What testing is needed for an LED?

-November 26, 2012

The Challenges
Several types of challenges can arise when performing LED tests. Previously, competing products had similar shapes and designs. Now, each LED setup requires different hardware mounting means, slowing down testing efficiency. In addition, some of the typical obstacles that testing labs face include varying voltage regulation and incorrect data due to decay in the coating sphere.

Figure 3: An integrating lighting sphere from Intertek’s laboratory in Cortland, N.Y.

It is also critical for manufacturers to know which organizations’ specifications they want to meet before beginning the testing process to avoid wasting time and money. For example, a manufacturer may initially request testing to Lighting Fact’s requirements and then decide they want to meet the requirements of ENERGY STAR instead without realizing that the test criteria or samples required may differ. To perform the proper tests, it is critical to get the correct information on the LED source and LED driver from the start. In addition, manufacturers must provide third-party testing labs with the proper LM 80 data.

Despite these challenges, North America is one of the leaders in the LED lighting industry. Asia is currently working to transition to energy efficient lighting and has outlined new specifications, but they are not as widely known as those in North America. Europe has been modifying their directive, with new standards expected to go into effect in 2013. Any future international specifications will be based on the global standards outlined by the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) and modified for the needs of each country.

Energy efficiency continues to be a growing trend globally and LEDs are one of the many new technologies that have emerged. LED standards and testing requirements are growing to verify product safety and performance. In order to succeed and thrive in this increasingly competitive market, lighting manufacturers must ensure their products are third party tested to meet energy efficiency specifications and national and international standards.

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About the Author
Carl Bloomfield is the global business line director for the lighting industry at Intertek. In this role, he is responsible for the development and expansion of Intertek’s  services within this industry. Carl has been with Intertek for 16 years, and is based in the facility in Arlington Heights, Ill. In addition to being on technical committees for various industry standards, he is also actively involved with the American Lighting Association (ALA), Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), Lighting Facts and the DesignLights™ Consortium (DLC). Carl holds a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Florida.

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