A few weeks ago, the U.S. Environmental agency (EPA) published the final draft of its ENERGY STAR® Lamps Version 1 program specifications. Two years in the making, this program specification will replace the separate existing CFL and LED ENERGY STAR programs when it becomes effective on September 1, 2014.
Most of the LED lamp requirements remained the same in the final draft, including luminous efficacy (shown in Table 1), Power Factor (0.7 or greater for lamps > 5 W), and Color Rendering Index (≥80).
Table 1. Minimum Luminous Efficacy for all Lamps
Efficacy (initial lm/W)
Source: ENERGY STAR
One area that saw some significant activity between drafts was that concerning LED lamp dimming, including the following changes:
- Adjustment to the requirements related to dimming. Dimmer selection criteria was refined to reduce confusion and testing burden. 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 only five dimmers from at least two different manufacturers instead of the previous ten dimmers required. A lamp manufacturer can now specify the dimmers used for testing, but must specify the manufacturer, model number, and load ratings (current and wattage). The requirement for testing with dimmers having varying features has been removed based on stakeholder feedback on the difficulty of identifying dimmers by circuit topology. Alternatively, a NEMA SSL7A compliant lamp can be tested with a corresponding NEMA SSL7A compliant dimmer to ease the burden of testing. The minimum light level on dimmers must be the minimum light level claimed by the lamp manufacturer (20% if no minimum is listed). The lamp must meet the audible noise limitations while at the minimum dimming level (>24 dBA at a distance of 1 meter).
- Replacing flicker performance levels with a requirement only to report the worst case values for light output frequency and flicker index during dimming testing, allowing consumers to evaluate dimmable products based on individual preferences and flicker sensitivity. A flicker index calculation guidance was also added.
- Additional methods were included for confirming lamp stabilization as part of the recommended practice for dimming performance.
For a copy of the final Lamp Program specification and test methods, click here.