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re-qualifying CFL and LEDs under the new standard

New ENERGY STAR® Lamp Specs: Making Sure You Don’t Test Twice Unless You Have To

Written by Randy Abernathy on . Posted in Lighting

Starting Sept. 30, 2014, a single, all-encompassing ENERGY STAR® specification will replace both of the existing light bulb specifications. The new spec, Version 1.0 ENERGY STAR Lamps Specification — or Lamps V1.0 — will take the place of both the Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) V4.3 and Integral LED Lamps V1.4 specifications.

But don’t panic — it is likely that existing data from at least some of the tests that were run on your products under the previous ENERGY STAR specs can be re-used under Lamps V1.0.

Old Tests May Still Hold Up

There are three categories under Lamps V1.0: omnidirectional, directional and decorative. All in all, there are nearly two-dozen tests — but that doesn’t mean your products will necessarily be subjected to all of them.

Some tests — such as the test for color rendering — don’t have to be repeated for any lamp in either category. Others still — such as the test for start time— are brand new and apply to all lamps.

For other tests, there is some gray area.

Take the rapid-cycle stress test, for example. Under the old specs, one cycle of testing was required for every two hours of claimed lifetime. The new specs require testing of one cycle per hour, up to 15,000 hours. So for an LED lamp that has a lifetime claim of 25,000 hours, it would have been tested under the old specs for 12,500 cycles. Under the new specs, it would require testing the same set of samples for an additional 2,500 cycles to meet the 15,000-cycle maximum. If the original samples are not available, the rapid-cycle stress test must be repeated in its entirety to the new requirements.

Types of Tests Under Lamps V1.0

The EPA has provided some guidance at the following links for manufacturers and certification bodies to follow when re-certifying lamps to the new specification: Integral LED Lamps V1.4 and Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) V4.3. Check with your certification body to see if your product needs to be tested for the following requirements:

  • Luminous efficacy
  • Light output
  • Elevated temperature light output rate
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  • Center beam intensity
  • Luminous intensity distribution
  • Correlated color temperature
  • Color rendering
  • Color maintenance
  • Color angular uniformity
  • Ambient temperature life test
  • Elevated temperature life test
  • Rapid cycle stress test
  • Power factor
  • Frequency
  • Start time
  • Run-up time
  • Transient protection

Dimming Tests

There are also three dimming tests that are required: maximum and minimum light output, flicker and noise. All three tests must be performed on dimmable lamps but — unlike all of the other tests — these tests may be performed by the manufacturer.

Obviously, you want to re-test as little as possible, and to accomplish that, you’ll need to know what Lamps V1.0 requires and what it doesn’t require. But most importantly, you’ll need to work with a knowledgeable, experienced certification body that knows the product, knows the new spec, and will help get the testing done right and on time so that your product can get to market with as little delay as possible.

Reach out to your ENERGY STAR certification body to determine the best testing strategy for re-certifying your CFL’s and ILL’s to Lamps V1.0.

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Randy Abernathy

Randy Abernathy

From its founding in 2001, ACS has distinguished itself in the compliance testing industry with the caliber of its people, the depth of their experience, and their shared commitment to delivering exceptional service and results. As Manager of Certifications Programs and Quality Assurance, Randy Abernathy ensures that ACS meets and exceeds our own high standards, streamlining the certifications process for customers. Randy joined the ACS team in 2007, bringing over two decades of intensive industry experience with him. After earning a diploma in Electronics Technology from North Georgia Technical College in 1983, he took a job with the Rockwell International Missile Systems Division. He spent his days as a Test Technician and his nights as a student.READ MORE