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LighTimes: EPA Publishes Draft 4 of Energy Star Lamps V1.0 Specification

25 May 2013

May 21, 2013…The US. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released fourth draft of the Energy Star Lamps V1.0 specification. Lamps Version 1.0 is set to take effect 12 months after the release of the Final Program Requirements. The EPA says that this time will allow manufacturers with qualified products under the existing ENERGY STAR Compact Fluorescent Lamps V4.3 and Integral LED Lamps Version 1.4 specifications sufficient time to transition to the new specification. The EPA encourages manufacturers to begin testing and certifying products to this specification as soon as it is final. Most things including the efficacy requirements remained the same between draft 3 and draft 4.

Among the changes in draft four of the specification, the IES LM-79-08 testing criteria, has eased some of the testing requirements on beam angle chromaticity. Specifically, the IES LM-79-08 has decreased the resolution of scanning angle chromaticity from 1 degree for angles less than 10 degrees total to 2 degrees for angles less than 15 degrees and 5 degrees for angles above 15 degrees. This revision was made after comments that the 1 degree resolution placed an undue time burden on the companies testing their products.

EPA adjusted the allowed uniformity variance of the luminous intensity values for omnidirectional lamps after confirming that the intensity distribution data of some incandescent lamps is not consistent with the existing 20% limit on average candela values for omnidirectional lamp performance in previous drafts and the Integral LED Lamps specification. This update is likely to increase the availability of omnidirectional ENERGY STAR certified lamps that meet consumers’ expectation for omnidirectional performance.

In Draft 3, EPA introduced limited intensity distribution requirements for decorative lamp shapes to ensure that the efficient replacements more accurately deliver the light distribution performance consumers expect from these product types. Stakeholder comments and confirmation of design limitations on the location of the electrical components in energy efficient lamps with candelabra bases, the Agency adjusted the zone of interest for the 5% light output in Draft 4.

In part to accommodate CFLs, the EPA maintained the requirement for correlated color temperature of the lamps to the 7-step ellipses/quadrangles found in the existing specifications, but now allows for 1 out of ten tested to be outliers in terms of the color temperature.The EPA indicated that it will continue to monitor the situation and determine at a later date when tightening of the requirement might be appropriate.

The specification now allows a 5 degree Celsius variation in operating temperature for ambient life and elevated temperature life testing. The specification now calculates the lumen maintenance value as the average lumen maintenance of all surfing units provided that the difference between the averages in each orientation are less than 3 percent.

The requirement for testing dimmers from different manufacturers was reduced from three to two due to the limited number of residential dimmer manufacturers on the market.

The new specification limits the frequency range to 120Hz and above, and it has no requirement for above 800 Hz, because the EPA says that research shows that people don’t notice 100% of flicker at this point. Lamps in the 120 to 800Hz range must have a flicker index of 0.001 times frequency.

After stakeholder comments, The EPA considered changing the efficacy requirements for lamps with CRI of 90 and above, but decided against it because a number of products already qualify with the same efficacy requirements with 90+ CRI versions.

In the future the EPA plans to address lamps that include Wireless controls such as Zigbee, Bluetooth, and WiFi.These lamps continually use a small amounts of power so they can respond to remote control.