Development of Standards for Solid-State Lighting

The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) Building Technologies Program and ANSI-accredited standards developer the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) have signed a memorandum of understanding to partner on the development of standards for solid-state lighting (SSL)—an emerging technology that promises to transform the way future lighting systems are designed and used.

The standards will help to form the DoE Energy Star criteria for solid state lighting products, which, the department says, have the potential to more than double the efficiency of traditional lighting systems.

The MOU laid out goals for IENSA and the DoE to:

  • promote and support the development of DoE and IESNA efficiency standards
  • develop procedures to assist in the photometric measurement of SSL devices and technologies
  • develop and maintain standards that focus on energy conservation strategies to benefit design professionals and users
  • encourage the participation of DoE personnel in IESNA technical committee activities and provide the opportunity for publication of related research
  • develop appropriate education modules for inclusion in IESNA course materials

Dubbed "solid state" because its light is emitted from a solid semiconductor, solid state lighting makes use of light-emitting diodes (LEDs)— like the kind used in digital clocks and exit signs—and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs)—commonly seen in mobile phones and digital cameras.

Current uses of SSL technology can be found in some automobile brake lights, traffic signals, and flashlights. With breakthroughs in research and development, SSL technologies are ultimately expected to replace their incandescent and fluorescent counterparts. In the future, thin films of solid-state light—mounted onto floors, walls, windows, or furniture—could be set to double as communication displays or to vary in intensity or shade in response to pre-programmed personal preferences.

To encourage the advancement of commercially viable SSL applications, DoE has developed a portfolio plan outlining initiatives for standards development, technology research, product testing, and other projects. The department has committed to work with industry and standards setting organizations to accelerate the development of needed standards and testing procedures.

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