HR6 is Not a Free Ride

Posted: December 1, 2008 in General SSL Commentary
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The 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act signed into law in December 2007 has been cited as the national law that will end the incandescent lamp outright and put the world at the doorstep of solid-state lighting once and for all. Is this real?

Here is a small taste of the reality of the bill as it was signed:

Incandescent lamp efficacy requirements (1000hr min. life):
1490 to 2600 lumens, max 72 watts -20.7 to 36 L/W – 2012 implementation
1050 to 1489 lumens, max 53 watts  – 19.8 to 28 L/W – 2013 implementation
750 to 1049 lumens, max 43 watts – 17.4 to 24.4 L/W – 2014 implementation
310 to 749 lumens, max 29 watts – 10.7 t0 25.8 L/W – 2014 implementation

Incandescent reflector lamp efficacy requirements (36 month implementation):
40 to 50 watts – 10.5 L/W
51 to 66 watts – 11 L/W
67 to 85 watts – 12.5 L/W
86 to 115 watts – 14 L/W
116 to 155 watts – 14.5 L/W
156 to 205 watts – 15 L/W

Fluorescent lamp efficacy requirements:
4′ bipin – 75 L/W
2′ U-lamp – 68 L/W
8′ Slimline – 80 L/W
8′ HO – 80 L/W

Summary: These are not insurmountable goals. In fact, fluorescent lamps already exist that meet these standards. Infra-red halogen lamps are already generating 19 L/W, and are capable of 35 L/W. In other words, regardless of PR hype otherwise, the requirements of this legislation are not going to put an end to conventional lamps, or hand the market over to solid-state. In fact, there are few LED “lamp” products (not including raw LED components) in the market today that can reach these demands, so there is some way to go here as well.

Solid-state lighting will eventually succeed from a combination of its inherent controllablity, compact size, superior optical capability, separation of heat and light, tolerance of vibration and cold, sustainability, and other factors that conventional products cannot easily compete with. This means that ultimately, while price is important, applied costs are more relevant.

So, at least in the near term, legislation is pressing the market in the right direction, the deployment of solid-state will require more than simple L/W regulations to create major market movement in this direction. At the core of this will be an industry focusing itself on delivering the advantages of SSL, while reducing its negatives, to deliver all new lighting tools to a market hungry for new ideas and practical solutions.

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