DOE Publishes Special CALiPER Report on Retail Lamps

March 4, 2014

The U.S. Department of Energy's CALiPER program has released a special report on LED lamps available through the retail marketplace and targeted toward general consumers. The report follows similar reports published in 2011 and 2012. LED replacement lamps are available through many retail outlets, and CALiPER testing offers insights on performance trends from year to year.

For the new report, a total of 46 A19, PAR30, and MR16 lamps were purchased from retail stores in 2013. Instead of a random sample, the products were chosen to answer specific hypotheses about performance. Among the key findings:

  • There are now very good LED options to compete with 60W, 75W, and 100W incandescent A19 lamps and 75W halogen PAR30 lamps.
  • MR16 lamps have shown less progress, but there are now acceptable alternatives to 35W/12V and 50W/120V halogen MR16s for some applications. Lamps for other uses, such as in enclosed luminaires, may require more development.
  • At the same price point, lamps purchased in 2013 tended to have higher output and slightly higher efficacy than those purchased in 2011 or 2010.
  • There appears to be increasing consistency in color quality, with a vast majority of products having a correlated color temperature of 2700K or 3000K and a color rendering index between 80 and 85. There were also fewer poor-performing products tested and more high-performing products available in 2013 than in previous years.
  • The accuracy of equivalency and performance claims was better than in 2011 but remains a concern, with 43 percent of tested products failing to completely meet their equivalency claim and 20 percent failing to match the manufacturer's performance data.

Download the full report.