LIGHTING BY CRAIG DILOUIE
Utility prescriptive rebate programs
favor products that bear the Energy Star
mark. Currently, more than 370 U.S. utilities operate some 1,200 incentive and
promotion programs centered on Energy
Star-certified lighting, spending more
than $500 million annually. For lamps,
this represents about 95 percent of all
prescriptive lighting rebate programs.
To qualify for the Energy Star mark, a
product must satisfy criteria detailed in
a specification. For lamps, the applicable
document is the Lamp Specification,
revised and released on Dec. 31, 2015, as
Lamps V2.0. It will go into effect on Jan. 2,
2017. After that date, a product must satisfy these requirements to get the Energy
Star mark. This includes omnidirectional,
directional and decorative lamps.
Lamps V2.0 follows Luminaires V2.0,
which was released in May 2015 and
became effective June 1, 2016. The EPA
set out to simplify requirements while
increasing efficacy levels in step with
advancing technology. The distinction
between commercial and residential luminaires was eliminated, surface-mounted
LED retrofit products were included
(excluding self-ballasted lamps and products that use an existing ballast), and
the outdoor category was expanded to
differentiate between directional and nondirectional luminaires.
Energy Star products are subject to
annual off-the-shelf verification testing.
Every year, EPA-recognized laboratories
independently test about 10 percent of
products in each category.
Taylor Jantz-Sell, Energy Star lighting
program manager, said V2.0 had several
significant goals. Energy Star has always
recognized the most energy-efficient
products as a rule, and as light-emit-
ting diode (LED) lighting continues to
develop, increasing energy-efficiency
requirements has become attractive.
For all lamps, efficacy requirements
have become more stringent while
adjustments were made to performance
criteria, such as increasing lumen and
color maintenance requirements for reliability and decreasing minimum service
life to reduce cost. In addition, the EPA
included color-tuning and connected
lamps along with a streamlined way to
certify decorative luminaires simply by
including an Energy Star-certified lamp.
“Other primary goals of the 2.0 revision were to align with pending final U.S.
Department of Energy test procedures
and improve harmonization with the
Energy Star specification for Luminaires
V2.0,” Jantz-Sell said. “An additional priority was to allow for more cost-effective
lamp designs to earn the Energy Star while
maintaining a high level of performance.”
The most notable change is a raised
energy-efficiency bar, which favors LEDs.
In 2014, the EPA estimated that about 70
percent of compact fluorescent lamps
(CFLs) shipped were Energy Star-certified. Now, that may change to zero, which
would effectively eliminate CFLs from
current utility rebate programs.
In the omnidirectional lamps category,
V2.0 increases minimum efficacy based on
color rendering index (CRI) rating. Lamps
have to achieve a minimum efficacy of 80
lumens per watt (LPW) if CRI is lower
than 90 and 70 LPW if CRI is 90 or greater.
Additional adjustments to the criteria aim
to broaden adoption by reducing cost,
such as adjusting lighting distribution
requirements, reducing minimum ser-
vice life from 25,000 to 15,000 hours, and
reducing the power factor requirement for
5- to 10-watt (W) lamps from 0.7 to 0.6.
CFLs don’t comply with these
requirements, which may affect their
already declining demand. (GE Light-
ing announced it will cease production
of coiled-type CFLs by the end of 2016.)
Also, many LED lamps do not satisfy
V2.0’s 80 LPW threshold, which will
require some redesign for certain models.
Models that do not comply may continue
to be sold due to their lower cost, provid-
ing suitable value whether the lamp is
supported by a rebate or not.
In the directional lamp category,
the EPA raised minimum efficacy to 70
LPW for less than 90 CRI, or 61 LPW
for 90-plus CRI. Again, CFLs—reflec-
torized lamps in this case—are expected
to be effectively eliminated from Energy
Star. In decorative lamps, minimum effi-
cacy increased to 65 LPW for all lamps.
“ST”—a lamp shape mimicking old-
fashioned filament lamps—is included
as a new lamp type in this category.
Utilities are expected to shift funding
from CFLs to LEDs, which will stimulate
LED demand. Distributors in rebate-
intensive regions are being encouraged
to switch to compliant products to take
advantage of these rebates. Electrical
contractors may benefit from initiating
conversations with customers that use
screw-base CFLs—particularly if they
rely on rebates—and discuss transition-
ing to LEDs. Manufacturers are expected
to offer good availability of Energy
Star-certified LED lamps to make the
transition as seamless as possible.
As LEDs technology achieves wider
adoption, demand for legacy technologies, such as CFLs, will continue to
decline. These types of lamps may continue to be used, but they will no longer
be favored by utility programs, manufacturers or consumers.
New Energy Star requirements
THE U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY’S (EPA) Energy Star
program recognizes and promotes products that satisfy a high performance standard while saving energy. Created in 1992, the voluntary labeling program now
covers a broad range of products, including lamps and residential luminaires.
DI LOUIE, L.C. is a journalist and educator specializing in the lighting industry. Learn more
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