DOE Announces BR30 or R30 LED Lamps Tested under CALiPER Program Could be Effective Replacements for Conventional Directional Lamps

DOE has finished Series 16 of testing under the DOE Solid-State Lighting CALiPER program. The Report 16 analyzes the performance of a group of 13 LED products labeled as BR30 or R30 lamps.

Results show substantial improvement versus earlier CALiPER testing of similar products, and performance comparable to recent data from LED Lighting Facts and ENERGY STAR. Many of the LED lamps tested could be effective replacements for conventional directional lamps in the right application.

The report also indicates that it’s necessary to board the range of LED lamps within product families in terms of lumen output and distribution type, and questions the adequacy of existing reflector lamp categories for LED products.

The lumen output of the products was equivalent to 65 W or 75 W incandescent BR30/R30 lamps
The lumen output of many of the products was equivalent to 65 W or 75 W incandescent BR30/R30 lamps, and all emitted between 450 and 860 lumens.

Efficacy ranged from 51 to 91 lm/W, although all except one of the products was between 51 and 65 lm/W. The LED BR30/R30 lamps had luminous intensity distributions ranging from narrow to very wide; the suitability of these distributions depends on the application. Although there were a few exceptions, most of the lamps had color quality attributes that were similar to incandescent lamps. An improvement compared to earlier testing, 12 of the 13 products had a power factor higher than 0.70.

Distribution type similar to compact fluorescent R30 lamps
More than half of the LED products tested had luminous intensity distributions similar to compact fluorescent R30 lamps, with wider beam angles than are typical of conventional incandescent directional lamps. Moving forward, increases in lumen output and improvement in luminous efficacy—although still worthwhile goals—may be less important than increasing the number of products with a luminous intensity distribution similar to incandescent benchmarks. Further, having multiple combinations of lumen output (e.g., 450 lumens, 700 lumens) and distribution type (e.g., spot, narrow flood, flood, wide flood) from a single manufacturer could help specifiers meet the needs of a given application.

The existing reflector lamp categories for LED products
With the introduction of integrated LED lamps, the existing designations for reflector lamps are becoming insufficient because they are primarily based on geometric and optical considerations rather than performance. LED lamp manufacturers are faced with a difficult task in identifying an appropriate designation, given the performance overlap between PAR, R, BR and ER lamps. It is possible that a new or altered naming convention would be more appropriate for LED products, helping purchasers obtain products that best meet their needs.

Beginning in 2012, each CALiPER summary report focuses on a single product type or application. Products are selected with the intent of capturing the current state of the market – a cross section ranging from expected low- to high-performing products – with the bulk characterizing the average of the range.

The Department allows detailed test results from CALiPER testing to be distributed in the public interest for noncommercial, educational purposes only. Detailed test results for Series 16 will be available soon through the searchable online CALiPER system.

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