EPA Publishes the Final Draft of the Energy Star Lamps Specification

 In LED Lighting, News

Intended to become effective September 1, 2014, the final draft of the Lamps V1.0 specification includes refinement of dimming requirements and other minor changes from draft 4 that was recently circulated for comments.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the final draft of the Energy Star Lamps V1.0 specification that has been under development for more than two years. The changes from draft 4 that had been published this spring are relatively minor, and the new specification is slated to take effect September 1, 2014. The agency intends to publish the final specification in August.

energy-star-logoThe final Lamps draft is available on the EPA Energy Star Lamps web page. The specification will ultimately replace the existing “Compact fluorescent lamps and integral LED lamps” specification.

The final draft includes minor clarifications to draft 4 for the most part, although there were some significant changes in the dimming requirements section. For now, the easiest way to see the changes is by reviewing the actual specification where the EPA inserted note boxes in areas where changes have been made to concisely explain the changes.

In the dimming area, the EPA relaxed the requirements allowing lamp makers to test their products with as few as five dimmers, and allowing lamp makers to specify the dimmers with which their products are guaranteed to work. The final draft also removes requirements that tried to segment dimmers by circuit topology for generalization of compatibility ratings because the agency noted that it’s nearly impossible to identify dimmers by circuit topology.

The agency added specific language clarifying that the percentage of light output relative to a dimmer setting is to be stated relative to a lamp operated at full brightness on a circuit with no dimmer. As we have covered previously, many lamps on dimmer circuits don’t provide the same maximum flux with a dimmer set to full brightness compared to the same lamp on a simple switched circuit.

Apparently, the EPA will leave the existing A-lamp luminous distribution requirements in place and will not act on the request by the Soraa-led coalition asking for a two-stage efficacy spec based on lamp CRI. We covered both of those issues in our article on draft 4 of the specification.

Earlier drafts had more stringent requirements for omnidirectional lamps than what will be in the final document. The EPA even said in a cover letter that it would further examine distribution requirements after publication of Lamps V1.0. But the tone of the statement implied a further loosening of requirements, perhaps based on the intended application for various lamps.

The final draft did not acknowledge Soraa’s latest request for a change in efficacy requirements. Draft 4 had specifically mentioned the coalition’s initial request and noted that there were sufficient 90-CRI lamps on the market delivering the existing efficacy requirements, thereby making any change unwarranted.

Maury Wright,Editor of LEDs Magazine.