Leapfrog Lighting News: Why Did the California Energy Commission Omit Energy Efficiency as a Performance Attribute in Their “Voluntary California LED Lamp Specification"?

The California Energy Commission omitted an important performance standard in their California Quality LED Lamp Specification, according to an analysis in Leapfrog Lighting News & Insights. In particular energy efficiency is not included in the standard, despite California’s stringent Energy Policy.

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Leapfrog Lighting News & Insights for week of Dec 18, 2013--a commentary/critique of CEC's Voluntary California LED Lamp Specification

Not including energy efficiency as a performance indicator in CEC's Voluntary California LED Lamp Specification seems to be a missed opportunity, according to some experts.

California, CA (PRWEB) December 18, 2013

The "Voluntary California Quality LED Lamp Specification" appears to deliberately overlook energy efficiency in favor of other quality standards, such as color temperature, consistency and rendering. The primary goal of the California Energy Commission (CEC) in adopting the voluntary standard is to begin to take advantage of "one of the largest energy savings opportunities in the history of the lighting market" (2011 Energy Policy Report). Not including energy efficiency as a standard, seems to be a missed opportunity, according to some experts.

In an interview with Leapfrog Lighting News & Insights, Owen Howlett of the CEC makes Energy Star the main argument against including energy efficiency.

“For the first time, we now have lamps that completely fit the purpose of replacing the residential incandescent A-lamp”, said Owen Howlett, who develops energy codes and standards for the California Energy Commission. According to Leapfrog Lighting News & Insights, he explained the missing performance attribute this way: “Color performance is essential, but all the other attributes of lamp performance are also important, and ENERGY STAR takes care of all those other attributes. Without ENERGY STAR there’s no way we could have written the Specification, and our advice is that the Quality Specification and ENERGY STAR should always be used together.”

The 2011 Energy Policy Report, which framed the Voluntary Specifications, describes the objective as, “This Voluntary California Quality LED Lamp Specification…support[s] energy policy makers and the lighting industry in their collective goal to move consumers away from the inefficient incandescent lighting of the past century and toward more efficient light emitting diode (LED) lighting technology."

The language of the report makes the lack of energy efficiency as a performance attribute strikingly noticeable.

The Leapfrog Lighting News & Insight feature presents a comprehensive discussion on the apparently absent performance attribute. One key point made is that many of the lamps meeting the voluntary specifications consume more energy than other available bulbs, potentially leading consumers to choose energy-inefficient bulbs. Attributes that are included in the standard are: color temperature, color consistency, color rendering, dimmability, rated life/warranty, light distribution.

Correspondent Sarah Bailey summed up in a compelling argument: " Considering there are an estimated “530,000,000 general service Edison Screw lamp sockets in home and places of work” (as stated in the Specification), would a 4 Watt differential per lamp not make a significant impact in energy consumption? Multiply that across North America (I assume the CEC would like their specification to be adopted outside of the state), and it most certainly would."

The article on Leapfrog Lighting News & Insights goes on to challenge readers with:
"So, what do you think? Is the CEC truly promoting energy conservation through the California Quality specification? Will adoption of LEDs increase when light quality becomes quantified/guaranteed? Will this promote energy conservation, even if the “California Quality” lamps aren’t as efficient as ENERGY STAR certified lamps."

Read the full commentary on Leapfrog Lighting News & Insights>>.

About Leapfrog Lighting

Leapfrog Lighting, is best known for specialized commercial-application LED light bulbs, for applications where consistent quality is important, such as: retail and display, interior and architectural design applications, industry and commercial space, facility management, hospitals, galleries and museums.


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