The Energy Star standard was created by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan and the European Union have also adopted the program. The Energy Star name and symbol are administered and promoted by Natural Resources Canada in Canada and are registered in Canada by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Energy Star and LED Light Bulbs
Energy Star certification on LED light bulbs signifies energy-saving performance as well as reliability and overall performance. While there is no charge for a manufacturer to apply for Energy Star certification, the manufacturer must pay an approved independent lab to carry out the relevant tests on its behalf. These tests quantify the performance and lifespan of the bulb. The EPA decides the benchmarks for Energy Star certification.
To pass the Energy Star benchmarks, light bulbs must perform well and demonstrate long life. In order for LED light bulbs to show efficiency, they need to meet a number of performance-related metrics such as:
- Light distribution
- Lumen maintenance
- Colour quality (both initially and over time)
- Thermal management
In addition to ensuring that new light bulbs meet the benchmarks, the EPA also selects products that are already in the marketplace that are Energy Star-certified and checks these products to ensure that they are what they are being sold as and that their performance matches what was certified.
LED Energy Star Benchmarks
LED light bulbs that qualify for Energy Star certification must have the following qualifications:
- Have brightness that is equal or greater than existing lighting technologies (such as incandescent or CFL bulbs)
- Use at least 75% less energy than the equivalent incandescent bulb
- Lasts 35 to 50 times longer than incandescent lighting and about 2 to 5 times longer than fluorescent lighting
- Produce very little heat
- Produce light that is well-distributed over the area of the fixture
- Have light output that remains constant over time
- Display excellent colour quality that appears clear and is consistent over time
- Be as efficient or better than fluorescent lighting
- Have no flicker when dimmed
- The light must come on instantly when turned on
- Not use power when it is turned off, with the exception of external controls (it should not exceed 0.5 watts in this state.)
LED light bulbs must meet many more qualifications that CFL bulbs in order to qualify for Energy Star certification. In order to qualify for Energy Star certification, fluorescent bulbs must use 75% less energy and last up to ten times longer than the equivalent incandescent light bulb.
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