There is a world-wide effort to place guidelines and standards on LED based solid state lighting (SSL) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) has issued documents outlining performance guidelines for them in certain applications. Some key members in this group, known as the SSL Annex, include the U.S., the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Japan, China, Korea, Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands, to name a few. The SSL Annex was established in 2010, and was established within the context of the International Energy Agency’s Energy Efficient End-use Equipment Implementing Agreement (whew) in an effort to consult with and advise the member countries regarding SSL quality and performance assurance programs. Through the influence and backing of the group, the vision is to lay the grounds for requirement standardization in the industry. The new SSL performance guidelines covering everything from omnidirectional LED A-lamps to outdoor LED area lighting are ideas generated by top experts in the LED field. However, at this time, there will be no requirement that regulatory or market-transformation programs be compelled to acknowledge the recommended guidelines. The SSL Annex is, at this juncture, just a guidance group and holds no authority to influence any programs that currently exist anywhere in the world. Programs such as the U.S. Energy Star program and other similar programs in the U.S. and other countries, which are not under the authority or influence of the group, are programs that are considered as points of interest to help unite global programs by establishing guidelines.
Assisting the buying public and governments around the world in assuring that the SSL products they have to choose from are of the necessary quality, and live up to accepted performance levels, to accomplish the aims of effectively reducing the energy that lighting around the world currently consumes. Considering that the current world wide consumption of lighting energy is 20% of all power produced, the potential of LED lighting to reducing that amount by 50% is definitely impressive and, obviously, a good thing. The Annex will work world-wide to accomplish the energy savings goal and support all the work being done at all national and regional levels to address all the challenges that the SSL technologies present.
Due to the current lack of any agreement regarding SSL test standards and no plan for international accreditation, the trade barriers and increased overhead cost of business will tend to slow down the world-wide adaptation of energy saving LEDs, thus resulting in energy saving losses that could be avoided with standardized testing. The current situation has four different world regions, where there are four different sets of proficiency tests used to assess the test lab’s ability to competently measure the LED lamps, and the regions will not accept testing results from another region. The Annex is eager to address the issues that now hamper the testing standards and has proposed guidelines for creating a testing scenario which can be used to consistently test and compare lights across regional markets so as to harmonize the SSL testing procedures.
In the initial term, the activities of the Annex were divided into three particular workloads; they were labeled as Task 1, 2 and 3. Task one involves addressing the quality assurance for LED lighting and defines performance for numerous different product categories. Also, included in Task 1 is the gathering and analyzation of current information pertaining to any known effects of SSL technology on the environment and human health. Task 2 and Task 3 are related and focus on testing and accreditation of of test labs themselves. Task 2 seeks to fashion an interlaboratory comparison scheme, on a global basis, to assist in the support of those who are working toward accreditation of LED product testing, and providing test benchmarks for participant labs. In 2013, the SSL Annex’s Interlaboratory Comparison (2013 IC) program involved a global group of 110 SSL labs, which was the largest such comparison for LED product labs to date. Task 3 established a framework of suitable accreditation terms for the labs involved in IC 2013 and promoting mutual international recognition of SSL proficiency testing.
The above writing is just a tip of the work being done by the SSL Annex. The first term Tasks above are being followed by a second term which is a five-year plan that started on July 1, 2014 and is scheduled to end on June 30, 2019. This plan consists of eleven Tasks, ten which focus on core activities and one on cross-cutting communications. The continued goal of the SSL Annex is to provide support to all governments, policy makers, program managers, and others who are in the position to address issues that relate to SSL technology in their particular markets.
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