Manufacturers

Soraa to Energy Star: Light Quality is Critical to Wider Adoption of LED Lighting

Fremont, Calif. – To ensure the long-term success and widespread market adoption of LED lamps, Soraa late last week urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency¹s (EPA) ENERGY STAR program to address light quality, specifically color rendering, in its new lamp specification. Support for higher color rendering has been expressed by several parties, including California Lighting Technology Center, the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), and Northeast Utilities Companies (NSTAR), who all filed formal comments on EPA’s Draft 3 product specification for LED lamps.

“Poor light quality ruined many consumers’ confidence in compact fluorescents,” said Mike Krames, CTO of Soraa. “The ENERGY STAR qualification must be associated with LED lamps that provide a better quality of light; otherwise, the program will start to lack credibility with end-users and the low adoption rate history of CFLs will be repeated by LED lamps.”

In comments filed with the EPA on May 17th, Soraa told EPA that while ENERGY STAR is not a mandatory standard; the Agency must recognize that it has become a de facto standard for utility rebate dollars critical to lowering the initial cost of LED products. In absence of a second high color rendering index (CRI) tier, it is likely that, similar to the historical situation with CFLs, the vast majority of lamp products will be engineered to perform close to the lower boundaries of ENERGY STAR quality requirements for cost reasons. Left unaddressed, this lack of high color quality lighting products will lead to a stalling in consumer adoption of energy efficient lighting technology, similar to what has been observed to date with CFLs.

“To persuade consumers to purchase LEDs instead of incandescent lamps, LED lamps must be seen as high-quality products worth the initial higher price differential. Therefore, LED lamps must closely replicate the color rendering of the incandescent and halogen lamps that they replace,” said Ravi Parikh, Energy Services Specialist at Burlington Electric in Vermont. “We want to ensure customer satisfaction by reduced energy bills and maintained – if not, improved – quality of light. There is no need to sacrifice quality for efficiency. It is critical we understand the value in both.”

Details of Soraa’s proposal can be found in formal comments to EPA at www.soraa.com.

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