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Title: CALiPER Retail Lamps Study 3

The CALiPER program first began investigating LED lamps sold at retail stores in 2010, purchasing 33 products from eight retailers and covering six product categories. The findings revealed a fragmented marketplace, with large disparities in performance of different products, accuracy of manufacturer claims, and offerings from different retail outlets. Although there were some good products, looking back many would not be considered viable competitors to other available options, with too little lumen output, not high enough efficacy, or poor color quality. CALiPER took another look in late 2011purchasing 38 products of five different types from nine retailers and the improvement was marked. Performance was up; retailer claims were more accurate; and the price per lumen and price per unit efficacy were down, although the price per product had not changed much. Nonetheless, there was still plenty of room for improvement, with the performance of LED lamps not yet reaching that of well-established classes of conventional lamps (e.g., 75 W incandescent A19 lamps). Since the second retail lamp study was published in early 2012, there has been substantial progress in all aspects of LED lamps available from retailers. To document this progress, CALiPER again purchased a sample of lamps from retailmore » stores 46 products in total, focusing on A19, PAR30, and MR16 lamps but instead of a random sample, sought to select products to answer specific hypotheses about performance. These hypotheses focused on expanding ranges of LED equivalency, the accuracy of lifetime claims, efficacy and price trends, as well as changes to product designs. Among other results, key findings include: There are now very good LED options to compete with 60 W, 75 W, and 100 W incandescent A19 lamps, and 75 W halogen PAR30 lamps. MR16 lamps have shown less progress, but there are now acceptable alternatives to 35 W, 12 V halogen MR16 lamps and 50 W, 120 V halogen MR16 lamps for some applications. Other uses, such as in enclosed luminaires, may require more development. At the same price point, lamps purchased in 2013 tended to have higher output and slightly higher efficacy than in 2011 or 2010. Over 30% of the products purchased in 2013 exceeded the maximum efficacy measured in 2011 (71 lm/W), with the most efficacious product measured at 105 lm/W. There appears to be increasing consistency in color quality, with a vast majority of products having a CCT of 2700 K or 3000 K and a CRI between 80 and 85. There were also fewer poor performing products tested and more high-performing products available in 2013 than in previous years. The accuracy of equivalency and performance claims was better than in 2011, but remains a concern, with 43% of tested products failing to completely meet their equivalency claim and 20% of products failing to match the manufacturer’s performance data. Although progress has been substantial, on average LED lamps remain more expensive than other energy efficiency lighting technologies -- although some aspects can be superior. Although not universal to all product lines or all product types, the issue of insufficient lumen output from LED lamps is waning. Thus, manufacturers can focus on other issues, such as reducing cost, improving electrical/dimmer compatibility, eliminating flicker, or improving color quality. While these issues are not inherent to all products, they remain a concern for the broader market.« less
Publication Date:
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Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
CALiPER; LED lamps; retail lamp study