of ≥ 120 Hz and have flicker index less than or equal to the values in the table below when evaluated at dimmer’s maximum setting and dimmed conditions.
Lamps with undetermined frequencies shall have a percent flicker value ≤ 30%.
80% of lamp/dimmer combinations must meet the requirement.
Future versions of the Lamp program may consider lamps incorporating additional power consuming features (wi-fi), Zhaga compliant LED light engines, and improving the dimming experience, color quality and consistency of lamps.
The Lamps Version 1 program specification will become effective twelve months after release of the final requirements. For a copy of the Draft 4 specification and test methods, click here. To register for a May 13th webinar that will address the proposed changes, send an email with the words “Lamps Draft 4 webinar” in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include your name, company name, phone number and email address.
*CRI = Color Rendering Index