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French program evaluates LED performance

27 Feb 2009

A program designed to test LED lighting for indoor illumination aims to promote the optimal use of LEDs in buildings.

“ In three year's time, French laboratories will be ready to qualify and certify all LED lighting products used in buildings.”

The €1.5m CITADEL program brings together major players from academia and industry in a bid to develop measurement protocols and benchmarking analyses of LEDs. The project was partly inspired by the US CALiPER initiative, however, the scope of the French program goes beyond, to also assess the aging and life expectancy of LED lighting products.

"In Europe there is a lack of characterization measurements for LEDs," Christophe Martinsons of the French Centre for Building Science and Technology (CSTB) told optics.org. "The research carried out in the CITADEL project will help French laboratories to qualify commercially available LED lighting products, as it is currently done in the US by the CALiPER program."

The three year project aims to determine relevant performance criteria, such as quality of light, visual comfort, energy efficiency and asses the real life expectancy of LED lighting products.

"Our goal is to identify the requirements and constraints leading to a successful integration of LED lighting in buildings," explained Martinsons. "We intend to compare existing and recently proposed indices for describing quality of light (colour rendering index for example) and visual comfort (unified glare ratio for example)."

Program leader, CSTB will be carrying out life expectancy and life cycle analyses. Other consortium members include the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA-LETI), the French National Standards and Metrology Laboratory (LNE), the Engineering School in Construction and Public Works (ENTPE) and the Plasma and Conversion Energy Laboratory (LAPLACE). Industrial partner, Philips Lighting, will provide access to manufacturer product data for life-cycle analyses and total cost of ownership.

The next key milestone in the project is the design and delivery of standard devices based on white high-power LEDs by LNE. "Devices will be circulated in the laboratories for inter-comparison of photometric and electrical measurements," concluded Martinsons. "In three year's time, French laboratories will be ready to qualify and certify all LED lighting products used in buildings."

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