NIST Leads Standards Setting for LED Lighting
Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in cooperation with national standards organizations, have taken the lead in developing the first two standards for solid-state lighting in the United States. This new generation lighting technology uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
Standards ensure that products will have high quality, and their performance will be specified uniformly for commerce and trade. These standards—the most recent of which published last month—detail the color specifications of LED lamps and LED light fixtures, and the test methods that manufacturers should use when testing products for total light output, energy consumption and chromaticity, or color quality.
Solid-state lighting is expected to significantly reduce the amount of energy needed for general lighting, including residential, commercial, and street lighting. "Lighting," explains NIST scientist Yoshi Ohno, "uses 22 percent of the electricity and 8 percent of the total energy spent in the country, so the energy savings in lighting will have a huge impact."
Solid-state lighting is expected to be twice as energy efficient as fluorescent lamps, although the current products are still at their early stages. Ohno chaired the task groups that developed these new standards.
NIST is working with the U.S. Department of Energy to support its goal of developing and introducing solid-state lighting to reduce energy consumption for lighting by 50 percent by the year 2025. The department predicts that phasing in solid-state lighting over the next 20 years could save more than $280 billion in 2007 dollars.
DOE is launching the Energy Star program for solid-state lighting products this fall. The Energy Star certification assures consumers that products save energy and are high quality and also serves as an incentive for manufacturers to provide energy-saving products for consumers.