Category: Research

DOE Releases Special CALiPER Summary Report on Retail Replacement Lamp Testing

The Department of Energy has completed Retail Replacement Lamp product testing through the Solid-State Lighting (SSL) CALiPER program. A Summary Report containing the results is now available for download. This…

The Department of Energy has completed Retail Replacement Lamp product testing through the Solid-State Lighting (SSL) CALiPER program. A Summary Report containing the results is now available for download.

This special testing was undertaken to identify and test performance of SSL replacement lamp products directly available to the general public through retail outlets (stores and websites). Product testing covered a limited sample of 33 SSL replacement lamps, including five A19, four B10 (candelabra), two C7 (night light), 11 MR16/PAR16, four PAR20, and seven PAR30. The 33 different lamps represented products by 10 different manufacturers and were anonymously purchased from eight different retailers.

Key points are:

• The disparities between high performing and low performing products are striking.
• To be able to discern whether an SSL replacement lamp would meet performance expectations, consumers would have to be highly informed about lamp performance in general and would have to develop mechanisms to recognize and understand factual information from product labeling.
• There are wide differences among manufacturers. Some have SSL replacement lamps that are fairly consistently meeting expectations; others are not at all consistent.
• Likewise, there are wide differences among retailers. Some appear to screen the SSL lamps they carry such that most of the products perform well and have suitable labeling; others apparently do not.
• While there are some high performing SSL replacement lamps available through some channels today, most of the replacement lamps tested fail to meet basic performance levels of the incandescent or halogen lamps they appear to replace.

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Jim Brodrick On Round 12 Of CALiPER Testing

Guest post by Jim Brodrick, Department of Energy This week, the Round 12 Summary Report for the CALiPER testing program was published, and as usual, the results are worth noting….

Guest post by Jim Brodrick, Department of Energy

This week, the Round 12 Summary Report for the CALiPER testing program was published, and as usual, the results are worth noting. For those of you who may not know, CALiPER stands for Commercially Available LED Product Evaluation and Reporting, and it’s a DOE program that supports the testing of a wide array of SSL products available for general illumination. Those products are compared for benchmark purposes with similar products that use traditional light sources, and the results of each testing round are highlighted in a Summary Report that’s posted online, with detailed reports going into greater depth.

CALiPER Round 12 focused mainly on recessed downlights, track lights, and replacement A-lamps, and some of the results applied to all of the categories. For example, one of the issues with LED lighting has been its color quality, but that’s starting to change. Color quality was significantly better than it was in Round 11, with almost all of the LED products tested in Round 12 having a CCT in the warm-white range and a CRI above 80. That, combined with an overall improvement in Duv, makes the Round 12 LED products comparable to their traditional counterparts as far as color is concerned – no small feat, considering that it’s easier to achieve higher efficacies with LEDs that emit cool-white light than with those that emit the warm-white light consumers tend to prefer.

The steady increase in efficacy we’ve been seeing continued in Round 12, although it might not be obvious from a cursory glance at the Summary Report. That’s because the average efficacy of all SSL products tested in Round 12 was 46 lm/W, which is slightly lower than the overall average seen in Round 11. How could that indicate an increase in efficacy, you might ask? Well, when we look at the details, we see that it’s actually higher than the average for warm-white SSL products tested in previous rounds, when many of LED products tended to fall into the cool-white range. This means that in a true apples-to-apples comparison, the efficacy trend is still upward.

The results of Round 12 also confirm that LED recessed downlights and track lights are now able to provide high-efficacy alternatives to their traditional counterparts. While those tested varied in terms of light output, efficacy, and beam characteristics, all of the 4-6″ SSL recessed downlights matched or exceeded the average light output levels for similar products that use CFL, incandescent, or halogen lamps – and achieved three to six times the luminaire efficacy of incandescent or halogen recessed downlights. As for the SSL track lights, although their average efficacy is still lower than for SSL recessed downlights, they still significantly outperformed the benchmark track lighting products.

The results of Round 12 testing were also encouraging for SSL A-lamps, which showed significant improvements over previous rounds. All eight LED products tested had efficacies of at least 50 lm/W, with one of them achieving 97 lm/W. That’s especially impressive when you consider that their relatively small size not only restricts thermal management, but requires that the drive electronics be compact and located close to the LED devices.

In terms of color, all but one of the SSL A-lamps emitted warm-white light, with a CRI greater than 80. Two of them achieved the light output levels of a typical 60W incandescent bulb, and one of those two products even mimicked the omnidirectional distribution of incandescent bulbs. However, most of the SSL A-lamps tested had beam patterns that were directional rather than omnidirectional, making them more comparable to reflector lamps (R-lamps) than to the A-lamps.

Things also looked good overall for the A-lamps in terms of manufacturer claims. Three-quarters of them are listed by the DOE Lighting Facts® program, and the performance of all but one of these met manufacturer ratings and equivalency claims. In contrast, the two products that are not listed by Lighting Facts both had equivalency statements that were inaccurate, and one of these also had inaccurate manufacturer ratings in addition to being significantly larger than the standard A-19 format. The latter characteristic might cause problems when trying to screw the product into some sockets – another caveat emptor for consumers.

So it’s clear that, although there’s been progress made with SSL A-lamps, there are a number of things to consider when making purchases. That’s why we’ll be taking a deeper dive into those issues with a special panel at DOE’s sixth annual SSL Market Introduction Workshop, which will be held in Seattle July 12-14. The panel will look at what the latest DOE Lighting Facts Product Snapshot tells us about SSL replacement lamps, as well as what we can learn from a new CALiPER study that purchased such products directly from big-box retail shelves. That study found that the small replacement lamps purchased showed far less consistency of performance, and significantly poorer performance on average, than the replacement lamps tested in Round 12. There’ll also be a representative from one of the major chains, giving a retailer’s perspective on how to use DOE’s Lighting Facts program to assist in product selection and consumer education.

With the efficiency requirements mandated by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 slated to start rolling out next year, LED replacement lamps are an especially hot topic these days, and I hope to see many of you there in Seattle.

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DOE Releases Summary Results From Round 12 of CALiPER Testing

The Department of Energy has completed Round 12 of product testing through the DOE SSL CALiPER program. A Summary Report containing the results from Round 12 testing is now available…

The Department of Energy has completed Round 12 of product testing through the DOE SSL CALiPER program. A Summary Report containing the results from Round 12 testing is now available for download on the DOE SSL website here.

Round 12 of product testing included six primary focus areas: SSL recessed downlights, SSL track lights, SSL A-lamps, benchmark 100W incandescent A-lamps and 70-100W halogen equivalents, SSL replacements for linear fluorescent lamps in high-performance troffers, and SSL and benchmark cove lights.

The Summary Report provides an overview of photometric performance results, and discusses the results with respect to similar products that use conventional light sources, results from earlier rounds of CALiPER testing, and manufacturer ratings.

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Survey Profiles Influence Of Electrical Contractors In Lighting Market

Electrical contractors are an important influence in the lighting market, according to a new survey published by ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR. The survey of more than 700 readers, conducted by Renaissance Research…

Electrical contractors are an important influence in the lighting market, according to a new survey published by ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR. The survey of more than 700 readers, conducted by Renaissance Research & Consulting, found that contractors make decisions about lighting during both the design and construction project phases.

Highlights:

* 97% said they work with indoor or outdoor fixtures (50% both specify/influence and install indoor fixtures and 50% outdoor fixtures)
* 95% work with lamps (60% both specify/influence and install)
* 93% work with ballasts (45% both specify/influence and install)
* 85% work with controls (50% both specify/influence and install)
* Among those who work in a given category, 60-80% have some brand influence (60% controls, 70% with lamps/ballasts, 80% with light fixtures)

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DOE Publishes GATEWAY Report on LED T8 Replacement Lamps

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has published the final report from an evaluation of three LED products designed to directly replace linear fluorescent lamps in commercial ambient lighting. These…

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has published the final report from an evaluation of three LED products designed to directly replace linear fluorescent lamps in commercial ambient lighting. These three products were among the “best in class” of products designed for this application at the time of the study, as identified by DOE’s CALiPER testing program. This GATEWAY demonstration report provides an overview of project results including lighting performance, economic performance, and potential energy savings.

Key findings include:

* All three LED products drew less power than their fluorescent counterparts but also provided significantly fewer lumens on the room and work surface grids measured beneath and beside them.
* The prices of the LED products are such that none pay for themselves when compared to the standard T8 fluorescent lamp used as the primary baseline in this study.
* If lower light levels are acceptable, similar energy savings can be achieved much more cheaply by substituting lower-wattage fluorescent lamps. Such lamps also have very long lifetimes (30K+ hours) and better lumen maintenance than the LEDs over their lifetime.

Alternative designs, such as panel-type products and overall troffer replacement systems, may prove more effective in the future than the products tested in this study. None of these alternative whole-luminaire designs were evaluated here, as this study focused exclusively on products designed for direct replacement of fluorescent lamps in existing troffers.

Get the report free here.

Thank you, DOE, for providing this excellent information.

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Strategies Unlimited Releases New LED Market Report

The high-brightness (HB) LED lighting market (packaged chips) continues to grow and is forecasted to reach $4.3 billion by 2014, according to LED Luminaire Market Review and Forecast 2011, a…

The high-brightness (HB) LED lighting market (packaged chips) continues to grow and is forecasted to reach $4.3 billion by 2014, according to LED Luminaire Market Review and Forecast 2011, a new report by Strategies Unlimited. With this explosive growth, the HB LED fixture market will follow in the same fashion–growing to more than $8 billion during the forecast period.

Click here to learn more about this report.

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DOE Will Not Publish 2007 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey, Suspends 2011 CBECS

The Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey, produced by the Energy Information Administration at the Department of Energy (DOE), provides incredibly valuable information about how commercial buildings use energy and energy-using…

The Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey, produced by the Energy Information Administration at the Department of Energy (DOE), provides incredibly valuable information about how commercial buildings use energy and energy-using systems such as lighting and HVAC.

If you wanted to know things like, “How many office buildings are in the Northeast?” or “What is the total square footage of healthcare buildings?” or “What is the average age of education buildings?” or “How much do Western retail buildings spend on energy?” or “What is the average power density for industrial buildings?” or “How much square footage built before 1980 received a lighting upgrade?” you could find it in the CBECS.

After the 2003 survey was published, I was ready in 2007 to analyze and write stories about the new data. Unfortunately, it wasn’t published that year, nor the next, nor the next. I wrote to DOE and found out that there was a problem with the data, and that publication was imminent.

Recently, I received a notice from DOE that the 2007 CBECS did not yield valid statistical estimates for building counts, energy characteristics, consumption and expenditures, and therefore will NEVER be published. Instead, DOE is expected to develop key energy indicators for commercial buildings as part of development of the Annual Energy Outlook.

DOE reports:

“Factors contributing to this outcome include the use of a cheaper but experimental survey frame and sampling method by EIA’s prime contractor, design errors in the construction of the method and selection of common building types, and an inability to monitor and manage its use in a production survey environment. EIA has reviewed and introduced significant changes in its procurement and project management standards that will prevent this type of loss in the future.”

As always, cheap means risk.

But wait, it gets worse.

Because of FY2011 funding cuts (about 14% from DOE’s FY2010 budget), work on the 2011 CBECS has been suspended.

Below is a list of other cuts. To me, this is completely misguided on the part of Congress. Energy is the most important issue in the USA, and will only become even more important in a future of growing scarcity. Our current prosperity is partly attributable to decades of access to cheap energy. Our foreign policy is married to it. We have fought wars to ensure cheap access to it. It is a critical component of our economy, impacting the price and availability of almost everything we buy, and its use is a key contributor to global warming, which affects all life on the planet. As a country, we cannot enact effective policies if we cannot measure.

It begs the question, how can we afford things like building schools in Iraq and bailouts for banks, but we cannot afford to properly measure production and use of the most important resource on the planet?

Oil and Natural Gas Information

* Do not prepare or publish 2011 edition of the annual data release on U.S. proved oil and natural gas reserves.
* Curtail efforts to understand linkages between physical energy markets and financial trading.
* Suspend analysis and reporting on the market impacts of planned refinery outages.
* Curtail collection and dissemination of monthly state-level data on wholesale petroleum product prices, including gasoline, diesel, heating oil, propane, residual fuel oil, and kerosene. Also, terminate the preparation and publication of the annual petroleum marketing data report and the fuel oil and kerosene sales report.
* Suspend auditing of data submitted by major oil and natural gas companies and reporting on their 2010 financial performance through EIA’s Financial Reporting System.
* Reduce collection of data from natural gas marketing companies.
* Cancel the planned increase in resources to be applied to petroleum data quality issues.
* Reduce data collection from smaller entities across a range of EIA oil and natural gas surveys.

Electricity, Renewables, and Coal Information

* Reduce data on electricity exports and imports.
* Terminate annual data collection and report on geothermal space heating (heat pump) systems.
* Terminate annual data collection and report on solar thermal systems.
* Reduce data collection from smaller entities across a range of EIA electricity and coal surveys.

Consumption, Efficiency, and International Energy Information

* Suspend work on EIA’s 2011 CBECS, the Nation’s only source of statistical data for energy consumption and related characteristics of commercial buildings.
* Terminate updates to EIA’s International Energy Statistics.

Energy Analysis Capacity

* Halt preparation of the 2012 edition of EIA’s International Energy Outlook.
* Suspend further upgrades to the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS). NEMS is the country’s preeminent tool for developing projections of U.S. energy production, consumption, prices, and technologies and its results are widely used by policymakers, industry, and others in making energy-related decisions. A multiyear project to replace aging NEMS components will be halted.
* Eliminate annual published inventory of Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States.
* Limit responses to requests from policymakers for special analyses.

In addition to these program changes, EIA will cut live telephone support at its Customer Contact Center.

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National Lighting Product Information Program Releases Report on Street Lighting Technologies Used in Residential Areas

The National Lighting Product Information Program (NLPIP) at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Lighting Research Center (LRC) released its latest publication, Specifier Reports: Streetlights for Local Roads, designed to provide objective…

The National Lighting Product Information Program (NLPIP) at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Lighting Research Center (LRC) released its latest publication, Specifier Reports: Streetlights for Local Roads, designed to provide objective performance information on streetlights for local roads in residential areas.

Municipalities across the United States have applied for funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to replace their current streetlights with light-emitting diode (LED) and induction streetlights. LED and induction streetlights are often claimed to provide energy savings, better lighting uniformity and distribution, and lower maintenance costs compared with high pressure sodium (HPS) streetlights and, as a result, are marketed as effective replacements for both new construction and retrofit applications. NLPIP’s report provides objective data to help lighting specifiers analyze these claims and make informed decisions.

Between February and March 2010, NLPIP purchased six streetlights identified by manufacturer representatives as equivalent to an incumbent technology, a 100-watt HPS luminaire with a Type II distribution. Of the streetlights tested, one used an HPS lamp (the base case model), one used an induction lamp, and four used LED modules. NLPIP determined how many of each type of streetlight were needed to illuminate a one-mile stretch of local road in a residential area to meet the roadway lighting criteria specified in the American National Standard Practice for Roadway Lighting, ANSI/ IESNA RP-8-00 (referred to as RP-8). NLPIP then calculated power demand and life-cycle costs per mile for each streetlight.

“Prior surveys show that 75 percent of streetlight system owners do not continuously light their local roads per RP-8 recommendations; however, NLPIP followed the RP-8 lighting criteria because no other national lighting standard exists and there is high variability in the pole spacings prescribed by municipalities. The low adoption rate of RP-8 nationally could indicate that this standard is not meeting the needs of streetlight system owners,” said Leora Radetsky, LRC lead research specialist, principal investigator and author of the report.

Following is a summary of the findings from Specifier Reports: Streetlights for Local Roads.

Pole spacing

The tested LED streetlights required an average of 40 percent more poles per mile than the HPS base case to meet the RP-8 lighting criteria, and the tested induction streetlight required 64 percent more poles per mile. Only one of the tested LED streetlights was able to provide pole spacing similar to the HPS base case.

Power demand

The average power demand per mile of the LED streetlight layouts evaluated was lower than the power demand per mile for the HPS base case, but there was wide variation among the LED streetlights tested. The tested induction streetlight required more power per mile than the HPS base case.

Life-cycle cost per mile

For an assumed LED module replacement interval of 25,000 hours, the average tested LED streetlight life-cycle cost per mile was 1.9 times that of the HPS base case. For an assumed LED module replacement interval of 50,000 hours, the average tested LED streetlight life-cycle cost per mile was 1.6 times that of the base case. One of the streetlights tested by NLPIP achieved similar pole spacing as the base case while meeting RP-8. If this streetlight does not require a replacement LED module during its 27 year (113,000 hour) life, it would achieve a lower life-cycle cost per mile than the base case. The average life-cycle cost per mile of the tested induction streetlight was 1.8 times that of the base case.

NLPIP concluded that for the tested LED and induction streetlights to have a lower life-cycle cost than the HPS base case (with the exception of the one LED case mentioned), they would need to provide longer pole spacings. NLPIP also considered a number of other factors that could affect streetlight layout and power demand. These considerations include mesopic photometry, mounting height, road width, and streetlights with higher light output. In most cases, the HPS streetlight(s) provided longer pole spacings than the LED and induction streetlights, with a few exceptions.

In 2010, NLPIP published results from a similar study for roads servicing traffic between local and major roadways. That publication, Specifier Reports: Streetlights for Collector Roads, details the results of HPS, induction, LED and pulse-start metal halide streetlights tested by NLPIP for use along collector roads.

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Interest in Kitchens and Bathrooms Beginning to Build, According to AIA Study

Residential architects are reporting that business conditions are stabilizing and there is a healthy demand for remodeling and renovation projects. These findings are from the American Institute of Architects (AIA)…

Residential architects are reporting that business conditions are stabilizing and there is a healthy demand for remodeling and renovation projects. These findings are from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Home Design Trends Survey for the fourth quarter of 2010, which focused specifically on kitchens and bathrooms.

The AIA Home Design Trend Survey is conducted quarterly with a panel of more than 500 architecture firms that concentrate their practice in the residential sector. Residential architects are design leaders in shaping how homes function, look, and integrate into communities and this survey helps to identify emerging trends in the housing marketplace. Business conditions are also monitored on a quarterly basis.

Economic pressures and the overall decline in home values resulted in the more modest design of kitchens and bathrooms in recent years. That trend appears to be changing towards homeowner preference for larger, and in some cases additional, kitchens and bathrooms. Households continue to desire products and features that promote energy efficiency and adaptability in the use of space for seniors and those with accessibility concerns.

“We are not seeing the same level of demand for larger and additional kitchens and bathrooms as we saw during the peak of the housing market, but there has been a shift away from downsizing those rooms that has taken place the over last two years,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Key considerations are the amount of pantry space, dedicated recycling centers and the integration with family space allowing for easier child care and home entertaining.”

Popular kitchen products and features (index score computed as % of respondents reporting increasing minus those reporting decreasing popularity):

Popular kitchen products and features 2010 2009
     
Larger pantry space: 43% 47%
Recycling center: 40% 52%
Integration with family space: 38% 41%
Renewable flooring materials: 35% 46%
Computer area / recharging stations: 33% 43%
Renewable countertop materials: 32% 46%
Drinking water filtration systems: 26% 30%
Adaptability / universal design: 26% 28%
Double island: 22% 20%

Baker added, “In order to help manage utility costs, homeowners are still opting for items such as water saving toilets and LED lighting. Accessibility within the home and demand for universal design principles continues to be a priority and should remain so for the foreseeable future given the aging U.S. population.”

Popular bathroom products and features (index score computed as % of respondents reporting increasing minus those reporting decreasing popularity):

Popular bathroom products and features 2010 2009
     
Water saving toilets: 58% 63%
LED lighting: 46% 49%
Accessibility / universal design: 44% 50%
Doorless showers: 42% 47%
Radiant heated floors: 41% 52%
Hand showers: 34% 36%
Linen closet / storage: 21% 29%

Housing market business conditions

AIA Home Design Survey Index for Q4 2010 (any score above 50 is positive):

+ Billings: 45(up from 42 in Q3 2010)
+ Inquiries for new projects: 56 (up from 49 in Q3 2010)

“The encouraging signs for the still struggling residential market are the increase in inquiries for new projects and that project backlogs at firms – the amount of work in-house and under contract – can now support current staff for over three months. Backlogs have been slowly trending up since early 2009.” said Baker.

Specific construction segments (index score computed as % of respondents reporting improving minus those reporting weakening conditions):

+ Kitchen and bath remodeling: 45
+ Additions / alterations: 39
+ First-time buyer / affordable home market: -23
+ Custom / luxury home market: -25
+ Move-up home market: -27
+ Townhouse / condo market: -38
+ Second / vacation home market: -56

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Clanton & Associates Reveals Results of Comprehensive Study on Lighting Controls

Design firm Clanton & Associates has announced the results of a six-month study analyzing the value and energy savings of a variety of lighting control systems and technologies in typical…

Design firm Clanton & Associates has announced the results of a six-month study analyzing the value and energy savings of a variety of lighting control systems and technologies in typical commercial office lighting control retrofit projects. The overall findings show that wireless lighting control systems offer high energy and cost savings potential compared to conventional localized and centralized lighting control systems. The study was underwritten by wireless control manufacturer Daintree Networks, Inc.

“The value of advanced lighting controls is unmistakable, especially considering the ever-increasing energy efficiency mandates as well as ongoing initiatives to cut energy costs,” said Dane Sanders, professional engineer, principal and LEED accredited professional at Clanton & Associates. “Among controls systems, the research clearly shows that wireless controls offer significantly lower life-cycle and energy costs, and we are continuing to see the costs of wireless technology rapidly decrease.”

The study, titled Wireless Lighting Control: A Life Cycle Cost Evaluation of Multiple Lighting Control Strategies, modeled lighting retrofits for six controls scenarios in two sample office retrofit projects. The study resulted in several top-level findings:

• Advanced controls strategies such as daylight harvesting provide lower life-cycle costs than basic, code-compliant (ASHRAE 90.1 2007) lighting controls.
• Addressable, networked lighting control systems (wired and wireless) offer more features for the same or less life cycle cost as the other lighting control systems evaluated.
• Wireless controls solutions available today deliver up to 25% lower lifetime costs than comparable wired systems, while also providing significantly lower initial equipment and installation costs.

The goal of the study was to evaluate the cost effectiveness and potential energy savings of lighting control retrofit projects, with a special focus on advanced controls technologies. To this end, Clanton modeled and compared the results for sample retrofitted buildings in two different regions, Los Angeles and Boston, utilizing National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) climatological data for daylighting analysis and current energy costs. The study incorporated a thorough analysis of expected costs and energy savings from a variety of different lighting control systems, including ASHRAE 90.1 2007 and California’s Title 24-compliant localized controls, traditional panel-based, digital wired and wireless solutions.

A detailed report summarizing the key findings and methodology of the study can be downloaded for free at Daintree’s website here.

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