Recently, NEMA published SSL 4-2012, SSL Retrofit Lamps: Suggested Minimum Performance Requirements. The purpose of this standard is to provide suggested minimum performance levels for SSL retrofit products. Federal programs such as Energy Star set high performance goals to encourage growth of such products, but do not provide minimum acceptance criteria for products as a whole. Since its publication, NEMA has been approached by several organizations wishing to adopt, in part or in total, the standard for use in their countries or regions.
The retrofit market being the first market introduction for most consumers, it is critical that the products being offered meet a minimum standard for form, fit and function, so as to not disappoint or discourage market acceptance and growth. Dozens, even hundreds of standards exist for illumination technology, and many of these may be applied to SSL if an examination is first made to determine correct application. SSL 4-2012 seeks to call out, tailor and consolidate these performance parameters, either by reference or direct quote.
As jurisdictions around the globe consider adopting minimum performance requirements, it is essential for them to consider what exists elsewhere. To have identical or aligned requirements for each country assists in growing the market, as manufacturers will not be required to design different products for different countries, or to design a product that exceeds minimum performance requirements for one country so that it can meet the minimum performance requirements of another. It is critical that organizations that wish to adopt SSL 4-2012 understand this and attempt to only make changes to the document that are necessary for implementation of it in their country. Conflicting requirements will only serve to further confuse the market for SSL technology, which is already flooded with a glut of standardization efforts that can be confusing and difficult to navigate.