International Harmonisation of CFLS

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This framework or scale facilitates any interested party (government, National requirements with regard to electromagnetic disturbance (EMC),

International Harmonisation of CFL standards

    Performance Specifications working group 2

    Authors: Mark Ellis, MEA, Australia. David Fridley, LBNL, United States.

    1. Introduction

    The performance characteristics for compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) which are important to consumers include more than just energy efficiency, and for this reason most programmes (MEPS, Labeling and Certification, Bulk Procurement, etc) include a set of criteria covering a range of performance characteristics (a performance specification) which must be met by a lamp to comply/qualify. Lamp life, lumen maintenance and start-up time are examples of these ‘other’ performance

    characteristics which are typically covered by specifications.

    As documented elsewhere (eg. Conference proceedings of Right Light 6), there are now over 20 energy efficiency programmes for CFLs around the world that have been developed over recent years. Some of these programmes cover different performance characteristics, and the thresholds for each characteristic varies, so that there exist many performance standards, many of which are similar but not exactly the same. As the market for CFLs has expanded to become truly global, the presence of such a proliferation of specifications complicates the compliance tasks for CFL manufacturers and probably increases the final costs to consumers. A separate project is attempting to quantify the impact on CFL prices as a result of these compliance issues.

    While it is recognised that any jurisdiction has the right to set individual performance specifications, the benefits of reducing

    the costs of CFLs to consumers without sacrificing quality (and thereby increased penetration rates) is a compelling reason for rationalizing the number of different specifications. Further, it is likely that enforcement costs for authorities could also be

    reduced, or at least targeted more effectively.

    Having a small number of clearly identified sets of performance specifications available to the international community may also appeal to jurisdictions which do not current run programmes to promote CFLs, and encourage them to launch new initiatives based on the limited number of established performance specifications due to the associated reduced costs/skills required to establish a programme.

    At the Shanghai launch of the International CFL Initiative, it was agreed that this working group should examine performance specifications for CFLs:

    Through 2005 and part of 2006, develop a number of performance specifications for self-ballasted CFLs of increasing

    stringency. This framework or scale facilitates any interested party (government, industry-operated voluntary scheme or

    other proponent) to select the performance requirements that best fit their particular needs (potentially as minimum

    performance requirements or to indicate better or even best-available technology).Any CFL scheme would still

    determine if and when any of these performance specifications should operate.

    This paper discusses what is involved in setting performance specifications, highlights issues which require resolution and presents draft specifications for consideration.

    We welcome the views of manufacturers and suppliers on the current cost implications of meeting a range of

    performance specifications in their markets.

    2. Outline of proposal

    A performance specification comprises a set of thresholds for identified criteria. In view of the range of potential uses for performance specifications, (including minimum energy performance regulations, procurement policies, endorsement labeling) it is considered that more than one set of performance specifications will be required.

    Such a tiered performance system also enhances the capability of nations wanting to use a mix of both minimum performance standards and higher efficiency requirements for product endorsement.

    The task of this working group is therefore to propose several sets of specifications, which represent increasing levels of stringency. These could be conceived as follows:

    ; The lowest specification may represent a level suitable for adoption as a mandatory minimum performance threshold in

    the current market.

    ; The next specification might be suitable for a future minimum performance level, perhaps in three to four years time. August 2005 INTERNATIONAL HARMONISATION OF CFLS: PERFORMANCE SPECIFICATIONS 1

    ; A third level may represent the requirements of an endorsement programme which aims to have a high number of

    compliant products.

    ; The most stringent level might be set to represent current best practice, met by only a small proportion of current


    Further improvements in technology over time may warrant a higher stringency level than currently envisaged, and the system should incorporate the capacity to improve and display compliance with that improvement over time. It is intended that once these sets of performance specifications are agreed upon, they would be available for adoption by organisations responsible for deciding the specifications for individual energy efficiency programmes. The actual adoption of these performance specifications by an individual programme would be voluntary as outlined in the section below. 3. How will the rationalization of specifications occur?

    It should be stressed that there is no intention to impose new specifications on jurisdictions who currently run energy efficiency programme for CFLs, or on those that wish to do so in the future. The selection of specifications is entirely the responsibility of each individual jurisdiction, and the international harmonisation project will not alter that in any way. However, most energy efficiency programmes for CFLs periodically revise their specifications every few years, and at this point there is the opportunity for each jurisdiction to consider whether to adopt one of the sets of internationally agreed performance specifications proposed here.

    Similarly, when a new programme is being established, the proponents can choose the set of internationally agreed specifications that best meets its requirements.

    4. Core criteria

    The range of criteria included in performance specifications are generally designed to address the concerns of consumers, who typically compare the performance of CFLs with that of incandescent lamps. For example, issues such as lamp lifetime are important to a consumers’ assessment of value, since the higher capital cost of a CFL is only repaid by energy savings if

    longer lifetime claims are met.

    Most existing programmes include the following criteria in their performance specifications:

    ; Efficiency level

    ; Lumen Maintenance

    ; Lifetime (both traditional lifetime and switch withstand)

    ; Start-up and Run-up time

    ; Colour rendering

    Some programmes also specify:

    ; Power Factor

    ; Starting temperature

    ; Lifetime under rapid cycle stress

    ; Variation of luminous flux with lamp orientation

    ; Cold start ability

    ; Marking requirements re: GLS equivalence, Correlated colour temperature and Lifetime (hours vs years)

    ; Mercury content of lamps

    ; Light distribution

    National requirements with regard to electromagnetic disturbance (EMC), total harmonic disturbance and safety requirements are usually noted in programme specifications, either through an external reference or repeated in full. In order to meet the objective of rationalizing the number of different performance specifications, the principle adopted is that

    there should be a set of ‘core’ criteria for which performance specifications are identified. This would enable any jurisdiction to add further criteria as required, on top of this list of core criteria.

    The recommended approach for this project is that the following criteria should be included in harmonised performance specifications.

    ; Efficiency level

    ; Lumen Maintenance

    ; Lifetime

    ; Start-up and Run-up time


    ; Colour rendering

    ; Power Factor

    ; Mercury content of lamps

    ; Marking requirements re: GLS equivalence, Colour temperature and Lifetime (hours vs years)

    We welcome comment on the proposal to have a set of core criteria; and on the proposed criteria to be included. 5. Electricity supply conditions

    Currently CFLs are manufactured to operate at the voltage/frequency combinations in the target market, eg 240v/50Hz in EU, 110v/60Hz in North America, etc. While it is technically feasible to produce lamps which operate at all common voltage/frequency combination, this is not current practice.

    It is likely that some of the performance characteristics of identical lamps would vary slightly under different electricity supply

    conditions (efficacy, for example). In other words, it may be technically more difficult to achieve a higher lamp specification

    for one market than another. This raises the issue of whether the performance specifications need to be different for each voltage/frequency combination.

    However, since the extent to which efficacy (and other performance aspects such as lifetime) vary with voltage/frequency for CFLs is not well known, it would be difficult to quantify equivalent performance requirements for each market. Further, considering that lamps currently meet high specifications in both Europe and the US, it is likely that the variations are in fact

    quite small.

    In any case, since the intention is to have several sets of performance specifications, it is still possible for a 240/50Hz country to use a different set of specifications to those adopted in the 115/60Hz country, this largely negates the need for equivalent specifications.

    We welcome comment on the proposal to have the same specifications for all voltage/frequency combinations. 6. Setting performance requirements

    At this stage we do not propose to identify the specific performance specifications for each of the levels. Detailed specifications will be proposed following discussion of the methodology in Korea.

    Table 1 below illustrates how the specifications will be set: for each ‘Level’ there will be a defined minimum performance requirement for each of the ‘core’ criteria.

    Overall, the requirements for Level 2 will be more stringent than for Level 1, however for some individual criteria the specifications may be the same. For example, A and E may be more stringent than A and E (efficacy and mercury 2211

    content), although D and D (colour rendering) may have the same specification. 21

    Table 1: Illustration of performance specifications

    Criteria Minimum Performance Requirements

    Efficacy Lifetime Run-up time Colour Mercury Other criteria

    rendering content

    Level 1 A B C D E F 111111

    Level 2 A B C D E F 222222

    Considerable investment has been made by programme designers and manufacturers in the specifications used by existing programmes, including those currently under revision. It is therefore proposed that, where feasible, the most widely implemented specifications should be used as the basis for the proposed levels.

    As shown in Table 2, the establishment of five levels should provide sufficient delineation in the marketplace, while satisfying

    the needs of most programme designers. Further levels could be added, but a proliferation of levels will begin to erode the benefits of rationalizing the number of specifications.


    Table 2 also locates the relative position of each level by identifying an equivalent programme for each level (where available). These programmes could be used to set the performance specifications for each level.

    Table 2: Levels of Performance Specifications

    Tier Stringency Description Example

    Level 1 Lowest performance specifications: suitable for MEPS Eg. Current China MEPS level

    Level 2 Possible MEPS level in the future

    Level 3 Inclusive endorsement label/procurement Eg. Current ELI specifications

    Level 4 Current best practice level endorsement label/procurement Eg. EU Quality Charter, China certification,

    new Energy Star

    Level 5 Most stringent level, future endorsement label/procurement Reserved for future use

    We welcome comment on the methodology for setting an internationally agreed set of performance levels covering core criteria for CFLs.and suggestions on the whether the example programmes identified above

    provide appropriate levels and/or proposals for alternatives

    For further information

    Please contact the following to provide comments or to discuss further:

    Mark Ellis

    David Fridley

    Stuart Jeffcott


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