Performance Testing of LED Lighting (Standards, Regulations and Benefits) Part 2

Performance Testing of LED Lighting (Standards, Regulations and Benefits) Part 2

(Gareth Jones)

The correct performance testing of LED modules, lamps and luminaires is critical to providing the information required for lighting products to be marketed and sold into their end uses with trust. How the information is presented and why it is trusted is key to increasing sales in this competitive market.

The level of trust in performance data has become a real issue and the industry has a need to ask deeper questions of the supply chain to ensure that performance information is well understood. In particular, the requirement to ask for independent accredited laboratories to provide the data is key to improving the level of trust and ensure that data is consistent from labs around the world.

CE marking due to its self-certification process can give rise to problems with abuse of trust such that manufacturers and/or importers do not perform the level of due dilligence needed to ensure that the products meet the requirements of the directives and regulations. Indeed, many companies do not have fully compliant technical files which are essential for evidence in the event of an issue and which serve as best practise for ensuring compliance. This can be deliberate or more often is associated with a lack of awareness of the requirements. Neither is an acceptable excuse when things go wrong and end users suffer with fire or electric shock issues or the product does not perform as anticipated.

Marks of quality such as BSI Kitemark, ENEC(+) and the DEKRA LED Performance mark can help provide the increased trust that is needed but the schemes are difficult to fund for smaller manufacturers and how this investment leads to increasing sales is not easily quantified. Therefore many of these schemes only work effectively when there is a strong market pull. A good example of this is the BSI Kitemark for Emergency Lighting which has been strongly adopted in certain markets due to it being written into purchasing tender specifications. Another is the requirement for ENEC in streetlighting specifications. When not mandated, it does become an increasingly difficult task to convince manufacturers of the positive revenue benefits from more costs quality schemes.

An emerging scheme in the LED component industry is the IECQ LED Lighting scheme. “As an outcome of the recent success of LED lighting solutions for domestic and industrial use, the risk of having the market flooded by a large number of manufacturers making unverifiable claims about their products’ quality and reliability has increased exponentially along with the huge number of differing package and engine formats. It is clear that mass production of LED lighting systems cannot be made at the expense of quality and reliability. All electronic components, parts, modules and assemblies must work satisfactorily together. One faulty component can result in poor performance or even worse, the overall failure of the LED lighting system. Organizations that are holding IECQ LED Lighting Certification demonstrate to the international market place that their organization and facilities through testing and other verification criteria comply with the requirements of the IECQ System and the relevant declared technical Standards and Specifications for their scope of activity.”

A new and beneficial system has been developed recently which aims to combine the increase in trust and solidity of the performance and quality data with offering a means to predict the risk of failure in the end use market which can be used as the basis of an insurance scheme to underwrite LED lighting product manufacturer warranties. Two such schemes are currently in the market to my knowledge; one is a partnership between DEKRA and MunichRe and the other is

Luxsure, a UK company focussed on providing LED lighting manufacturers with a performance scheme which provides confidence for manufacturers and end users and also provides the necessary information for predicting the risk of failure for these products. By working with Luxsure an introduction can be made to an insurance scheme which is linked to the Luxsure performance mark. The insurance scheme is underwritten by a top Lloyds of London syndicate. To learn more about Luxsure please contact them directly.

As discussed, performance parameters are becoming an increasingly important aspect for Lighting Products as they are needed to demonstrate compliance to performance regulations and also to provide more product information in a competitive marketplace and a potential route to insurance for product warranties.

Some notable areas where performance testing is increasingly important is :

• Energy Efficiency Performance – to meet ecodesign and other MEP requirements for market entry – such as the EU energy label (see graphic);

• Photometric Performance – Spectral, Temporal and Spatial properties to ensure the products meet the required use quality. Control of colour, glare and flicker are specific issues which are challenging LED lighting manufacturers;

• Reliability and Lifetesting – ensuring that minimal quality levels can be assured for regulatory requirements e.g. ecodesign and that warranties can be properly supported. Key elements will be the LED module lumen maintenance and the LED driver failure rate as well as investigating other failure modes and predicting life of the lamp or luminaire.

• Electro-Magnetic and Radio Performance – in environments increasingly filled with more radio signals and higher clock frequency electronics packed more closely to power supplies – the need for EMC testing is ever more important. The new Radio Equipment Directive (RED) determines new requirements for testing of products that have wireless connectivity and with changing EMC frequency and test requirements it is important for manufacturers to stay up to date.

• Network / Controller Performance – with the emerging use of smart controls and IoT based control/sensors and the large variety of network communications systems such as wifi, zigbee, bluetooth, 4G ; there exists a number of challenges to test products to comply with regulations and also to convey information that the products will work in the prescribed user environments and that the interoperability of the products with other systems will be assured – these myriad of requirements are challenging manufacturers and regulators. In addition, the added element of security of IoT product is extremely challenging but also highly required as has already been observed in many news stories. The IoT Security Foundation has been established to provide support and best practise for this rapidly emerging area.

In all of the above case, the industry has developed and relies on standards to determine the best practise test methods, labelling information and also to set limits for acceptable performance. In the EU and countries where IEC standards are adopted (i.e. not US and Canada) then the key performance standards for LED products are listed later in this article. The list is not exhaustive but does provide key information which is an important start.

It is interesting to note that the key standards are generally not well known by the majority of manufacturers involved in the design and production of LED lighting products. More knowledge is needed to ensure the products can be designed for compliance and designed for test to minimise expensive and time consuming reworking when the product fail the compliance testing or even worse – fail in the end users installation!

Energy Efficiency, Photometric, Reliability and Lifetesting Performance

EU Regulation 1194/2012 (ecodesign for LED lighting) was described in our part 1 article and is underpinned by key performance standards such as

• EN 13032-4 – Photometry of LED products (as well as CIE S025 and the US version LM-79-08)

• EN 62612 – LED Lamp performance including photometric information, lumen maintenance and endurance testing.

• EN 62717 – LED module performance, including photometric information, lumen maintenance and endurance testing.

• EN 62772-2-1/EN 62722-1 – LED Luminaire performance, including photometric information, lumen maintenance and endurance testing.

• EN 63013 (its equivalent US version LM-80) – Test Method for Lumen Maintenance of LED packages and TM-21 – Projection of Lifetime

• EN 61709 (Electric components — Reliability — Reference conditions for failure rates and stress models for conversion)

• PD IEC/TS 62861 (Guidelines for principal component reliability testing for LED light sources and LED luminaires)

• IEEE 1789 – IEEE Recommended Practices for Modulating Current in High-Brightness LEDs for Mitigating Health Risks to Viewers

and for the emerging OLEDs there is EN 62922 (Organic light emitting diode (OLED) panels for general lighting. Performance requirements)

EMC Performance

• EN 55015 – EMC Emissions (Limits and methods of measurement of radio disturbance characteristics of electrical lighting and similar equipment)

• EN 61547 – EMC Immunity (Equipment for general lighting purposes — EMC immunity requirements)

• EN 61000-3-2 – Harmonics (Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). Limits. Limits for harmonic current emissions (equipment input current ≤ 16 A per phase)

• EN 61000-3-3 – Voltage fluctuations and flicker (Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). Limits. Limitation of voltage changes, voltage fluctuations and flicker in public low-voltage supply systems, for equipment with rated current <16 A per phase and not subject to conditional connection)

In part 3 we will discuss more information in particular around the IoT and smart lighting aspects and how the introduction of the Radio Equipment Directive (RED) creates important new requirements for those creating new lighting products.

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 LUX-IEC (a global consulting company).

Light is beautiful and its measurement needs care and attention to interpret such beauty