Energy Star qualification of consumer products continues to grow. The Energy Star logo is one of the most recognizable symbols of quality and performance in modern American culture. Because Energy Star qualification of Solid State lighting (LED) is relatively new, it is important to define what exactly qualifies a luminaire to carry the label. Following are a few of the key features and measurements that are required for qualification.
Correlated Color Temperature – (CCT) must fall within eight established color temperature quadrangles (Nominally 2700K, 3000K, 3500K, 4000K, 4500K, 5000K, 5700K or 6500K) and deliver specific temperature tolerances established for each of the individual numbers. (i.e. 2700K nominal must be 2725 ±145K, so it can range from 2580 to 2870K; 3000K nominal must be 3045 ±175K, or a range from 2870 to 3220K.)
In addition to the tolerance, maximum temperature variances over its lifespan and viewing angle are defined.
Color Rendering Index – (CRI) shall be a minimum of 75.
Off-State Power – Lighting fixtures in the "off" state (not turned on) shall not draw power.
Warranty – There is a minimum warranty of 3 years required for Energy Star luminaires.
Life– LED must deliver at least 70% of initial lumen output after a minimum of 25,000 hours for residential indoor and 35,000 hours for residential outdoor and all commercial lighting.
Power Supply – Must have a Power Factor ≥ 0.70 for residential and ≥ 0.90 for commercial lighting. Power supplies also have minimum operating temperatures of -20°C, maximum case temperatures and output operating frequency of ≥120 Hz. They must have a Class A sound rating and meet FCC Electromagnetic & Radio Frequency Interference requirements for consumer use as established by FCC 47 CFR Part 15/18.
Safety – Luminaires must be covered by a safety test such as UL or CSA, etc.
Type Specific Requirements
Beyond the general requirements, specific categories of luminaires types must also meet product specific benchmarks, such as:
Minimum Light Output
Zonal Luminance Density - meaning that some specified percentage of the light output must be delivered in a specific direction or location
Minimum Liminaire Efficacy
Certain categories of luminaire types are also restricted to specific CCT levels (i.e. Cabinet Lighting must use only 2700, 3000 or 3500K)
Energy Star qualified products are becoming the stand on which a number of "Green" standards are built. Energy Star qualified lighting is required for inclusion in:
Energy Star Home
LEED for Home
National Green Building Standards
These standards continue to mature and have (or will) increase the demand for Energy Star qualified lighting, well into the future.