Performance Testing of LED Lighting (Standards, Regulations and Benefits) Part 1

Published on March 5, 2018 (Gareth Jones)

The performance testing of LED lamps and luminaires is critical to providing the information required for lighting products to be marketed and sold into their end uses. Values such as the luminous efficacy (lumens/Watt), color rendering index (CRI), flicker, glare are terms used in the industry. But what do they mean and where do they apply.

Performance information covers a very wide range of attributes that are best broken down into key segments associated with the essential elements of the LED lighting product. LED lighting products start with the LEDs and end up with the end products i.e. the lamp or luminaire.

The routes by which LEDs are incorporated into the end products are many and this post cannot cover all aspects. However, key performance attributes are shown below for each element in the product make up.

In addition, as mentioned in the luminaire profile above there are many use specific parameters that are highly important to the end application and are written into tender specifications to ensure the best solutions are provided for the given end use.

Product performance figures for LED lighting products have been widely abused by manufacturers globally as the race to convince end users to buy their products has become highly intensive.

Certain LED Lighting Product Performance aspects are mandatory within the EU due to the requirements of the various directives as shown below:

Product Directives

  • Low Voltage Directive (2014/35/EU) – Covers all safety aspects (not just electrical shock) and includes Photobiological hazards and the effect of Electro-Motive force (EMF) on humans
  • Electro-Magnetic Compatibility Directive (2014/30/EU) -Emissions and Immunity, Harmonics and flicker;
  • Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (2011/65/EC) (all materials and components in the make up of the product must comply including the packaging)
  • Eco-Design Directive (2009/125/EC) which includes the requirements for minimum performance & reliability characteristics as shown in more details below.
  • Energy Labelling Directive (2010/30/EU) which includes the requirements for indication by labelling and standard product information of the consumption of energy and other resources

In particular the Eco-Design Directive mandates certain minimum requirements as shown in Table 5 from regulation 1194/2012 for LED lamps. In addition there are minimum energy efficiency requirements to prevent inefficient product entering the market – particularly for LED lamps and LED modules (used in luminaires).

In the next post we will discuss some of the key performance standards for LED products including photometry and EMC requirements and the various ways in which performance schemes can be used to increase the confidence of end users of your product allowing you to differentiate from the competition and building up your brand value in an ever crowded marketplace. LED product warranties are also discussed and how performance schemes can allow a route to a cost effective insurance scheme to underwrite warranties.

Please do get in touch with us if you have more in-depth requirements and we would love to help you.

Dr Gareth Jones is the CEO of LUX-TSI (an accredited testing laboratory) and its subsidiary LUX-IEC (a global consulting company).