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A primer on LM-80 standard

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:LM-80? reporting tool? luminaire?

LM-80 can also be useful in helping manufacturers earn a coveted ENERGY STAR rating for their products. In fact, those who manufacture LED lamps for sale in the U.S. can only obtain an ENERGY STAR product qualification for an LED lamp if the lamp has undergone LM-80 testing. To make it faster for lamp manufacturers to obtain the qualification and get their product to market, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) now allow manufacturers to get an interim ENERGY STAR qualification with only 3,000 hours of testing if the manufacturer can provide an LM-80 test report for the LED component. This allows lamp manufacturers to apply for refund programs up to 18 weeks earlier than manufacturers that do not provide the LED component LM-80 test data to the certification organisations.

Additionally, many other countries outside of the U.S., including Australia, now use the ENERGY STAR program requirements as a benchmark for LED standards in their own country. LM-80 data is thus crucial for manufacturers outside of the U.S. as well who want their LED lamps to meet that benchmark. Luminaire manufacturers that exceed the minimum 6,000 required test hours for LM-80 can extend their "lifetime claims" by six times the actual test hours. For example, Philips Lumileds tests several of its popular LUXEON products for 10,000 hours or longer, so that our customers can claim a 60,000-hour-or-more lifetime for their products as opposed to a 36,000-hour lifetime (based on the minimum 6,000-hour test requirement).

How to access LM-80 data

Despite the fact that LM-80 was created to inform customers of manufacturers' testing results, many manufacturers don't allow the public to access their LM-80 data or make accessing the data cumbersome. Sharing the data available online is one way to make it more accessible.

As part of its suite of online LED applications tools, Philips Lumileds now offers an LM-80 reporting tool that enables users to access LM-80 data for the majority of its LED components designed for general lighting. The tool offers customers the ability to generate a custom LM-80 report, tailored to their specific drive conditions. This is touted to help a lamp or luminaire manufacturer streamline their development and qualification process. And because online content is much easier to update than a printed document, an online reporting tool enables manufacturers to keep their LM-80 material current.

In conclusion, to assuage consumers' fears about LEDs' long-term performance, manufacturers must make test data, like LM-80 results, available to the public and provide the data in a meaningful, easy-to-use format. Consumers must be reminded, however, that LM-80 is only one part of a larger puzzle. All pieces of the puzzle must be considered to make a fully informed judgement about the long-term performance of an LED-based product.

About the author
Rudi Hechfellner is the Director of Applications at Philips Lumileds Lighting. After more than 16 years of developing innovations for technically advanced projects in the semiconductor industry, Hechfellner joined Philips Lumileds Lighting in 2005. Prior to joining Philips Lumileds Lighting he was an applications engineer for ASICs with focus on high-speed I/O interfaces. Hechfellner holds an Electronic Engineering degree from FH Augsburg, Germany.

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