Jim Brodrick on a New Lighting Facts Tool

Republication of Postings from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solid-State Lighting Program by Jim Brodrick, SSL Program Manager, U.S. Department of Energy

DOE’s LED Lighting Facts® program has come out with a handy new tool for lighting designers and specifiers, which can make their job a whole lot easier. The LED Lighting Facts Specification Tool provides a customized platform for specifiers to search and filter products from the LED Lighting Facts database — which now includes more than 54,000 LED lighting products from over 1,400 manufacturers — and manage lighting projects.

The tool offers a customized workspace that saves project details with associated products and is accessible to colleagues in the same firm. It also allows users to:

• Filter the LED Lighting Facts database for the desired information and save selected products to a project or “favorites” list, with the option of saving those same filter specs
• Create “tags” that associate products to projects in the works
• Communicate directly with manufacturers to ask them questions about their products
• Assign products to a project fixture schedule
• Add time-stamped product or project notes that are accessible by colleagues
• Generate spec sheets, fixture schedules, project summaries, and product filter downloads

The LED Lighting Facts Specification Tool is the direct result of a roundtable that DOE convened in Chicago in December 2015 with a group of lighting designers and specifiers, to determine how they worked and what they needed from an independently verified LED lighting database. Lighting specifiers and designers play a key role in driving innovation in product design and application, and their feedback is critical to DOE’s SSL Program. One thing high on their wish list was more product data about drivers, controls, color, and optics — plus photos, spec sheets, graphs, and other helpful visuals. In addition, they said they needed the ability to interact with manufacturers and reps, to share project workspace with colleagues, and to generate fixture schedules and uniform spec sheets. So DOE went to work and rolled out a beta version of the new specification tool at LIGHTFAIR 2016, where the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Several months of fine-tuning then paved the way for this week’s launch.

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Since its inception in 2008, LED Lighting Facts has evolved in response to changes in the market as well as to stakeholder feedback. For example, in March of this year we updated the product submission form, grouping the various metrics in related, user-friendly chunks to make it easier on manufacturers. We’ve also redesigned the submission process to be as automated as possible, with the system pulling data from standardized electronic files and reports rather than requiring it to be entered manually. The idea is to maximize the amount and availability of the data while minimizing the burden on manufacturers — and, of course, to make the database as useful as possible to end users. That’s why it’s designed to reflect only the current market, with superseded products being archived away from the searchable database. Due to changes in the market as well as in replacement-lamp testing requirements, LED Lighting Facts is no longer listing replacement lamps, and will remove all of them from its database by December 16. Only luminaires and retrofit kits will be listed from here on in.

More than 40% of the products in the LED Lighting Facts database were listed in the past year, and 2,000 new products on average are submitted each month. The program has grown threefold in the past two years alone, and has become the primary way manufacturers submit their products for DOE’s Next Generation Luminaires™ design competition, as well as for the DesignLights Consortium’s™ Qualified Products List. The LED Lighting Facts database is also the source for a wide range of DOE Snapshot reports, which examine SSL performance trends.

We created the LED Lighting Facts Specification Tool to leverage the value of this robust, extensive, and highly useful repository of data about LED lighting products that are currently on the market. The tool is fast, easy to use, and absolutely free of charge. You won’t find a better bargain anywhere. The new Specification Tool is available to all Lighting Pro Partners. For more information, contact info@lightingfacts.com.

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