Rosslyn, Va.-based National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has published SSL 3-2010, "High-Power White LED Binning for General Illumination. " This marks NEMA's first solid state lighting (SSL) standard.

Produced by NEMA's Solid State Lighting Section, SSL 3 provides standardized categorization areas (bins) for the colors of "white" light-emitting diodes (LEDs) used for general lighting. LED manufacturers use binning to manage variations in LED performance during mass production. When manufacturers use different binning structures and labeling, LED system integrators and assemblers face unnecessary testing, verification, qualification, and validation processes.

The bin structures established by SSL 3 promote continuity among suppliers. The standard also sets a level of expectation for color characterization, which results in a reasonable number of bins for stocking purposes. The bin structures are based on ANSI color standards for fluorescent lamps as specific in ANSI_NEMA_ANSLG C78.377-2008.

"As the first solid state lighting application standard for color in general lighting, SSL 3 will streamline the binning process, alleviating stock and consistency issues for LED integrators, " says Robert Hick of Leviton, Melville, N.Y., and chair of the section. "Upcoming revisions of the standard will address additional characteristics for binning. SSL 3 demonstrates lighting manufacturers' commitment to work together to make energy-efficient SSL technology easier for integrators to adopt on a large scale."

The contents and scope of SSL 3 may be viewed, or a hardcopy or electronic copy purchased for $37, by visiting the NEMA Web site.