New NEMA Target Efficacy Calculation Method Includes LED Luminaires

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has published LE 6-2014 Procedure for Determining Target Efficacy Ratings for Commercial, Industrial, and Residential Luminaires.  NEMA updated the procedure explicitly to include LED technology. The new procedure is of particular interest to manufacturers of fluorescent lamps, recessed luminaires, and HID (high-intensity discharge) lamps. NEMA indicated that its LE Section developed the procedure to offer the lighting procurement officials and the lighting design community a practical and uniform method for calculating a metric to compare the “energy effectiveness” of luminaires.

NEMA says that the procedure can allow maintenance and construction to focus on sustainable design when evaluating the energy performance of luminaires. According to NEMA, the method also gives electrical utility companies a way to establish luminaire performance criteria for energy-savings rebate programs. Additionally, LE 6-2014 gives lighting designers a way to consider lamp, ballast components, and to evaluate the effectiveness of optics to provide light for an intended task.

LE 6-2014 defines categories for types of luminaire products based on function, optical and light distribution characteristics as well as physical or dimensional attributes. Such categories can enable qualified energy comparisons within a product category. The method allows luminaire manufacturers and the lighting industry to employ laboratory facilities, testing methods, and already completed test data in accordance with approved industry standards. LE 6-2014 can be downloaded for free from the NEMA website.

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