CALiPER LED Floodlight Tests Show Room for Improvement
The US Department of Energy has completed Series 15 of testing through the DOE Solid-State Lighting CALiPER program. Report 15 of testing analyzes the performance of a group of 10 LED floodlights that mirrors the broad range of conventional luminaires designated as floodlights.
Given the broad and ambiguously defined nature of the floodlight category, different LED floodlights tested may be effective for a given application. However, this series of testing did highlight several key areas in which LED products can improve in order to be more competitive with conventional floodlights—or already offer an advantage:
Conclusions from the report
- Challenge: Conventional floodlights are available exceeding 20,000 lumens, but few (if any) LED floodlights can match this performance. The maximum lumen output for the Series 15 products was approximately 8000 lumens.
- Advantage: The efficacy of many of the Series 15 LED floodlights was equal to or better than the typical efficacy of conventional floodlights using metal halide or CFL lamps.
- Challenge: Most of the Series 15 LED floodlights had wide, symmetric distributions. For many applications, this is not appropriate, which limits the market for LED products
- Challenge: The output of conventional floodlights is highly customizable—using modular lamps, reflectors, and accessories, dozens of options are available in the same housing to enable specifiers to meet exacting performance criteria. Although some of the Series 15 LED floodlights followed a similar approach, others offered no such flexibility.
- Challenge: Although color rendition is not as important for floodlights as it is for some other product categories, many of the Series 15 LED floodlights did not exploit this opportunity, having CCTs outside the typical range for the competing conventional floodlights.
- Advantage: Although not specifically examined or measured by CALiPER, the color consistency and color stability of Series 15 LED floodlights are likely favorable compared to conventional floodlights using metal halide lamps.
- Advantage: The power factor of the Series 15 LED floodlights was considerably better than that of conventional floodlights.
- Advantage: Although not specifically examined or measured by CALiPER, the rated lifetime of LED floodlights is typically as long or longer than the rated lifetime for conventional floodlights.
- Challenge: As with all LED products, manufacturer claims must be accurate. Four of the 10 Series 15 products failed to meet at least one manufacturer claim. To strengthen consumer confidence, this deficiency should be remedied.
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. A summary of the results is now available for download on the DOE SSL website at www.ssl.energy.gov/reports.html.