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Energy Star AND Limitations News
- Oct 09, 2017 -

Energy Star is an international standard for energy efficient consumer products.Devices carrying the Energy Star service mark generally use 20–30% less energy than required by US standards.

Energy Star LED qualifications:

  • Reduces energy costs — uses at least 75% less energy than incandescent lighting, saving on operating expenses.

  • Reduces maintenance costs — lasts 35 to 50 times longer than incandescent lighting and about 2 to 5 times longer than fluorescent lighting. No lamp-replacements, no ladders, no ongoing disposal program.

  • Reduces cooling costs — LEDs produce very little heat.

  • Is guaranteed — comes with a minimum three-year warranty — far beyond the industry standard.

  • Offers convenient features — available with dimming on some indoor models and automatic daylight shut-off and motion sensors on some outdoor models.

  • Is durable — won’t break like a bulb.

To qualify for Energy Star certification, LED lighting products must pass a variety of tests to prove that the products will display the following characteristics:

  • Brightness is equal to or greater than existing lighting technologies (incandescent or fluorescent) and light is well distributed over the area lit by the fixture.

  • Light output remains constant over time, only decreasing towards the end of the rated lifetime (at least 35,000 hours or 12 annums based on use of 8 hours per day).

  • Excellent color quality. The shade of white light appears clear and consistent over time.

  • Efficiency is as good as or better than fluorescent lighting.

  • Light comes on instantly when turned on.

  • No flicker when dimmed.

  • No off-state power draw. The fixture does not use power when it is turned off, with the exception of external controls, whose power should not exceed 0.5 watts in the off state.

  • Power factor of at least 0.7 for all lamps of 5W or greater.

Limitations

Many will not work with existing dimmer switches designed for [higher power] incandescent lamps.

Color rendering is not identical to incandescent lamps which emit close to perfect Black-body radiation as that from the sun and for what eyes have evolved. A measurement unit called CRI is used to express how the light source's ability to render the eight color sample chips compare to a reference on a scale from 0 to 100.[68] LEDs with CRI below 75 are not recommended for use in indoor lighting.

LED lamps may flicker. The effect can be seen on a slow motion video of such a lamp. The extent of flicker is based on the quality of the DC power supply built into the lamp structure, usually located in the lamp base. Longer exposures to flickering light contribute to headaches and eye strain.

LED efficiency and life span drop at higher temperatures, which limits the power that can be used in lamps that physically replace existing filament and compact fluorescent types. Thermal management of high-power LEDs is a significant factor in design of solid state lighting equipment.

LED lamps are sensitive to excessive heat, like most solid state electronic components. LED lamps should be checked for compatibility for use in totally or partially enclosed fixtures before installation as heat build-up could cause lamp failure and/or fire.

The long life of LEDs, expected to be about 50 times that of the most common incandescent lamps and significantly longer than fluorescent types, is advantageous for users but will affect manufacturers as it reduces the market for replacements in the distant future.

The human circadian rhythm can be affected by light sources. The effective color temperature of daylight is ~5,700K (bluish white) while tungsten lamps are ~2,700K (yellow).People who have circadian rhythm sleep disorders are sometimes treated with light therapy (exposure to intense blueish white light during the day) and dark therapy (wearing amber-tinted goggles at night to reduce blueish light).

Some organizations recommend that people should not use bluish white lamps at night. The American Medical Association argues against using bluish white LEDs for municipal street lighting.

Research suggests that since the shift to LED street lighting attracts 48% more flying insects than HPS lamps, which could cause direct ecological impacts as well as indirect impacts such as attracting more gypsy moths to port areas that have ships that could give the pests a transoceanic pathway. These moths cause forest defoliation that impacts birds and causes economic losses.