LEDs: Objective Information from Energy Star, DOE, Other Sources
The Energy Independence Security Act (EISA) will not eliminate incandescent bulbs. EISA, which went into effect in January, is technology-neutral and sets efficacy standards (minimum lumens per watt). It prohibits the manufacture and import of lamps that do not meet the new efficacy standards. Check the LUMEN Coalition (Lighting Understanding for a More Efficient Nation) website (bit.ly/xxeN6p) for more information.
Where can I find objective information sources?
There is a wealth of free, unbiased information available on the Internet through programs, industry partnerships and publications.
The Energy Star program (1.usa.gov/nnz5f) publishes two qualified product lists for LED lighting: replacement bulbs and fixtures. These lists include multiple technologies and the Excel version of the list is sortable by technology, use type, wattage, light output, rated life and many other performance metrics. Many rebate programs require products to be Energy Star-listed.
The Department of Energy Solid State Lighting program (1.usa.gov/9qRmGR) includes many resources for educational materials and programs that assist with commercialization of LED products. Fact sheets and presentations (from conferences and webinars) are available on the information resources section. The website also contains information on Gateway Demonstration projects, the Municipal SSL Street Lighting Consortium, and Commercial Building Energy Alliance.
The Commercially Available LED Performance Evaluation and Reporting (CALiPER, 1.usa.gov/2We35y) program anonymously purchases and independently tests products to compare against the manufacturer's information. It then publishes the results of these tests, as well as summary reports for each round of testing.
DesignLights Consortium (DLC, bit.ly/YKPwb) is sponsored by utility and regional efficiency programs. Manufacturers submit products for inclusion on Qualified Product List for a fee. Lists are public, sortable, and updated about every two weeks. DLC develops and publishes specifications for commercial product categories that are not on Energy Star's list.
Lighting Facts (bit.ly/bKGl7t) is a truth-in-advertising resource for LED products. The site provides performance information on LED products that has been supplied by the manufacturer and verified by the Lighting Facts program. It is not a qualified products program, because the products are not qualified against any specification, just verified against actual performance information for the product. There are more than 4,000 products listed on this site and products are sortable by lumen output, efficacy, and color characteristics.
Liesel Whitney-Schulte, LC, has been involved in a variety of energy efficiency programs since 1992. As the lighting technical manager at WECC, she provides program development and technical guidance for multiple lighting programs. She has a degree in interior design, and is Lighting Certified (LC) by NCQLP.